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Ford CFO Wallace Hits the Road (Updated)

Also, IntelliSpace hires ex-Lucent exec, Vion gets Knoll veteran, lots more.
Ed ZwirnJuly 12, 2001

It hasn’t exactly been a smooth drive for Ford Motor Co. this past year.

The company’s sales have slipped, and the Firestone tire recall and its messy aftermath has generated negative publicity and questions about the safety of its Explorer SUV. Analysts predict that next Wednesday’s earnings release will show a loss.

Now, these unpleasant facts have come home to roost with the firm’s honchos.

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As part of a management shakeup announced this morning, Henry Wallace, who has been CFO since John Devine, now CFO at General Motors Corp., left the company in January 2000. He will be moving on over to the job of group vice president, Mazda and Ford Asia Pacific. Wallace, who started with Ford in 1971, previously held essentially the same job, group vice president of Asia- Pacific operations, when he oversaw the restructuring of Japanese affiliate Mazda Motor Corp.

Wallace’s departure has been the subject of speculation since last month, when this column noted press reports of “retirement” rumors , which were dismissed by Ford at that time as pure “speculation.”

Wallace is being replaced by Martin Inglis, who will hold the titles of group vice president and CFO.

Other management changes announced include the movement of Nick Scheele, who headed Ford’s European operations, to vice president of the company’s North American consumer group, the post vacated by Inglis. The company also announced the retirement of Wayne Booker, vice chairman, who will leave at the end of the year.

Ford stock was unchanged at $25.32 following the announcement, as of 10:30 a.m. eastern time.

In other CFO moves:

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  • Action Products International, an Orlando-based toy and educational publishing company, has tapped Robert L. Burrows, most recently CFO and senior vice president of Lawgic Software Corp., as CFO.
  • Aztar Corp., a casino operator, as appointed Richard J. Glasier, executive vice president and CFO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, to its board of directors.
  • Bebe Stores, a Brisbane, Calif.-based retailer, announced the retirement of CFO Blair Lambert, effective Oct. 1. Lambert will continue to act as a consultant to the company, which he joined in 1996, on an “as needed” basis, according to the announcement.
  • Biolase Technology, a medical firm based in San Clemente, California, announced the appointment of Edison Rood as its new CFO. Rood was formerly CFO at Scripps Health, also located in California.
  • Cymer, a supplier of light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, has named Nancy Baker as CFO, effective December. Baker, currntly Cymer’s vice president of finance and treasurer, replaces William Angus, who will continue to serve as the company’s corporate secretary until he retires at the end of 2002.
  • First Bank of Beverly Hills, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wilshire Financial Services Group (Portland) announced today that CFO and COO Joseph Kiley, along with Carl W. Raggio, chief banking officer, will be assuming responsibility for all management operations in the wake of the retirement of president and CEO Richard S. Crupp, which is effective immediately. The announcement tied Crupp’s departure to the “substantial downsizing” of the bank.
  • Go Online Networks, a Buena Park, Calif.-based firm, announced the hiring of Michael Schumacher as CFO.
  • Granite Bay Technologies, the Rocklin, Calif. holding company for International DisplayWorks, a manufacturer of liquid crystal displays, has named Ian Babbington as CFO. Babbington will work out of IDW’s Hong Kong office.
  • Handleman Co., a Troy Mich.-based entertainment concern, has promoted Thomas Braum Jr., its corporate controller, to CFO, replacing Leonard Brams, whom it said is leaving “for personal reasons.” Braum joined the company 16 years ago.
  • IntelliSapce, a IP broadband services provider, has named William Viqueira as CFO. Viqueira, who will be responsible for “leading the development of the company’s financial strategy, comes to the firm from Lucent Technologies, where he was senior vice president, business development.
  • LecStar Corp., an Atlana-based communications firm, has named Jim Malcolm as CFO and treasurer. Malcom was most recently vice president, treasurer and strategic planner for Powertel, a wireless telecommunications company.
  • PlanVista Corp., a health care technology firm based in Tampa, has named Donald Schmeling as CFO. Schmeling comes to his new job from Hydrogen Media, where he was also CFO.
  • New Haven, Conn.-based Vion Pharmaceuticals has named Stephen H. Koehler as CFO, effective July 9, according to an announcement it issued today. Koehler was most recently vice president, finance and administration, and a member of the executive board for BASF’s Knoll Pharmaceutical in the U.S. He has also served as CFO for the global pharmaceutical business of BASF, now part of Abbott.