Brown-Forman Cheers a CFO Hire (Updated)

Terra Lycos demotes its CFO, AmeriPath and Kana Communications say goodbye to their finance chiefs.
Jennifer CaplanFebruary 1, 2001
  • Worth a Shot: Louisville, Ky.-based liquor producer and marketer Brown- Forman appointed Phoebe A. Wood as the company’s new CFO. She replaces Steven B. Ratoff, who resigned last June to spend more time on his entrepreneurial ventures. Brown-Forman, which makes such drinks as Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Bolla wines and Korbel California Champagnes, said Wood is expected to take over as CFO and EVP in early February. Wood’s most recent position was with Motorola subsidiary Propel Inc., which manages investments in cellular telephone operating companies, where she was VP and CFO.
  • Electronics retailer RadioShack announced yesterday that CFO Dwain Hughes, 53, died yesterday at his Fort Worth home after a brief illness. Loren Jensen, VP of finance, will serve as acting CFO, the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer said. Hughes joined the company in 1979 as an internal auditor and held several financial and accounting positions before being named SVP and CFO in 1995. He helped divest underperforming operations at RadioShack, such as Incredible Universe and Computer City, and played a role in having Radio Shack receive monthly commissions on wireless phone, satellite television, and Internet access fees on the products it sells. Chairman and CEO Leonard Roberts said in a statement the company will begin a formal search process for Hughes’ successor. Jensen, who joined RadioShack in 1995 is a candidate for the position.
  • Terra not Firma: Ted Philip has relinquished his position as Chief Financial Officer of Internet conglomerate Terra Lycos SA on the same day that chief executive Robert J. Davis resigned. Philip will become senior vice president of strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions. Elias Rodriguez-Vina joined Terra Lycos to succeed Philip as CFO. Prior to this, Rodriguez-Vina was business- development director for GE Capital Europe for Spain and Portugal. Davis also will consult on the strategy of the company and will continue to serve on the boards of Terra Lycos’s international joint ventures.
  • Good Samaritan: Hawthorne, N.Y.-based Acorda Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company, announced today that Mark R. E. Pinney has joined the company as CFO. Pinney, who has served on the company’s Board of Directors since its inception in 1995, was most recently chairman of CanDo an Internet company that offers products and services to people with disabilities. He was also co-founder and CEO of LifeWire, an Internet company that created, a dynamic community for people with spinal cord injuries. Pinney serves as a Trustee of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation and has been spinal cord injured since 1989. Previously, Pinney was VP of corporate finance for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and VP of private transactions for Dillon Read & Co.
  • High-wire Act: Ambient Corporation, a producer of technology that facilitates the transfer of Internet and high-speed data through existing powerlines, announced the appointment of Wilfred Kopelowitz as CFO. Kopelowitz was formerly corporate controller for Amdocs, a software maker for the telecommunications industry. Prior to that Kopelowitz was corporate controller at Indigo N.V., a maker of digital color printing systems.
  • The Doctor is Out: AmeriPath Inc. which manages physician practices, announced its CFO and treasurer, Robert Wynn, will be leaving the company. Gregory Marsh, VP and controller, has been promoted to CFO and treasurer, the company said. No additional details were immediately available.
  • Gone Surfin’: Kana Communications, a Redwood City, Ca.-based maker of Internet applications software, announced that Brian Allen resigned as the company’s CFO. Kana said Allen left the company for personal reasons. CEO Jay Wood will fill the role of CFO while the company searches for a replacement.
  • Pump Up the Volume: Navarre Corp. announced the appointment of James Gilbertsonas CFO. He joins the distributor of music, DVD and PC software from Intelefilm, formerly Children’s Broadcasting Corp., where he held positions of co-president, COO and CFO. Gilbertson assumes the CFO position from Charles Cheney, who was promoted to vice chairman in 1999. Prior to joining Intelefilm, Gilbertson served as CFO for Parker Communications in Minneapolis.