CFOs on the Move

OfficeMax; Microsoft; Shell and Fonterra Cooperative Group; Marsh & McLennan; American Greetings and IMG; U.S. Olympic Committee; World Wrestling E...
Lisa YoonJanuary 14, 2005

• Brian Anderson has resigned as chief financial officer of OfficeMax Inc. after only two months on the job. The announcement accompanied the news that the office-products retailer would delay its earnings release for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2004 amid an investigation into its accounting practices. Former CFO Ted Crumley will return to that position on an interim basis while the company searches for a permanent finance chief.

• John Connors is leaving as Microsoft Corp.’s chief financial officer to become a partner at a Seattle-area venture capital firm. Connors joined the software giant 16 years ago and has been CFO for five years. No successor was named for Connors; Microsoft is considering both internal and external candidates for the job.

• Guy Cowan, the former chief financial officer of Shell Oil Co., will assume that same role New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group, a dairy cooperative, effective March 1. Cowan, a 23-year veteran of Royal Dutch/Shell, is also a director of Shell Petroleum Inc., the holding company for U.S. interests. Previously he held finance positions at the company’s Latin American, European, African, and Australian operating units.

How Startup CFO Grew Food Company 50% YoY

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• Michael A. Petrullo was named senior vice president and chief administrative officer of insurer Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. (MMC). Previously Petrullo had been executive vice president and chief operating officer of risk consultancy Kroll Inc.; after MMC acquired that company, he became CFO of the combined risk-consulting businesses.

• Cleveland-based greeting card producer American Greetings Corp. announced that chief financial officer Bob Ryder has resigned, effective January 28. Ryder, who joined American Greetings in 2002, will take the position of executive vice president, chief financial and administrative officer at sports marketer IMG. While American Greetings searches for a new CFO, Ryder’s responsibilities will be shared by Stephen Smith, vice president of investor relations and treasurer, and Joseph Cipollone, vice president and corporate controller. In addition, senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary Catherine Kilbane will assume responsibility for the tax and audit functions.

• Early Reese resigned as chief financial officer of the United States Olympic Committee to pursue other interests. Reese joined the USOC in 2000 after a 21-year career with Philip Morris USA, where he held a number of positions including director of financial controls and assistant controller.

• Another resignation in the athletic world came last week when Philip Livingston stepped down as chief financial officer of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Senior vice president of finance Frank Serpe will serve as acting CFO while the company searches for a successor.

• Kathy Heuer joins the Food and Drug Administration as the agency’s chief financial officer and associate commissioner for management. Heuer is not new to government finance; she most recently served as the deputy assistant secretary for performance and planning in the office of budget, technology, and finance at the Department of Health and Human Services. Heuer replaces Jeffrey M. Weber, who joined the FDA in 1999 and recently announced his retirement after more than 35 years of federal service.

• Dallas-based Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. has tapped Dell Inc.’s Lloyd R. Sorenson, controller of the computer maker’s corporate business group, as Vought’s new chief financial officer. Before his six years with Dell, Vought was vice president of finance for AlliedSignal Corp.’s aerospace equipment systems business. His experience also includes divisional controllerships at McDonnell Douglas Corp.’s space and defense systems and aerospace businesses and at Newport News Shipbuilding, where his final responsibility was controller of manufacturing. The finance chair at Vought has been empty since the retirement of William McMillan.

• Washington Mutual has named Taj Bindra executive vice president of finance and servicing operations for mortgage banking. Bindra joins Washington Mutual from J.P. Morgan Chase and Co., where he was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Chase home finance.