Taking on the World

WorldCom taps CFO and chief restructuring officer from turnaround specialist AlixPartners. Plus: New survey says most CFOs are content with current...
Lisa YoonJuly 29, 2002

>> Flailing in a world of hurt, WorldCom Inc. tapped not one but two turnaround artists in hopes of rescue … Bankrupt telco appointed John S. Dubel chief financial officer and Gregory F. Rayburn chief restructuring officer … The duo will head WorldCom’s restructuring, including negotiating with existing creditors, evaluating proposals, overseeing development of financial projections, communicating with shareholders, and overseeing sale of non-core assets…

Both executives are principals at Southfield, Mich.-based AlixPartners LLC, corporate restructurers to the stars … AlixPartners, formerly Jay Alix & Associates, was hired to restructure bankrupt retailer Kmart Corp. earlier this year, and last year rebuilt auto parts maker Hayes-Lemmerz International Inc … WorldCom’s deal with AlixPartners is subject to bankruptcy court approval.

CFO Rayburn specializes in operations, financial analysis, M&A, and valuations, said WorldCom officials … Before joining AlixPartners in 2000, he acted as CEO and CRO in successful restructuring of Sunterra Corp … Before that, he was president and co-founder of private investment firm The Capstone Group … Rayburn is a CPA and a Certified Fraud Examiner, as well as member of the Turnaround Management Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

How Startup CFO Grew Food Company 50% YoY

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This case study of JonnyPops’ success highlights the unusual financial and operational strategies that enabled rapid expansion into a crowded and highly competitive frozen treat market. 

CRO Dubel’s restructuring experience includes operational reorganizations and cost reductions, financial department restructurings, strategic repositioning, and divestitures … Ran own turnaround firm prior to joining AlixPartners this year … During that time, he served as CRO and COO at wireless carrier CellNet Data Systems Inc … Dubel’s dossier says he is a Certified Insolvency and Reorganization Accountant, former board member and officer of Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, and member of Turnaround Management Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

>> So it’s not exactly a banner year for finance chiefs … Still, new study shows many CFOs say grass is green enough right where they are … Survey, developed by rent-a-CFO firm RHI Management Resources, asked 1,400 CFOs of randomly-selected U.S. companies with more than 20 employees about career aspirations … 36 percent said they plan to stay in their current jobs; close to one-third (32 percent) hope their next move will be retirement … Only 6 percent said they’d like to be finance chiefs at bigger companies, or become president or CEO.

Not surprisingly, chasing capital for startups is apparently a CFO’s bane: Only 10 percent of CFOs cited starting their own business as a goal … But when funding wasn’t an issue, it was a whole different story: 31 percent were very interested, and 26 percent were somewhat interested …

So what’s behind job satisfaction? CFO is ultimate job for finance types … “Finance professionals typically aspire to the position of CFO … so it’s not surprising to see high levels of job satisfaction among executives in this role,” asserts Paul McDonald, executive director of RHI Management Resources … By the way, look for more openings in near future as companies make room for next generation CFOs … Number of baby-boom CFOs are already making plans for retirement, notes McDonald … “As this trend gains momentum, there will be a greater demand for senior-level financial professionals to fill these vacancies.”