Human Capital & Careers

Room for Two

Travelers Group CFO Heidi Miller takes the top finance spot at Citigroup.
CFO StaffJune 1, 1998

Room for Two

In the megamerger of Citicorp and Travelers Group Inc., it looks like both CFOs will have a spot under the umbrella. Current Travelers CFO Heidi Miller claimed the CFO post of the combined Citigroup. She will report to Jamie Dimon, who was named president of Citigroup and co-head of the Salomon Smith Barney unit. Citicorp’s current CFO, Victor Menezes, was appointed president of the Citibank unit and will head global corporate banking activities.

MCI Communications Corp. called on Michael J. Rowny to become acting CFO in addition to his role as EVP for ventures and alliances at the Washington, D.C.-based telecommunications company. He succeeds Douglas L. Maine, who officially accepted the CFO job at IBM Corp. After MCI completes its merger with WorldCom Inc., current WorldCom CFO Scott D. Sullivan will become CFO of the combined companies. Dorothy A. Carey traded in her job as SVP of derivative finance at Lehman Brothers Inc. to become SVP, international corporate, at the New York Stock Exchange. Carey will develop programs for foreign companies listed on the exchange, and will administer rules and policies that relate to them. Thomas J. Tranchina squeaked into the CFO job at WD-40 Co. He succeeds Peter Williams, who resigned from the San Diego­based multipurpose- lubricant company. Tranchina, most recently a management consultant to several companies, was also named treasurer.

Fashionable Finance

Saks Holdings Corp. added Mark E. Hood to its summer collection. He was named CFO of the upscale New York department store after Richard Zannino resigned to become EVP and CFO of General Signal Corp., a Stamford, Conn., manufacturer. Hood was formerly SVP of finance at Saks. Zannino succeeds Terence D. Martin, who announced his retirement.

  • Pamela B. Westbrook brings her vision to Physicians Resource Group Inc. She was named CFO of the Dallas-based ophthalmology- practices company, which has struggled recently (see “High Rollers,” April). Westbrook is Physicians Resource Group’s fourth CFO in less than three years. She replaces David D. Real, who resigned in December.
  • Michael P. McHugh is the real deal. He was named CFO of Authentic Fitness Corp. in Los Angeles. He succeeds Wallis Brooks, who left to become CFO of Crunch Fitness International in New York. McHugh was formerly corporate VP and CFO of J. Crew Group Inc.

Titanic CFO

Patrick B. Purcell is retiring while he is still king of the world. He is stepping down as CFO of Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures unit after 28 years. Paramount recently coproduced Titanic, the most profitable movie of all time. Mark Badagliacca, SVP of planning for the Hollywood studio, succeeds Purcell as SVP and CFO.

  • Les C. Vinney landed the SVP, finance, job at B.F. Goodrich Co. after D. Lee Tobler announced that he will retire as CFO effective July 15. Vinney is currently VP and treasurer at the Richfield, Ohio, manufacturer of specialty chemicals and aircraft systems.
  • After a four-year tour of duty, Steven L. Siemborski resigned as CFO of Figgie International Inc., a Cleveland aviation and respiratory equipment company (see “For Love or Money,” July 1995). The company is searching for a replacement. Managing Barry’s Empire
    When CFO interviewed Barry S. Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, for an article on Richard Nanula last year, he had nothing but high praise for the former CFO of The Walt Disney Co. Sternlicht called Nanula one of the best minds among finance executives. “I would love to work with him sometime,” he added (see “Managing Mickey’s Money,” November 1997). It came as no surprise to us, then, when Sternlicht named Nanula president and CEO of Starwood.

Nanula’s career is running parallel to that of his peer and onetime fellow CFO at Disney, Stephen Bollenbach. Like Bollenbach, Nanula made a name for himself as someone who drives shareholder value. Now, he’s leaving Disney to become CEO of the company that plucked ITT Corp. from the clutches of Hilton Hotels Corp., where Bollenbach is president and CEO.

Nanula and Sternlicht first met when they attended Harvard Business School in the 1980s, and they’ve been close friends ever since. Sternlicht even turned to Nanula for advice on Starwood’s merger with ITT. It was Nanula’s deal-making abilities, though, that sealed the selection. “Richard is very tough dealing with Wall Street and the banks,” Sternlicht says, adding that Nanula’s deal-making mastery “enhances value for shareholders.”

Disney is now faced with finding a new CFO for the third time in three years. Mark D. Rozells, former VP, corporate treasury, is not a candidate; he left with Nanula to join Starwood.

The SEC’s Top Accountant

The SEC selected Lynn E. Turner to be its next chief accountant. Turner, currently CFO of Symbios Inc., a Fort Collins, Colo., high-tech firm, says he’s the first chief accountant to come from the corporate finance ranks in more than 30 years. Turner also served at the SEC from 1989 to 1991 as a professional accounting fellow. “To be able to contribute to the accounting profession in this way is a dream come true,” says Turner. Before joining Symbios in 1996, he spent most of his career with Coopers & Lybrand LLP, most recently as national practice leader for the high-tech audit practice.

SEC chairman Arthur Levitt cited Turner’s varied experience as a key qualification. “He has sat on all four sides of the table, giving him a keen understanding of the various and sometimes competing needs and views of the participants in the financial reporting process,” Levitt said in a statement.

Turner will face some tough issues, including international accounting standards and the independence of accounting and auditing professionals (an issue that preoccupied his predecessor, Michael Sutton, who resigned in July). Turner reassures CFOs that he will protect the independence of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. “As a CFO, I’m a strong proponent of the standards-setting process being done in the private sector.”