As the fourth CFO of Compaq Computer Corp. in two years, Jeff Clarke may do well to use what he learned in his previous role in the company’s Sales and Services Division, since those two components appear to be the company’s future focus.
Clarke, 39, joined Digital Equipment Corp. in 1985, and stayed on when Compaq bought it in 1998. He was most recently VP of finance and strategy for Compaq Sales and Services, which includes DEC’s systems integration and consulting business.
“Our focus will be on professional-services firms that can add a particular industry capability,” says Clarke. He may get an assist from his predecessor, Jesse J. Greene Jr., 54, who moved to the role of SVP for strategic planning after just one year in the CFO post.
New Yorkbased clothing concern Ann Taylor Stores Corp. is giving its upper ranks a complete makeover. Barry Erdos is dropping the CFO title and moving into the COO and senior EVP spots, while James Smith is shedding the VP and controller titles to assume the coveted CFO role. Sallie DeMarsilis assumes Smith’s previous titles.
May Department Stores Co. is also making some corporate-office alterations. The operator of Lord & Taylor, Foley’s, and other department stores named EVP Thomas D. Fingleton, 53, to the additional post of CFO. Fingleton replaces John L. Dunham, who became president. The changes all began with the retirement of the chairman of the board, Jerome T. Loeb. CEO Eugene Kahn adds that title to his list of responsibilities at the St. Louis based company.
Owens & Minor Inc., of Glen Allen, Va., is giving Jeffrey Kaczka a shot. Kaczka, 41, who was formerly SVP of finance and CFO for Allied Worldwide Inc., has been chosen to fill the medical-supplies distributor’s CFO slot. He assumes a role that had been filled by acting CFO Richard F. Bozard, the company’s VP and treasurer, for the past two years.
The newest seedling at Redleaf Group Inc. is 50-year-old Mark Jensen. Jensen, who worked at Arthur Andersen for 22 years, most recently as managing partner of its Silicon Valley office, has been named finance chief of the Saratoga, Calif.-based technology operating concern. It is a newly created position.
TICKET TO RIDE
It looks like the wagon is moving out again, and CFO Ross Kari is going along for the ride. Kari has resigned from San Franciscobased Wells Fargo & Co., where he worked for 18 years, to pursue other opportunities. He will continue as CFO for the diversified financial services company until a successor is named.
Career tip of the month: Never leave a large successful company to join a struggling dot-com start-up, especially if it hasn’t had a CFO for nine months and recently laid off nearly half its workforce. Tom McIntyre, former EVP of BMG Entertainment, made that mistake, taking the CFO spot at embattled online delivery service Kozmo Inc. just a month before it closed its doors on April 11. Kozmo’s phones were shut down the day after the closure announcement, and McIntyre could not be reached for comment.
McIntyre, a seasoned deal maker at BMG and RCA, was hired to help the company complete additional funding rounds, negotiate a merger with another delivery company, and achieve profitability in the nine cities where Kozmo continued to promise one-hour delivery of such items as videos, snacks, beer, and pet food.
At least, that was how the CFO hire was positioned at the time.
The privately held company, founded in 1998 by Joseph Park, had been struggling for some time. Last year the company closed its operations in several cities. More recently, it lost $6 million in additional funding, and a pending merger between Kozmo and PDQuick, a Los Angeles based delivery service, fell through. Those were the nails in Kozmo’s coffin. Now more than 1,100 people, including McIntyre, are out of
On the bright side, published reports of the closing indicate that the company chose to cease operations with enough money in its coffers to pay severance to booted employees. So at least Kozmo is delivering something
Frederick “Fritz” Jackson is ready for his reclining years. The chief of finance has announced his retirement from La-Z-Boy Inc. Former Aeroquip-Vickers Inc. VP of finance and CFO David Risley is now sitting pretty in the head finance role at the Monroe, Mich.- based furniture maker.
Jean H. Mordo is making headlines as the new CFO of newspaper publisher Knight Ridder Inc., headquartered in San Jose, Calif. Mordo, 56, hails from garden-care products firm Scotts Co., where he most recently served as head of its international unit. He replaces Ross Jones, who retired in December.
The former CFO of Nestlé S.A., Mario Corti, must have lost his sweet tooth. Corti resigned from the Zurich-based food concern to chair SAirGroup’s board of directors. Nestlé has appointed Wolfgang Reichenberger, head of the Japanese market, EVP in charge of the Finance and Control Division and CFO.
Tom Spock won’t be tackling finance for the National Football League. He has passed the ball to Barbara Kaczynski, who spent 10 years at Time Inc. prior to joining the NFL. Spock is now the league’s EVP of news media and enterprise.
Pharmaceuticals giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. thinks Frederick Schiff, 53, has the right medicine. Schiff, who’s been with the New Yorkbased firm since 1982, succeeds Michael Mee as CFO. Mee will remain as an adviser until year’s end.
No more baby-back ribs for Russell Owens. The EVP and CFO resigned from Brinker International Inc., which owns and operates more than 1,086 restaurants, including Chili’s Grill & Bar. Charles Sonsteby, an 11-year veteran of the Dallas-based firm, steps up as acting CFO.
Scott Schedler is the new link in this chain. The former CFO of GE Capital’s Container Finance Division recently joined The Motley Fool, based in Alexandria, Va., as finance chief, replacing Gary Hill. Hill was promoted to SVP of corporate and organizational development for the multimedia firm.
It’s no fluff–Michael R. Harmon is now CFO of Kannapolis, N.C.-based Pillowtex Corp. Harmon has 30 years of textile-industry experience, most recently as EVP and CFO of Galey & Lord Inc. He replaces Tony Williams, who was named president and COO.
Emap USA’s Keith Marriott is heading in the right direction: up! Marriott was promoted from international finance director to CFO of the Los Angeles based multi-media marketing solutions firm. Previous CFO John Baillie is returning to the U.K.
In late March, Viacom Inc., parent company of Paramount Pictures, CBS Corp., and MTV, among other properties, announced that former Time Warner Inc. CFO Richard Bressler would fill Fredric Reynolds’s CFO role. “Having competed with and admired Mel [Karmazin, Viacom’s president and COO] and [chairman and CEO] Sumner Redstone for many years, I know that we share a common vision,” said Bressler in a Viacom press release.
Analysts see the move as a coup for Viacom and a way for Bressler to regain some of the operational duties he’d lost in Time Warner’s merger with AOL. “It seems like it was a very good coincidence whereby Mr. Bressler’s talents and Viacom’s needs came together at the right time,” says James Goss, an analyst with Barrington Research, in Chicago. Bressler, who had been CEO of Time Warner Digital Media after holding the CFO slot at Time Warner from 1995 to 1999, was reassigned to be CEO of AOL Time Warner Investments following the media giants’ merger. Published reports say he was released from a noncompete clause that would have prohibited him from working for a “direct competitor.”
Reynolds, meanwhile, is heading back to CBS, where he had served as CFO prior to the merger with Viacom. He resigned as Viacom’s CFO earlier this year, and was just named president and CEO of Viacom’s CBS Television Stations Division.