Most Unforgettable Character? Reader’s Digest Hires New CFO

Plus, new chief financial officers at Cognos and E Ink.
Jennifer CaplanAugust 21, 2001
  • Managers at Pleasantville, N.Y., based publisher, Reader’s Digest Association Inc., replaced chief financial officer, George Scimone, with Michael S. Geltzeiler. Geltzeiler will oversee all of the global financial operations at Reader’s Digest. A representataive of the publishing company told Reuters that Scimone “plans to pursue other opportunities,” but declined to give further details.

Reader’s Digest has issued an earnings warning three times since May. Last month, the company announced a restructuring of its US books and home entertainment unit, along with a reduction in workforce.

Geltzeiler joins Readers Digest from Stamford, Conn.-based market research company ACNielsen, where he served as CFO. At ACNielsen, Geltzeiler helped turn around the $1.5 billion business following its 1996 spin-off from The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. ACNielsen was sold to VNU, a Netherlands-based media and information company, in February of this year for $2.3. Prior to his tenure at ACNielsen, Geltzeiler spent 16 years at The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation in a variety of senior financial positions at both the corporate office and several subsidiaries. Geltzeiler graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in Accounting and received an MBA in Finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Reader’s Digest’s stock rose 1 cent to close $19.91 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. That’s barely above the 52-week low of $19.80 for the stock. Over the past year, the company’s share price has fallen about 40 percent, trailing the S&P 500-stock index, which is down 17 percent.

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  • Cognos Inc., an Ottawa-based provider of business intelligence software, appointed Tom Manley chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance and administration. Manley replaces Donnie Moore, who retired on May 1, after serving as company CFO since 1989. Manley will be responsible for managing Cognos’ worldwide finance, administration and logistics, and information services organizations.

Manley joins Cognos with more than 18 years of experience as a financial professional in the high technology industry. He received his MBA in 1983 from Queens University, in Kingston Ontario, and then joined Nortel Networks, the Brampton, Canada-based maker of networking equipment. At Nortel, Manley worked his way up from budget analyst to CFO of the company’s High Performance Optical Component Solutions business unit. During his tenure at the networking specialist, Manley led global finance operations and helped the company acquire and integrate more than a dozen corporations.

At the end of June, Cognos announced results for first quarter of fiscal year 2002, with $108 million in revenues for the quarter, compared to $108.7 million for the same period last year. The company posted a net loss for the first quarter, excluding restructuring charges, of $2.1 million or $0.02 per share, compared to a loss of $12.0 million, or $0.13 per share for the first quarter of the prior fiscal year.

  • Managers at E Ink Corporation, a Cambridge, Mass.-based developer of electronic ink announced that Timothy C. O’Brien has joined the company as chief financial officer. The new CFO will be responsible for overseeing finance and administration.

    O’Brien comes to E Ink with 16 years of experience as a chief financial officer. Most recently, he served as CFO and member of the board of directors at WebCT, Inc., a Peabody, Mass.-based provider of integrated e-learning campus systems for higher education. Before joining WebCT, O’Brien was CFO, as well as a member of the executive committee and board of directors, at media concern Ziff-Davis Inc., and its Internet business, ZDNet. O’Brien earned a B.S. with honors in accounting and finance from Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. and attended Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.