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A Sound Choice

Japanese AV giant D&M Holding pumps up the volume to announce new CFO. Plus: The Rowe Co. comfortable with new finance chief; hired guns help job s...
Lisa YoonAugust 1, 2002

>> Yoshiyuki Honda indulging his yen for hi-fi as new CFO of D&M Holdings Inc., joint venture of Japanese audio-video equipment manufacturers Denon Ltd. and Marantz Japan … Honda responsible for finance, administration, legal, information technology, and investor relations …

Honda joining D&M Holdings from Cisco Systems KK, Japanese operations of networking giant Cisco, where he served as director of finance and administration since 1998 … Before that, Honda was finance director at Pepsi-Cola, Japan, and controller at Pepsi-Cola International … Also spent 12 years with Coopers & Lybrand, working in Tokyo and Chicago, where he specialized in corporate audits and M&A due diligence reviews … Honda also launched Coopers and Lybrand’s Japanese business practice in Chicago in 1985, and later served as director of firm’s Japanese business practice for the Midwest region …

(For more on the rising stature of finance executives in Japan, see Yen Masters.)

How Startup CFO Grew Food Company 50% YoY

How Startup CFO Grew Food Company 50% YoY

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. 

>> Meanwhile, in land of the setting sun, Emeryville, Calif.-based Evolve Software Inc. named Arthur T. Taylor CFO and VP of finance … Taylor replaces Ken Bozzini, who is leaving professional-services automation software maker to pursue other interests …

Taylor most recently served as VP and CFO at enterprise software company Docent Inc … Prior to joining Docent, Taylor worked at 3Com Corp. first as VP and corporate treasurer, and then as VP of corporate financial planning and investor relations … Before that, he was CFO for ReSound Corp. and held senior finance positions at Allergan Inc …

At Docent, management launched search for Taylor’s successor. In the meantime, corporate controller Steven Lance serving as acting finance chief …

>> Gene Morphis sitting pretty as new CFO of furniture manufacturer and retailer The Rowe Cos. … Morphis most recently was finance chief of ClientLogic and prior to that, Stream International. He held other finance positions at CVS, American Woodmark, Curtis Mathes, and Zale Corp. …

>> Doing your homework has always been a key element in job hunting. But with the new rules requiring CEOs and CFOs to certify financial statements, some experts see candidates redoubling their efforts in due diligence.

On Wednesday’s edition of Public Radio’s Marketplace, Jim Boone, president of Korn/Ferry International, said CEOs on the move are intimidated by the crackdown on corporate America—enough to cough up their own money to check out potential employers’ accounts. “At the right stage,” said Boone, “a company opens the kimono, so to speak, and allows that chief executive officer candidate to really do close scrutiny of what has been presented.”

And candidates are scrutinizing accounts, line by line. According to the business-news program, some search firms report that during crunch time in the recruiting process, almost a quarter of CEO candidates hire their own accountants, lawyers, and other professionals to make sure the company they join is clean.

But others in the finance and recruiting communities take a more blasé stance to the new rules. Barry Bregman, head of the CFO practice at Heidrick & Struggles, admits seeing stepped-up due diligence on the part of CFO candidates but doesn’t see them going to the extraordinary lengths of Boone’s CEO candidates. Plus, CFOs and CEOs only get busted if they knowingly turn in false financials, and if O.J. Simpson taught us anything, it’s that state of mind is tough to prove.

“At the end of the day,” Bregman says, “if somebody’s unethical and wants to beat the system, they’re going to find a way to beat the system.”.

Quote:

“The tenor of the subcommittee hearing reflected a disturbing skepticism and mistrust—not only of Merrill Lynch and our motives—but also of financial institutions and the business community generally.”

—Merrill Lynch top brass David H. Komansky and Stanley O’Neal wondering why Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations raked Merrill over coals about dealings with Enron.