Men of Steel: Bethlehem Loses CFO, Hires New CEO

Former Chrysler finance chief takes over as steel maker's top executive.
Jennifer CaplanOctober 2, 2001
  • Managers at B2B software specialist Inc. selected Mark Donachie as the company’s new chief financial officer. Donachie will replace acting CFO Richard Clemmer, who was promoted to chief executive in June but had remained in the CFO post until a replacement was found. Donachie joins the software vendor from Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned unit of SBC Communications Inc., where he was vice president of finance for seven years. In addition, he has worked with companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and oil and gas exploration company Hunt Consolidated Inc. Donachie holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.

    Donachie will likely have his hands full in his new job. Just last week PurchasePro warned that it would not meet its third-quarter forecast, blaming irregular business in the aftermath of the attacks in Washington and New York. Two brokers surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call expect the company to lose between 11 cents and 16 cents a share on sales of $9.6 million, Reuters reported. Wall Street analysts on average were expecting the company to post a loss of 14 cents per share on revenues of $12.2 million in the third quarter. A year ago, the now cash-strapped company posted a 7 cent loss per share on total revenues of $17.3 million. The company’s shares, which have declined approximately 99 percent in value over the last 52 weeks, were down 21 percent, or 12 cents, and now stand at about 45 cents on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

  • Michael Dansby has been appointed to the CFO post at Austin, Texas-based Covasoft Inc., a provider of applications that help detect problems within and between E-business applications and supporting IT components such as Web servers, databases, and operating systems. Covasoft is a private company funded by Austin Ventures, AV Labs, HLM Management, Techxas Ventures, and Trellis Partners. It was founded in 1999.

    Prior to joining Covasoft, Dansby was CFO at Question Technologies, where he helped manage the company’s mergers and acquisitions, treasury, accounting, human resources, and information technology. Before that, Dansby oversaw all accounting and financial planning at Trilogy Inc., another Austin-based technology company. Before moving to Austin, Dansby held a variety of positions over a nine-year period at United Technologies Corp. From 1995 to 1999 he was CFO at UTMC Microelectronic Systems Inc., a subsidiary of United Technologies, which designs and manufactures semiconductors and circuit card assemblies for aerospace applications. Dansby began his career as a senior accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co. and obtained a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based car rental company ANC Rental Corp., whose operations include National Car Rental System and Alamo Rent A Car, hired Wayne Moor as chief financial officer. Prior to joining ANC, Moor served as CFO of flower and gift retailer Gerald Stevens Inc., which is going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. He replaces Kathleen Hyle, who recently announced her intent to step down. Yes, in a signal that something is indeed rotten in Denmark, the company deferred a $70 million payment to its creditors, which had been due on Monday, until the end of November. Management was also forced to break certain financial covenants under an agreement reached with lenders.

    To smooth things over a bit, ANC managers hired William Plamondon, former president of Budget Rent A Car, as its chief restructuring officer. Lawrence Ramaekers, a former president and chief operating officer of National Car Rental Inc., has also been hired as a consultant to help Plamondon implement a turnaround strategy and to address the company’s cash flow and liquidity needs. ANC has seen a dramatic reduction in its business following the September 11 attacks. Its shares were up 4 cents, or more than 7 percent, at 56 cents in late-morning trading on the Nasdaq. The company’s stock has traded between 45 cents and $7 per share in the past 52 weeks. The company posted a second-quarter net loss of $23.6 million (52 cents per share), compared with net income of $15.5 million last year. Revenue for the three-month period was $850.6 million, or $58.6 million below last year.

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  • Gary Millenbruch announced he is retiring as vice chairman, chief financial officer, and a director of Bethlehem Steel Corp., the nation’s third-largest steel producer, effective October 31. Company officials were not immediately available to comment on Millenbruch’s successor, Reuters said. Millenbruch joined the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based company in 1959 as a management trainee and was promoted to vice chairman and chief financial officer in 1999.

Millenbruch is not the first top manager to leave Bethlehem of late. Last week officials announced that Robert Miller Jr. would replace Duane Dunham as chairman and chief executive officer. Dunham will stay on as president and chief operating officer. Miller said the company board contacted him in the wake of the economic fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks, according to an Associated Press report. In July, Bethlehem Steel reported a second-quarter operations loss of $96 million, which management blamed on reduced spending and higher operating costs.

Miller, who is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, served 12 years at Chrysler as director, chief financial Officer, and vice chairman. Before that, he spent 11 years at Ford Motor Co.

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