Job Hunting

Demand For Finance Execs Way Down

Survey shows 23 percent drop in hiring of finance managers in 2002. Demand may pick up this year, however
Lisa YoonJanuary 16, 2003

Yesterday, CFO.com reported that hiring prospects for 2003 are grim, brother (see “It’s Cold Out There, Baby”).

Now, comes news that the employment chill that set in last year wasn’t just limited to mid-level and entry-level workers. According to ExecuNet’s Executive Talent Demand Index (ETDI), which tracks executive hiring trends quarterly, hiring demand for corporate executives fell 17 percent during 2002.

What’s more, finance managers were among those who saw the biggest drops in job openings: demand fell 23 percent.

Further, the survey revealed that companies that were looking to fill executive posts were looking to pay a lot less to fill them.

Executives in all salary levels found fewer takers. Demand for those earning $100,00 to $149,000 dropped 14 percent, while demand for those making $150,000 to $199,000 dropped 16 percent. In the $200,000-to-$249,000, hiring demand was down a whopping 21 percent. Ouch

Things might be picking up, however. The sharpest decline in the hiring of senior executives occurred in the first quarter of the year. After that, the decline became less severe each quarter: 19 percent in Q2, 15 percent in Q3, and 6 percent in Q4.

Moreover, a couple of functions saw an increase in demand during the last quarter: demand for sales and marketing executives were up eight percent, and demand for MIS/IT professionals was up seven percent more. These increases suggest that the executive job market is on its way toward recovery, according to Execunet analysts.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding where the economy was headed, very few companies were in the mood to add to their payrolls in 2002,” says Mark Anderson, president of ExecuNet. “Looking ahead, we expect the demand for executive talent to increase gradually in 2003, as more companies look for leaders that have proven they are capable of increasing revenues.”

CFOs on the Move

Enterprise-software maker Verity named Steven R. Springsteel SVP of finance and administration and CFO. He joins Verity from Sagent Technology, where he served most recently as CFO and chief operating officer. He will stick around at Sagent as a member of its board of directors … Springsteel holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cleveland State University, but no advanced degree…

Robert T. Trebing Jr. was named acting CEO at Prandium Inc. The former CFO of the Irvine, Calif.-based restaurant-chain operator was promoted after Kevin Relyea resigned. The company, which owns such chains as Chi-Chi’s, Koo Koo Roo, and Hamburger Hamlet (“To Beef or Not to Beef”), recently filed for bankruptcy. Prandiam has been struggling for years, unloading restaurants to help ease its debt servicing. The company’s recent attempt to sell Hamburger Hamlet failed…

Redback Networks CFO Dennis Wolf resigned as part of a management shakeup at the networking equipment company. Tom Cronan replaces Wolf. Cronan had served as VP, general counsel, and corporate secretary under Wolf, who was Redback’s CFO since 2001. This is Cronan’s first job as CFO. Before joining Redback, Cronan served as in-house legal counsel for both public and private technology companies for more than 15 years, including IBM, Entrust, OpenTV, Taligent, and enCommerce… At enCommerce, Cronan was involved in managing finance, human resources, facilities, and business development.