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Genus Move? Former E-trade Controller Switches Circuit

Other questions: Does man with van have a plan, and who's the Real CFO now?
Lisa YoonSeptember 25, 2001
  • Internet media company RealNetworks Inc. named Brian Turner senior vice president and CFO. Turner replaces Paul Bialek, who stepped down in July at the same time that the Los Angeles-based company reported second-quarter earnings that were below expectations.

    Turner joins RealNetworks from software developer BSquare Corp., where he was president and COO. Earlier this month, the two companies signed a licensing agreement for the use of Real software in consumer products. When asked by Reuters if there was any connection between the two events, RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser insisted there was none. ”It was an entirely independent and I’d say felicitous coincidence,” he told Reuters. ”I feel wholly confident in passing the reins to Brian.”

    Before BSquare, Turner was CFO and vice president of administration at Radisys Corp. He also spent 13 years in the corporate finance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington.

    Like many of his peers at Internet businesses, Turner faces big challenges in his new job. As company managers were announcing his appointment last Thursday, Real’s stock hit $3.71 — its lowest level in three years. Of course, that was no surprise in the week following the disastrous events of September 11. In the Reuters interview, Turner expressed faith that Real and other stocks would rise again. ”If you look longer-term…there’s been a knee-jerk reaction to some of the events of the last week,” he told Reuters.

    He may be right. As of the close of trading on Monday, the share price of RealNetworks stock had inched back to $4.03. Going forward, the trick will be to continue to support the growth of online media as more people turn to the Web for news and information, CEO Glaser told Reuters.

  • Management at thin-film equipment maker Genus Inc. hired Shum Mukherjee as CFO. Mukherjee replaces Ken Schwanda, who resigned.

    Mukherjee joins the Sunnyvale, California-based company from E- trade Group Inc., where he had held a number of positions, most recently vice president of finance and corporate controller. He has also held senior finance positions at Raychem Corp. and Ford of Europe. Mukherjee holds an M.B.A. from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Genus makes thin-film deposition systems used by semiconductor manufacturers to create integrated circuits. Some observers say the semiconductor industry is showing signs of bottoming out. In a recent Business Week column, Standard & Poor’s director of technology research noted fewer cancellations and a rising semiconductor equipment book-to-bill ratio. Will the numbers be on Genus’s side? The company’s share price has tumbled from its May high of $7.54. In recent weeks, shares of Genus have been trading in the $2 range.

  • Managers at Providence, Rhode Island-based tech consultancy Watch Hill Partners named Harry Schult as the company’s new CFO. No stranger to technology, Schult was most recently vice president of corporate development at Mirus Information Technology Services. He was also acting CFO at several tech start-ups, overseeing M&A activity. Before that, Schult was managing partner of Ernst & Young LLP’s Providence office, where he coordinated the firm’s services to helicopter maker Textron Inc.

    Schult has an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

  • Alan Levine has been named CFO at Virtual Access, a business-platform technology company.

    Levine’s main job will be to help the Lawrence, Massachusetts-based tech specialist expand and raise funds. Then again, Levine’s got plenty of experience scouring up capital. Prior to joining Virtual Access, he was CFO at Marathon Technologies Corp., where he helped raise $25 million in venture capital. He also helped take that company public.

    Virtual Access’s latest product, The Van, helps IT departments maintain control over changing computer environments.