U.S. Robotics Ousts CEO, Promotes CFO

Plus, Nordstrom, Fluor, Knight Ridder, and others announce changes.
Michelle GabrielleMay 16, 2001
  • The Real Thing: U.S. Robotics Corp., a maker of consumer PC modems, announced that CFO Joseph Hartnett has been named interim CEO, upon the company’s dismissal of CEO Van M. Andrews after he and the company’s chairman clashed over strategy. The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company has formed an interim committee to oversee the while it seeks a permanent chief executive. Prior to joining U.S. Robotics, Hartnett was a partner at Chicago-based accounting and management consulting firm Grant Thornton LP.
  • He’s a Keeper: Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom Inc. named Mike Koppel CFO. Koppel joined Nordstrom in 1999 as VP and corporate controller and has been the acting CFO since September.
  • D. Michael Steuert is engineering a career move. He was named SVP and CFO of Fluor Corp., an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based engineering and construction firm. Steuert replaces Ralph Hake, who resigned to pursue other interests. Steuert joins Fluor from Litton Industries Inc., a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based defense and electronics company, where he served as SVP and CFO.
  • Making Headlines: Newspaper publisher Knight Ridder Inc. named Gary Effren SVP of finance and CFO, replacing Jean Mordo, who took the job just two months ago. Effren joined San Jose, Calif.-based firm in 1980 and most recently served as VP and controller. Mordo had taken the job in March after it had been left vacant at the end of the year by Ross Jones, who had announced his intention to retire in September. In 2000, Jones received $588,003 in salary, $277,629 in bonus, and $8,465 in other compensation. He was also awarded $1,288,750 in restricted stock.
  • The Plot Thickens: U.S. Home & Garden Inc., a maker of consumer lawn and garden products, announced that Don Rutishauser resigned as CFO of the San Francisco-based company, effective September 30. COO Richard Raleigh is also resigning but will remain a director of the company and serve as a consultant for a year.
  • To The Point: Point West Capital Corp., a financial services company in San Francisco, named Joanna L. Zesiger CFO. Zesiger has been treasurer since 1999. Prior to that, she was company’s controller. Former CFO John Ward Rotter resigned on January 1. Rotter received $250,000 in salary, $35,000 in bonus, and $27,414 in other compensation in 2000.
  • What’s New: NuCo2 Inc., a supplier of bulk carbon dioxide systems for carbonating fountain sodas, named Gregg Stewart EVP and CFO. Stewart was previously CFO financial software firm TradeStation Group Inc.. He replaces Joann Schirripa, who has decided to leave Stuart, Fla.-based NuCo2 because she is expecting another child.