PAE's Heller resigns as CEO

PAE's long-time CEO John Heller has told the company he will resign, effective March 19. Chief Financial Officer Charles Peiffer has been named interim leader.

After more than seven years at the helm of PAE, CEO John Heller resigned from the company this week.

The resignation is effective March 19. Chief Financial Officer Charles Peiffer will serve as interim president and CEO, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Details on Heller’s resignation were sparse. The filing simply stated that “Mr. Heller’s resignation was not due to any disagreement with PAE Incorporated on any matter relating to its operations, policies or practices.”

In a company statement, PAE Board Chairman Marshall Heinberg praised Heller's work there.

Heller has led PAE since December 2013, when he joined the company from Engility where he was chief operating officer and senior vice president.

Since then, Heller has steered PAE through a transformation that has included several acquisitions that added capabilities around mission-critical services for national security customers to its traditional base of readiness and preparedness for the military along with training and maintenance support.

More recently, Heller led the company through its acquisition by Gores Holdings III, a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC. That deal in early 2020 allowed PAE to become a publicly-traded company listed on the NASDAQ.

"I'm proud of all that we have accomplished together at PAE," Heller said in the statement. "I have profound respect for the team and every confidence that the company will continue to grow and deliver great service in the future."

Peiffer has been at Heller’s side through the changes at PAE. He joined as CFO in April 2014 and will continue to hold that position while he is acting CEO.

Previously, he has been an executive at IAP Worldwide, Fluid Technologies (a division of ITT), and Avaya Communications. He’s also worked at Lucent, AlliedSignal, Lockheed Martin, Martin Marietta, and General Electric.