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Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

Finance vet named CFO at Equity Office Properties. Also: BP Group replaces Bonfield, and MaxWorldwide hires new finance chief.
Lisa YoonJuly 31, 2002

>> Marsha Williams snagged hot property with appointment to EVP and CFO posts at Equity Office Properties Trust, largest U.S. office building owner. Williams’s last job was chief administrative officer for home-furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel… During her tenure, Crate & Barrel nearly doubled in size…

Before Crate & Barrel, Williams worked for nine years at Amoco Corp., prior to company’s 1998 merger with BP… In last job there as VP and treasurer, she managed public and private debt financing, mergers and acquisitions, treasury operations, corporate finance, financial planning, and risk management. Also oversaw Amoco’s investments, short-term debt, and joint ventures, and managed relationships rating agencies…

Williams also did a stint as VP and treasurer at retailer Carson Pirie Scott & Co…. She started her career at The First National Bank of Chicago…

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Williams currently serves on boards of Modine Manufacturing Co., The Davis Funds, The Selected Funds, and Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., where she chairs audit committee… According to data collected by recruitment firm Spencer Stuart, the average retainer fee for a director at a company in the S&P 500 Index was $36,937 in 2001… Directors who chair committees, such as audit or compensation, were paid another $5,354, on average…

Meanwhile, back at Equity Office: company reported flat earnings from a year ago, at 78 cents per share… Higher revenues, however, was small sign of rebounding economy, company management noted… Small sign indeed… Analysts not impressed, saying companies have too much office space as it is…

>> Advertiser MaxWorldwide Inc. appointed William H. Mitchell as CFO… Mitchell most recently was finance chief at software maker Tally Systems Corp., where he helped put loss-making company back in black… Mitchell will have to put those turnaround skills to work at MaxWorldwide as well… Company once strictly sold online ads; now also does traditional marketing campaigns… Recently bought DoubleClick’s media business as part of expansion… New course underscored by name change from dot-com-sounding L90 to MaxWorldwide… Also hired other new senior brass, including Peter Sealey as chief strategy officer earlier this month, and PricewaterhouseCoopers as auditors…

Mitchell also served as SVP of finance at TKR Cable, SVP and COO at Tele-Communications Inc.’s Atlantic division, and EVP and CFO at Bigfoot Interactive… Started out at Price Waterhouse…

>> U.K. oil and gas company BG Group appointed Ashley Almanza to replace Andrew Bonfield as CFO… As CFO.com reported last month, Bonfield resigned to head finance department at troubled pharmaceuticals giant Bristol-Myers Squibb…

Almanza currently group controller at BG Group… Been with BG nine years and held number of senior finance jobs, including finance director at BG International Downstream and deputy finance director at BG International…

Quote of the Day

“About 10 years ago, you could hardly find a major bankruptcy case with an international aspect. Now it’s hard to find a case without one.”

—Attorney Bruce Leonard, on the need for international bankruptcy rules (see Going Bust Not the Same All Over).

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