NYSE reveals Stacey Cunningham stepping down in surprise shakeup

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The New York Stock Exchange revealed Monday that its longtime president Stacey Cunningham is stepping down in a surprise shakeup.

Cunningham, a nine-year veteran at the Big Board who has led it since 2018, will be replaced by Lynn Martin, currently head of NYSE’s fixed income and data services business, parent company Intercontinental Exchange announced Monday. Martin will take over her new role Jan. 3.

Meanwhile, ICE’s founder, chairman and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher quietly disclosed that he is relinquishing his role as NYSE chairman to longtime ICE and NYSE board member and former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chief Sharon Bowen.

The company’s press release didn’t explain what prompted the leadership changes nor did it mention that Sprecher would be stepping away from NYSE – it only provided the name of his successor.

However, Sprecher noted that ICE’s past performance “sets a high bar for our management team in the new or expanded roles we’re announcing today.”

The news comes just hours after a report in the Wall Street Journal highlighted that NYSE is losing out on IPO revenue to Nasdaq for the third year in a row – the same amount of time Cunningham has overseen the NYSE.

Nasdaq raised $191 billion from new listings this year, while NYSE raised $109 billion in IPOs according to data from Dealogic. And it’s not just IPOs that have taken a hit under Cunningham’s watch. Over the past three years the volume of U.S. stock trades have dropped to 19 percent from 24 percent in 2019.

Still, the company was quick to defend Cunningham’s record.

lynn martin
Lynn Martin runs NYSE’s fixed income and data services business.

“Stacey led the NYSE through an extraordinary era that saw its technology prove resilient and its trading systems thrive in even the most turbulent times,” Sprecher wrote in a memo to employees. “She begins a new chapter with the Exchange better and stronger for her tireless efforts, and with our deepest thanks.”

Cunningham, the 67th president of the exchange and the second female president, will join the NYSE board of directors. She joined the NYSE around the time parent company ICE acquired NYSE in an $8.2 billion deal.

NYSE stock, which is trading at $131 per share, was largely flat on the news. The stock is up more than 15 percent year to date.

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