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Don’t Touch That Dial: Another Move at AOL Time Warner

The company's Turner Broadcasting unit appoints a new head of finance. Also: Petsmart CFO goes for a walk; Kroll secures a new finance chief.
Jennifer CaplanDecember 4, 2001
  • Vicky Miller is the new head of finance at Turner Broadcasting System Inc., owner of TBS, Cartoon Network, and TNT. The appointment comes only weeks after Turner Broadcasting’s parent company, AOL Time Warner Inc.,replaced its own finance chief after warning the company would fall short of its aggressive 2001 growth targets. Miller succeeds Wayne Pace, who was named CFO of AOL Time Warner on November 1.

    In her new job, Miller will oversee financial operations related to the company’s domestic and international news, entertainment, sports, sales, distribution, and properties units. She joined Turner Broadcasting in 1991.

    Miller’s appointment is part of a larger top-management reshuffle that has taken place at the media giant since its $106.2 billion mega-merger. Mike Kelly, the former CFO at AOL Time Warner, was recently transferred to the company’s Internet unit as chief operating officer, amid mounting concerns over AOL’s growth prospects. In yet another move, Time Warner Cable CEO Joseph Collins recently became chairman of the company’s new interactive video unit.

  • Managers at Petsmart Inc., a specialty retailer of pet supplies, announced that CFO Jim Daniel resigned — after just five months on the job — to pursue a career as a financial and business consultant. In a statement explaining Daniel’s departure, CEO Phil Francis noted: “When we recruited Jim last spring, he wanted to work with us as an outside consultant. We prevailed upon him to join us as CFO, and after five months in the position, Jim has determined that he simply prefers the freedom of consulting work.” Thomas Liston was named interim CFO at Petsmart. In addition, company controller Brian Miller was appointed chief accounting officer.

    Miller will retain his responsibilities as controller, and will also manage financial reporting, auditing, and investor-relations functions. He has served as vice president and controller at Petsmart since December 2000. Prior to that, he was vice president of management reporting at Catholic Healthcare West, a managed-care provider.

    Miller holds a B.S. in accounting from Arizona State University. Liston was most recently vice president of finance and treasurer at Little Switzerland. Prior to that, he was vice chairman and CFO at Barry’s Jewelers Inc., a specialty jewelry company. He earned a B.S. degree in accounting and economics from the University of Illinois, and was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

    Petsmart, which operates more than 550 pet stores in the United States and Canada, reported third-quarter net income of $5.8 million, compared with a loss of $2.4 million in the third quarter of 2000. Sales increased 10.6 percent, to nearly $600 million from $541 million. In addition, company management reaffirmed full-year 2001 projections of revenues of about $2.5 billion and earnings per share of about 28 cents.

  • Michael Petrullo is the new CFO at security consultancy Kroll Inc. Petrullo was formerly Kroll’s controller. He succeeds Nazzareno Paciotti, who held the CFO post since 1992. Paciotti resigned to become president of the consulting division of Pinkerton, a rival security systems provider.

    Petrullo joined Kroll as assistant controller in 1995 and was promoted to controller in 1998. In 1999 he was appointed vice president-finance for the investigations and intelligence group. In 2000 his responsibilities as vice president and controller were extended to encompass all of the company’s business groups. Prior to joining Kroll, Petrullo spent five years in the audit/assurance and forensic accounting practices of KPMG Peat Marwick LLP. Kroll has over 55 offices in 18 countries and more than 1,500 employees, and serves a multinational clientele of individuals, law firms, corporations, nonprofit institutions, and government agencies. Total net sales for the third quarter of 2001 declined to around $50 million from $56 million in the year-ago quarter. Management blamed the weakening economy and the events of 9/11 for the drop in revenues.