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CFO a Winner in AOL Shakeup

Ripp promoted to vice chairman, will oversee AOL operations; came up through the ranks at Time, Inc. Also: B&N finance head jumps to Gartner, and i...
Stephen TaubSeptember 13, 2002

AOL Time Warner CFO Joseph Ripp appears to be one of the big winners in the latest shakeup announced by chief executive Jon Miller aimed at streamlining top management.

Miller, who was hired last month, will take a more direct role at the media company, overseeing the AOL brand, Interactive Marketing and AOL Broadband. The positions of Chief Operating Officer and President of America Online, Inc. will be eliminated.

However, Ripp, currently executive vice president and CFO, will become Vice Chairman and directly oversee other corporate and operating functions, including the company’s network infrastructure and technology operations.

As a result, the media giant has undertaken a search for a new CFO.

Ripp will join James de Castro, President, AOL Interactive Services; Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, Miller and Don Logan, chairman of AOL Time Warner’s Media and Communications Group, in a newly created Senior Strategy Group, working to set corporate goals and formulate strategies.

He will report directly to Miller.

Ripp will continue to serve as CFO on an interim basis until a replacement is appointed.

Ripp has served as CFO of America Online, Inc. since 2001, overseeing the company’s accounting and tax issues, financial planning, investor relations and treasury, among other finance functions.

Previously, he was CFO of Time Warner, Inc. and held a series of senior financial management positions at Time, Inc., culminating in his appointment as Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer.

Report: Moore to be DLJ’s CFO

In other CFO news, David Moore, who left his position as head of equities at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette when it was bought by Credit Suisse First Boston last year, could wind up with the last laugh.

According to published reports, Moore is one of just a handful of people who is being considered for the CFO job.

If Moore gets the position, there could be some tension with CSFB superstar Brady Dougan, according to reports, citing insiders. “Moore lost out to Dougan after the merger. If Moore gets the job as CFO, he will be over Dougan — a real come-uppance,” noted a Wall Streeter in a published account.

After the DLJ-CSFB merger, Moore was named deputy of U.S. equities while Dougan became his boss, heading up the equities department.

The CFO position opened last month when CFO Richard Thornburgh was promoted to head of global risk for CSFB parent Credit Suisse Group. Thornburgh has remained CFO in the interim.

Elsewhere, Gartner Inc. named former Barnes & Noble Inc. CFO Maureen O’Connell as its new CFO. (CFO PeerMetrix: Compare cost management at Gartner and Barnes & Noble.) Prior to joining the book retailer, she served as CFO of Publishers Clearing House from 1998 to 2000.

As Gartner CFO and executive vice president, O’Connell will oversee the consulting and research company’s worldwide finance, legal, tax, treasury, business development, human resources, investor relations and internal audit functions.

She will report directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Fleisher.