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The U.S. Postal Service looks to private industry for its new CFO, and selects Harold Glen Walker, known for his work building Whirlpool's innovative shared-services center in Dublin.
Stephen Taub and Tim Reason, CFO.com | US
August 4, 2006
The U.S. Postal Service named Harold Glen Walker as CFO on Friday. Walker, a certified public accountant, was previously CFO of Invensys Control, a provider of controls to the appliance industry. But he is probably best known for the work he did in his previous job as vice president and CFO of a significant portion of Whirlpool Corp.'s international operations, covering 35 nations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In 1995, while at Whirlpool, Walker built a shared-services center in Dublin, Ireland. The center, the first of its kind in Dublin, subsequently served as a model for many major multinational companies and helped drive an economic renaissance in Ireland.
"No one had done this in 1995, and the unemployment rate was 17 percent," Walker told CFO magazine in 2001. "The Irish were living all over the world — there were no jobs for them at home. We were able to attract college graduates to fill both high-level jobs and clerical jobs." (For more on Walker and Whirlpool's shared-services center in Dublin, see "Small World.")
In his new role as CFO of the Postal Service, Walker will be responsible for the government agency's finance, treasury, information technology, and supply-management functions. In addition, he will serve as a member of the executive committee, reporting to the postmaster general, and will also serve as chairman of the corporate capital investment committee.
Walker replaces Robert Pedersen, who had served as acting CFO since Richard Strasser Jr. retired on April 3, according to the Associated Press. Pedersen will return to his position of treasurer.
Walker's appointment is also notable because he is an experienced finance executive from private industry. By contrast, Strasser was a career postal executive who was appointed CFO in October 2000, after serving as acting CFO since May of that year. Strasser began his postal career in 1969 as a management intern in the post office department, and was the first product manager for Express Mail. Indeed, he had no formal finance or accounting background, having earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Seton Hall and a master's in public administration from American University.