From Soup to Wing Nuts: Campbell’s CFO Jumps to Staples

Also, new finance chiefs at Neon Communications, Shiloh Industries.
Jennifer CaplanSeptember 20, 2001
  • Basil Anderson, the former Campbell Soup CFO, was hired as vice chairman at Staples Inc., the second-largest supplier of office products in the U.S. Anderson will report to Ronald Sargent, Staples’s president and chief operating officer, who will take over as chief executive officer in February. Staples is the leader in market share in the retail office products sector. Shares of Staples closed at $12.92 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq, down 22 cents.

Earlier this month, Staples founder Thomas Stemberg announced that he would step down as chief executive in February, but would remain executive chairman. Staples has posted disappointing financial results in recent quarters, hurt by a maturing office-supplies market and fierce competition from the likes of Office Depot Inc. and Office Max Inc. The Framingham, Massachusetts- based Staples was also hit with a shareholder lawsuit this year after the company proposed a buyback of its online subsidiary under terms that allegedly benefited company insiders. Net income for the quarter ended August 4 declined to $40.4 million (9 cents a diluted share), from $42.6 million (10 cents a share) a year earlier. Sales rose a little more than 5 percent, to $2.31 billion.

Meanwhile Campbell Soup’s profit fell 12 percent in its latest quarter, due in part to higher advertising and administrative expenses and a restructuring charge. For the fourth fiscal quarter ended July 29, the Camden, New Jersey-based company reported net income of $52 million (13 cents per share), compared with $59 million (14 cents per share) a year earlier. Net sales for the quarter climbed 8 percent to $1.33 billion, from $1.23 billion a year earlier, thanks to an 11 percent increase in sales of soups and sauces. Campbell shares fell 22 cents to close at $28.40 in trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, down from a high of about $60 per share in 1998.

  • Managers at Neon Communications Inc., a Westborough, Massachusetts-based wholesale provider of high-capacity bandwidth, named Bill Marshall chief financial officer. Marshall replaces William Fennell, who will continue in his role as vice president of finance and administration, managing the day-to-day finance operations. Neon Communications Inc., formerly NorthEast Optic Network, Inc., owns and operates a fiber-optic network in 11 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.

    Most recently, Marshall served as CFO and treasurer at Vitts Networks Inc., a Manchester, New Hampshire-based regional provider of high-speed Internet communications and enterprise networking products. Prior to that, he was CFO and treasurer of Visage Technology Inc., a provider of identification systems based in Littleton, Massachusetts. Marshall is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    Following last week’s attacks on New York and Washington, Neon shares rose more than 60 percent on Monday, as trading resumed on the Nasdaq. The company was one of the largest-percentage gainers on the Nasdaq, as investors scrambled to find communications networks that could withstand terrorist attacks. Many of the company’s fiber-optic cables lie on land owned by various utility companies, which may help network users avoid relying on one network for all their communications needs, Reuters reported. The company’s second-quarter revenues increased 124 percent, up to $6.4 million, compared with $2.8 million for the same period in 2000.

  • Stephen Graham was hired as chief financial officer at Shiloh Industries Inc. Shiloh makes parts and systems for the auto and heavy-truck industries. Graham replaces Craig Stacy, who left the company to become CEO at Bronx/Taylor- Wilson, a manufacturer of pipe and tube mill-finishing equipment. Graham joins the Cleveland-based company from privately held steel manufacturer Republic Technologies, where he also served as CFO. Graham is a chartered accountant and a graduate of the University of Toronto.
  • Shiloh reported a third-quarter net loss of $6.4 million. During the same period last year, the company registered a net profit of $3.5 million. Revenues for the third quarter of the company’s fiscal year were $165.2 million, compared with revenues of $154.1 million for the same period in 2000.