CFO for B2B: Ariba Hires Finance Chief

Company's previous CFO now running the show. Also: Johnson and Johnson alum named CFO at Disease Sciences.
Jennifer CaplanDecember 6, 2001
  • Jim Frankola is the new finance chief at B2B software vendor Ariba Inc. Frankola succeeds Robert Calderoni, who was named president and chief executive officer last month.

    Frankola will be responsible for financial reporting, planning and business analysis, treasury, investor relations, information systems, legal, real estate, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Ariba, Frankola held a number of financial executive positions at Avery Dennison, a supplier of office products. Before that, Frankola held a number of finance positions at IBM. He holds an M.B.A. in international finance from New York University and a B.S. in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

    Frankola will have his hands full in his new job. The once high-flying Ariba has been dramatically affected by the decline in corporate technology spending. In the fourth quarter revenues at the software specialist dropped to $63 million, down a ways from the $135 million the company took in Q4 last year.

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    On the bright side: Ariba’s net loss in the final quarter of 2001 was a mere $224 million, compared with a $339 million loss in the same quarter the year prior. In addition, Ariba’s share price bounced almost 6 percent this week, after managers announced that defense contractor General Dynamics would be using Ariba software to manage its online sourcing.

  • Managers at Alliance Fiber Optic Products Inc., a maker of fiber-optic network parts for communications equipment manufacturers, named Phil Rehkemper to the top finance post. Rehkemper succeeds John Harland, who left the Sunnyvale, California-based company in August to pursue other interests.

    Rehkemper was formerly the corporate controller at Calient Networks Inc., a provider of photonic-switching systems used by telecom companies. He also spent some time at Hewlett-Packard. At HP, Rehkemper held a variety of senior management positions, including controller for one of the computer maker’s divisions. Rehkemper holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in finance from the University of Santa Clara.

    Rehkemper will face an uphill battle in his new job. Alliance’s Q3 revenues declined 6 percent from the second quarter of 2001 — and 28 percent from Q2 of 2000. The company recorded a net loss for the third quarter of $2.2 million versus a $2.9 million loss in the year-ago quarter.

    Alliance shareholders are probably taking copious amount of beta-blockers at this point. The company’s share price has seen plenty of movement this year, with a 52-week trading range between 61 cents and $14.

  • Dennis Ridz has been hired as the new finance chief of Disease Sciences, Inc., a Boca Raton, Florida-based biopharmaceuticals company. “We were seeking a senior executive who has a solid understanding of the biotechnology and health-care arenas, coupled with seasoned operations/controller experience to assist us both operationally and financially,” said CEO Wayne Goldstein in a statement.

    Indeed, Ridz joins the company with a solid background in the health-care sector. He was controller for five years at R.W. Johnson, a discovery-research pharmaceutical company and subdivision of Johnson and Johnson. He also served as financial services and operations manager at Johnson and Johnson worldwide corporate headquarters for 13 years. Ridz received an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.