When Rodger Lawson officially steps down as president of Fidelity Investments at the end of March, some industry experts predict the company may not act to fill the position immediately.
Edward C. “Ned” Johnson III, chairman and chief executive of the firm, may decide that a president isn't needed, according to sources.
John Bonnanzio, editor of the Fidelity Insight newsletter, noted that Fidelity has operated without a president before, and may do so again.
But if the right candidate “really captured the attention of Ned Johnson” he or she might get the job, Mr. Bonnanzio said.
Anne Crowley, a spokeswoman for Fidelity, noted that the fund company has operated in the past without a president. She would not comment on what will happen when Mr. Lawson departs.
Mr. Lawson's predecessor — Bob Reynolds, who is now president and CEO of Putnam Investments — was chief operating officer at Fidelity, but never president.
If Mr. Lawson is replaced, however, the name mentioned most is that of Mr. Johnson's daughter, Abigail, president of Fidelity's personal and workplace investing division. Ms. Johnson also serves as vice chairman of Fidelity's parent company, FMR LLC.
“One has to assume that she is always a candidate,” Mr. Bonnanzio said.