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Trashing the Negative Image

Waste Management promotes CFO, appoints litter of finance executives; Handspring CFO skips.
Lisa YoonMay 8, 2002

>>Fighting to distance self from gloomy past that made it household name, Waste Management rejiggers senior management workload… First step: CFO Bill Trubek takes on new posts of EVP of operations support and chief administration officer… In new role, Trubek will have a bunch of people reporting to him, including chief legal counsel, chief technology officer, chief people officer, and now-vacant CFO position, which he’ll hold onto until replacement found… Besides finance, he’ll steer investor relations, recycling, and real estate departments…

Trash-hauling outfit also named Bob Simpson VP and chief accounting officer, Don Carpenter VP of tax, Bruce Snyder VP of financial services, and Mike Clarke VP of business improvement… In March, SEC slapped ex-CFO James Koenig and other former company executives with lawsuit… Execs charged with orchestrating whopper of fraud that inflated company’s profits by $1.7 billion over five years…

Current executives commented on suit in a statement highlighting difference between “Old Waste Management” and “New Waste Management”… “The actions referenced in the complaint occurred 5 to 10 years ago and all those charged left the company nearly 4 years ago,” says A. Maurice Myers, chairman, president, and CEO… Meanwhile, company is slowly building back reputation… In results reported Tuesday, Q1 earnings rose to $138 million from $124 million recorded in first quarter 2001… Revenues for quarter dropped, though, to $2.61 billion from $2.72 billion in year-ago quarter…

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>> CFO Bern Whitney leaving handheld-computer maker Handspring Inc. by July 1… In a statement, Whitney cited “tak[ing] a break and spend[ing] more time with my family” as reasons for departure… Investors weren’t doing handsprings on news, with share pricing diving 14 percent last Friday after announcement, Reuters reported… Whitney leaves at all-time low in history of company, which he joined in 1999 before initial public offering… Company had dismal news at last earnings call in April: reported third-quarter losses on lower revenues and said it would miss targets for fourth quarter…

Whitney earned $200,000 in 2001 and $180,000 in 2000; no bonus either year, according to proxy… Company retained search firm to find successor…

>> ProQuest picks Kevin Gregory as CFO… Gregory most recently was VP, controller, and treasurer of company… Prior to that, served as tax counsel and VP of tax… Since joining in 1996, Gregory’s seen huge change in company’s identity… In 2000, former movie-projection equipment maker Bell & Howell sold projection and messaging businesses, and went into information management, changing name to ProQuest… Stock performing better than it was in Bell & Howell days…

CFO Insider

Laureen DeBuono of messaging-services provider Critical Path earned $223,325 in 2001…

Erich Booth, CFO of fabric chain Jo-Ann Stores, earned $306,500, no bonus in 2002… Down from 2001 when he earned $316,871 on the button…

Ad slump hasn’t stopped Media General‘s Marshall Morton from getting a raise, though didn’t nab bonus… Took home $525,000 in 2001 as vice chairman, CFO of newspaper publisher… In 2000, earned $485,000 plus $165,848 bonus…

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