People

Attention Shoppers: Kmart CFO Has Left the Building

Boyer resigns from retailer after six months on the job. Plus, iBlast lands finance chief, and Agilent CFO splits.
Lisa YoonNovember 13, 2001
  • Apparently, Kmart Corp. is a very family oriented company.

    After less than six months on the job, Jeffrey N. Boyer has resigned as CFO of the discount retailer. Boyer made headlines in May, when he left the CFO post at Sears Roebuck and Co. for greener pastures — or in this case, bluer lights. Boyer had held the top finance job at Sears for over two years. The reason for his departure from Kmart? To spend more time with his family.

    Boyer is not the only executive to make a hasty exit from Kmart of late. In April, chief marketing officer Brent Willis resigned after only four months on the job. The reason? To spend more time with his family.

    Management at the Troy, Michigan-based retailer has tapped SVP and treasurer John McDonald to fill the vacancy created by Boyer’s departure. McDonald joined Kmart in 2000 as VP and treasurer and was promoted to SVP of finance and treasurer earlier this year. Before joining Kmart he was CFO and treasurer of pharmacy chain Family Meds Inc. Before that, he was treasurer of drug-store operator CVS Corp.

    McDonald has a tough task ahead of him. Kmart management has been trying to get revenues back on track this year, with little luck so far. In October company sales fell 4.4 percent from the same period last year. Management blames the drop on weak Halloween sales and the postponement of a toy promotion. But two of the company’s main competitors, Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., reported a rise in sales in October.

    The share price of Kmart stock closed on Friday at $6.50. By the end of trading on Monday, Kmart common was down to around $6.30.

  • Managers at scientific-measurement equipment maker Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that EVP and CFO Robert Walker is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Walker, who had been a 24-year veteran of Hewlett-Packard Co., was appointed CFO when Agilent first spun off from HP.

    To replace him, Agilent management appointed former Eaton Corp. chief financial and planning officer Adrian Dillon as EVP and CFO. Dillon served 22 years at the industrial giant, which employs 51,000 workers.

    Net income at Agilent was down 93 percent in the first three quarters of this year, compared with the same period in 2000. Still, Agilent’s share price is trading at $24.79 — up from its 52-week low of $18.

  • Here’s something you don’t see very often these days: a company that’s proud to be associated with the new economy. But that’s not the only retro thing about iBlast, a Beverly Hills, California-based Internet content distributor. The company also snagged former Earthlink CFO Grayson Hoberg as its chief operations and financial officer.

    Of course, Hoberg and his finance staff are probably not partying like it’s 1999, back when Internet startups had little trouble raising cash. Still, iBlast seems to have plenty of cash on its books, plus some impressive backers. In June, the company secured an additional $10.2 million from the likes of The Washington Post Co., Gannett, and Cox Broadcasting.

    Unlike most distributors or digital material, iBlast does not rely on phone lines or cable connections to deliver content to users (see “Affiliates Attack!“). Instead, the company uses the transmitters of local TV stations to broadcast rich media content (movies, games, music, and the like) to home computers, digital set-top boxes, and other receiving devices.