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The One and Only: New CFO at Sony America

In a break from tradition, U.S. subsidiary of entertainment giant hires somebody not named Nick to run its finance department. Plus, three times th...
Jennifer CaplanJanuary 22, 2002
  • Managers at consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. named Rob Wiesenthal as chief financial officer of Sony Corp. of America. Wiesenthal will oversee all financial operations at Sony’s U.S. subsidiaries. Wiesenthal will also remain executive vice president and chief of strategy of Sony Broadband Entertainment, the parent company for Sony’s entertainment assets. He joined Sony in July 2000.

    Nick Oneda, CFO and deputy president of the Sony Electronics unit, had served as interim CFO at Sony America since the last CFO, Nick Henny left in 2000. Oneda will reassume his previous duties. Prior to joining Sony in July 2000, Wiesenthal was managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston in both the media and technology investment banking groups. While there, he served as an investment-banking advisor to–who else?–Sony Corp. of America.

    “Since joining Sony in July 2000, Rob has been instrumental in designing and implementing a wide-range of new initiatives and corporate strategies for our various businesses,” said Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony Corp. of America in a statement. Indeed, observes say the former CSFB banker played a key role in many of Sony America’s recent transactions, including alliances with Yahoo and AOL Time Warner, as well as the sale of the Telemundo Network and its broadcast stations. Wiesenthal received a B.A. degree from the University of Rochester in 1987.

  • Patrick Campbell was tabbed to head the finance department at Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company makes products ranging from Post-It notes and Scotch tape to sandpaper, asthma inhalers and telecommunications components.

Campbell joins Minnesota Mining from General Motors, where he was vice president and chief financial officer for international operations. He also served as finance director for North American vehicle sales. Campbell joined GM in 1976. At 3M, he succeeds Robert Burgstahler, who will become senior vice president of business development and corporate services. Burgstahler has held the CFO post at Minnesota Mining since February 2000. He will now focus on mergers and acquisitions, and will also head the company’s information technology and corporate administrative services.

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Campbell is stepping into a challenging situation. Hit by slowing economies worldwide, 3M’s fourth-quarter operating earnings fell 13 percent. But despite declining sales ($3.86 billion in Q4, compared to $4.14 billion in the year-ago quarter), net income rose slightly–up to $381 million (96 cents a share) from $326 million (82 cents) a year earlier. And company managers are optimistic about the coming fiscal year. They expect 3M to earn between $4.60 and $5.05 per share before one-time items in 2002. That estimate includes a gain of 11 cents per share, courtesy of FASB. In accordance with FAS 141 and FAS 141, 3M recently stopped amortizing goodwill on intangibles.

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