Snell Announces SCCE Exit

Roy Snell, chief executive officer at the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association for 16 years, will retire in 2020.

Snell announced the news on Tuesday afternoon, although rumors of his retirement had been circulating for several months. And Snell isn’t disappearing immediately, either: the plan is to bring aboard a replacement as deputy CEO in 2018; who will be promoted to CEO in 2019 while Snell sticks around to work on special projects; and then Snell departs permanently in March 2020.

Yes, that means SCCE and HCCA are now looking to hire a new CEO; more on that momentarily.

Roy Snell

First, let’s recap Snell’s history with the compliance profession, which is long. He began as chief compliance officer at the University of Wisconsin in 1995, and then co-founded HCCA in early 1996—before SCCE, or corporate compliance as we know it today, even existed. Snell became CEO of the group in 2001, and then went on to co-found SCCE in 2004 along with Odell Guyton (then running compliance at Microsoft) and a few others.

Since then, both organizations have bloomed. Today the HCCA has nearly 11,000 members, SCCE more than 6,000. I’m more acquainted with SCCE, which runs the largest annual conference in the business and hosts compliance academies all over the world. All of that is due to Snell, his chief henchman Adam Turtletaub, and their team of more than 50 staffers. They have never been anything but helpful, friendly, and sharp in all the years I’ve been crashing their events and stealing drink tickets.

As to finding a new CEO for the organizations—yes, that’s happening. The SCCE-HCCA board has put together a search committee that will take applications until Aug. 20, with interviews happening in the fall and an heir apparent named by early 2018.

You can read a detailed job description on the SCCE website. The key qualifications are as follows:

  • Five years’ experience as a corporate chief compliance officer;
  • Seven years in some senior management role;
  • Act with the “highest levels of ethics and integrity;”
  • “Be able to effectively explain why the organization can’t implement certain ideas”—which is a brilliant turn of phrase for CEO job descriptions;
  • Be an effective leader of SCCE-HCCA staff and maintain a positive office culture.

Job is based in Minneapolis, by the way, which is where the SCCE is headquartered. Some travel, good benefits, cold winters. Decide as you will.

According to SCCE’s 2015 tax forms, available for public view at the Foundation Center, the group had $21.3 million in revenue (mostly from program fees) and $19.6 million in expenses (mostly for program costs). Total assets have risen steadily, from $18.6 million in 2013, to $20 million in 2014, to $21.8 million in 2015.

Snell’s annual salary that year was $433,000, along with another $39,900 in other compensation.

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