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Get Out the Clubs: Longtime Safeco CFO Retires

Also, Apria Healthcare finance chief leaving, and ELoyalty CFO jumps to CoolSavings.
Lisa YoonOctober 11, 2001
  • Management at insurance company Safeco Corp. announced that CFO Rod Pierson is retiring effective December 31. Pierson has been with the Seattle-based company for more than 27 years. “I’ve enjoyed my time here at Safeco tremendously,” said Pierson. “I really feel like the company’s headed in the right direction now as a result of tough decisions by management.”

    According to a company statement, Safeco has retained recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help find a replacement for Pierson. The new CFO will have to deal with the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks. Shortly after the attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., the company announced that its primary insurance lines would incur estimated losses of $25 million (net of reinsurance) due to the attacks. In addition, Safeco management continues to review the exposure of its Lloyd’s of London operations, and estimates the insurer will lose an additional $5 million to $10 million as a result of that exposure.

    Total losses stemming from the terrorist attacks will likely reduce Safeco’s third-quarter income by between $0.15 and $0.18 per diluted share on an after-tax basis.

  • Officials at Apria Healthcare Group Inc. said CFO John Maney will leave the Costa Mesa, California-based company at the end of the month. Maney is slated to become CFO at Allianz Asset Management of America, a division of Allianz AG Holding. According to a statement, Apria CEO Philip Carter will take over finance duties as management searches for Maney’s replacement.

    Apria provides home respiratory therapy, home infusion services and home medical equipment through approximately 370 branches in the United States. The company is currently the subject of an ongoing government investigation into the home healthcare provider’s Medicare billing practices. According to a statement released by Apria in mid-July, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles is looking into allegations that a portion of Apria’s billings to the government were inadequately supported by required documentation. The statement went on to note that a government attorney extrapolated that Apria could be on the hook for $309 million in overcharges. Including penalities and other charges, that government attorney estimated that Apria’s potential liability is in the $4.8 billion to $9 billion range. That’s some range.

    CFO.com called Apria for a comment, but as of press time, had not heard back from the company. In the July press release, however, Apria management stated that it considers these assertions and amounts to be “unsupported legally and factually.”

  • Managers at CoolSavings Inc. hired David Arney as CFO. Arney replaces interim finance chief Bruce Paul.

    Arney joins the Chicago-based electronic marketing company from ELoyalty Corp., a CRM consulting company, where he was director of worldwide finance. Before that, he was a divisional controller at consumer-credit reporting agency Trans Union Corp.

    Arney, a C.P.A., holds a B.A. in business administration accounting from Western Michigan University and is currently working on his MBA through the Executive Master’s Program at Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.