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Zions Elders Hire Solid Citizen as New CFO

Previous finance chief at Mormon-founded institution facing drug and endangerment charges. Elsewhere: Continental, Covisint name CFOs.
Lisa YoonNovember 29, 2001
  • Salt Lake City-based regional bank Zions Bancorp hired Doyle Arnold as new EVP and CFO. Arnold replaces Dale Gibbons, who resigned in June.

    Gibbons probably didn’t endear himself to Zions’s management when he was arrested on June 11 on charges of drug use and endangerment of a minor. Gibbons, who reportedly held all-night raves at his multimillion-dollar suburban home, was taken into custody by police after he allegedly called 911 to report his 19-year-old girlfriend’s alleged drug overdose. A week later, Gibbons resigned from Zions, which was founded in 1873 by Brigham Young. “I cannot effectively execute my obligations and duties to the company with criminal charges pending,” Gibbons said in a statement released at the time of his resignation. “As an innocent man, my focus must be on the court proceedings ahead.”

    Zions executives probably want to focus on anything but those court proceedings. Hence, it’s not overly surprising that the managers at the bank have hired somebody like Arnold. He joins the company from San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp., where he was group EVP for corporate strategy and development. Before that, he worked at Wells Fargo & Co. Doyle also served as executive assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan Administration. “Doyle is widely recognized in the banking industry as an extremely talented executive,” CEO Harris Simmons said in a statement. “He is one of the business’s best strategists, and he has a tremendous background in mergers and acquisitions, which will be of great benefit to our organization as we continue to build our banking business throughout the West.”

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    As for Gibbons…Since his arrest, he has hired former O.J. Simpson dream-team lawyer Robert Shapiro. In August, a judge granted Gibbons permission to travel outside Utah for brief periods to look for a job.

  • The board of Continental Airlines Inc. named senior vice president of finance Jeff Misner to the top finance post at the Houston-based airline. Misner has big shoes to fill: his boss, current Continental president and former CFO Larry Kellner is a three-time CFO Excellence winner. Kellner was most recently recognized by CFO in 2000 for his skill at managing information and knowledge systems.

    Not that winning awards is an airline executive’s first priority these days. As Continental Chairman and CEO Gorden Bethune said in a statement, “[Misner]’s abilities and leadership will continue to be a vital part of the company as we, along with our industry, rebuild our business.”

    In the most recent earnings announcement from the airline, Continental beat expectations by reporting a loss of $1.76 per share, compared with an expected $2.25 loss per share. These results exclude a federal grant of $243 million and $85 million in severance-related charges.

    Continental management also announced an offering of 6.74 million Class B shares at $22.50 each, available December 3. The company is looking to raise $152 million, which will be used for general corporate purposes.

    Apparently, investors weren’t thrilled by the prospect of additional Continental common hitting the market. After the announcement, the price of Continental shares dropped 11 percent, to $21.50.

    Misner joined the airline in 1995 as VP (treasury operations). Since then, he has moved up the corporate ladder, including stints as VP and treasurer and SVP of finance.

    Before joining Continental, Misner was a tax and business consultant and was a partner at Ernst & Young. He also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1971 through 1975.

  • Managers at online auto consortium Covisint LLC appointed Paul Kothari CFO.

    Kothari comes to the Detroit-based B2B auto exchange from Comstellar Technologies Inc., a hardware, software, and services company, which he co-founded. Before that, Kothari served as CFO of TheStreet.com.

  • NBC named Kim Williams SVP and CFO of West Coast operations.

    Previously vice president and CFO of NBC’s business development unit, Williams now reports to Scott Sassa, president of NBC West Coast, and Mark Begor. Begor is EVP and CFO for NBC, as well as president of NBC’s Business Development and Interactive Media unit.

    Before joining the peacock network, Williams worked at parent company General Electric Co., where she held various finance positions. While at GE, Williams led the integration team during the acquisition of Nuovo Pugnone in 1994.