People

SimCFO

Video-game maker Electronic Arts scores points by snagging former Amazon CFO Warren Jensen. Plus, longtime Bancorp Hawaii finance chief joins Dole ...
Lisa YoonJuly 1, 2002

>> Warren Jenson restarts as CFO of video-game publisher Electronic Arts Inc… . Jensen left Amazon.com Inc. in March, after online retailer finally reported profits… He replaces Stan McKee, who announced earlier that he would retire later this year after spending 13 years with company…

Before Amazon, Jenson, 45, held CFO jobs at Delta Air Lines Inc. and peacock network NBC, a unit of General Electric Co… .

EA racking up points with Wall Street… U.S. Bancorp gushing over doubled product load for June quarter, better-than-expected June sales, and more compelling product than last year, thanks to World Cup mania and Harry Potter’s magic…

“It’s just going to get better from here,” Jenson told Reuters, saying game industry will be fastest-growing segment of popular media in coming years… If that sounds like the same New Economy bullishness that overvalued companies like, well, Amazon, at least one analyst won’t get fooled again… Pacific Crest’s Jeff Goverman downgraded EA from strong buy to buy, saying company’s upsides, like projected 20 percent long-term growth for game industry, not enough to justify stock price… EA trading these days at around $65 per share…

>> Ripe for the picking? Dole Food Co. plucked new VP and CFO Richard J. Dahl from Pacific Century Financial Corp. (formerly Bancorp Hawaii Inc.)… Dahl joining world’s largest produce purveyor after more than 20 years at Pacific Century and subsidiary Bank of Hawaii… Dahl signed on with Bancorp Hawaii in 1981 as VP and controller… Moved up the ranks to CFO before becoming president in 1994… Dahl replacing Kenneth J. Kay, who is leaving to pursue other interests…

Dahl joins Dole at fruitful time… Last quarter, company reported 87 percent jump in earnings from last year… Some of that was due to luck—unusually cold weather in California ruined lettuce crops and led to a spike in lettuce prices… Still, by shedding unprofitable businesses—like recent sale of Spanish unit Pascual Hermanos SA—and cost cutting, Dole executives say the company would save $66 million this year… Some of that will go to increased ad spending: company deciding on new ad agency this week… Reportedly, the rest will go to bottom line…

>> Upscale restaurant operator Ark Restaurants Corp. hired Robert J. Stewart as CFO, replacing Andrew Kuruc, who resigned to pursue other interests… Kuruc had been with Ark since 1987… Stewart joins the restaurant biz after three years at Fortis Capital Holdings, where he was CFO and EVP…

Ark manages 26 chi-chi eateries in Florida, Nevada, New York, and Washington, D.C., including Bryant Park Grill & Cafe in Manhattan… Based in New York, Ark’s appetite growing: future plans include getting rid of cozy cafes and focusing on opening big restaurants in flashy locales like Las Vegas…