Could Ford’s Wallace Be Hitting the Road?

Also, Hercules CFO retires, and one CFO is suspended after a drug-related arrest.
Jennifer CaplanJune 22, 2001
  • Ford Motor Co. CFO Henry Wallace is expected to announce retirement plans as the automaker considers overhauling its executive ranks, the online version of the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Ford said the report was purely “speculation.” The article did not give a specific date for the announcement, but said Ford’s board is scheduled to meet July 11. Ford has typically waited until fall to ratify significant management reorganizations, the article said. Wallace has been CFO since January 2000 after John Devine left the company, eventually winding up as CFO at General Motors Corp. Wallace began his career at Ford in 1971, and was previously the group VP of Asia-Pacific operations where he oversaw the restructuring of Japanese affiliate Mazda Motor Corp.
  • Losing Muscle: Wilmington, Del.-based chemical maker Hercules Inc. said George MacKenzie will retire as CFO and vice chairman and resign from his position on the board effective July 1. No successor has yet been named. MacKenzie joined Hercules in 1979 and has served in a number of management and executive positions. Prior to joining Hercules, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers predecessor Coopers & Lybrand.
  • Logging Out: EMachines Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based personal computer provider, announced that EVP and CFO John A. Muskovich is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Muskovich will stay with the firm until July 20. SVP and COO Adam Andersen and VP of finance Corinne Bertrand would immediately assume financial responsibilities.
  • No More Waste: Raleigh, N.C.-based Waste Holdings Inc. a regional trash collection and landfill operator, said Stephen Shaw resigned as CFO. Shaw is resigning to accept a position with another organization, but will remain with the company through the middle of July. Shaw joined the company in 1985 as corporate controller, was promoted to VP of finance in 1991, and became CFO in 1999. Paul Brunswick will serve as a consulting CFO as the company seeks a permanent replacement. Brunswick is president of General Management Advisory, a business-consulting firm, and serves on Waste Holdings’s board of directors.
  • Extreme Decision: Extreme Networks Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based Internet infrastructure company announced that CFO Vito Palermo is leaving the company. Palermo, who joined Extreme Networks shortly before its initial public offering in 1999, will stay through the quarterly earnings process and will assist in the recruitment of a replacement and a transition.
  • Raging Bull: Northbrook, Ill.-based commercial real estate firm Grubb & Ellis Co. appointed Ian Bress CFO, effective immediately. Bress joins the company from Wall Street Strategies Corp., a New York-based financial services firm that specializes in providing equity research to subscribers. He succeeds Blake Harbaugh, who has been CFO since January 2000, and is leaving the company for personal reasons.
  • Recharging: San Diego-based electronic devices maker Maxwell Technologies Inc. named James Baumker VP and CFO. He succeeds Vickie Capps, who is leaving the company at the end of July. Capps’s departure and Baumker’s appointment are part of a planned consolidation of the company’s corporate and divisional finance groups. Baumker joined Maxwell’s I-Bus/Phoenix power and computing systems subsidiary as VP and CFO in May 2000.
  • Troubled CFO: Zions Bancorp., a Salt Lake City-based financial holding company, suspended CFO Dale Gibbons after he was arrested for on drug possession and related charges. Gibbons has been CFO at the bank since August 1996. Prior to that, he was SVP of First Interstate Bancorp. Zions CEO Harris H. Simmons said Gibbons will remain suspended, pending further investigation. The company was notified late Thursday morning of the arrest.