CFOs on the Move

Interpublic Group; Oracle; Computer Associates International; Economist Group; Sysco; The J. Jill Group; Cal-Maine Foods; About Inc.; Corporate Exp...
Lisa YoonJuly 1, 2005

• After just one year on the job, Robert Thompson is departing as chief financial officer of The Interpublic Group. It was the latest bit of negative news for the big advertising and marketing company, which has delayed its annual report and continues to be the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe for restatements made in 2002.

The company has reached a tentative agreement with an outside candidate for the finance-chief slot who has “experience in senior finance roles in related industries,” said Michael Roth, Interpublic’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. The company reported that it couldn’t reveal the candidate’s name until the second half of July because of the individual’s current job situation.

Concerning Thompson’s departure, Roth said: “Bob and I have independently come to the conclusion that the next steps in our company’s progress will require new financial leadership.” Thompson “came to me late last week to indicate his desire to leave,” the CEO added.

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• Former Microsoft Corp. chief financial officer Gregory B. Maffei joined Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle Corp. as president and CFO. He will also be responsible for the company’s legal department, human resources, manufacturing and distribution, and global real estate.

Maffei, who served as Microsoft’s finance chief from 1997 to 2000, was also the chairman of Internet-based travel service Expedia Inc. from 1999, when Microsoft took it public, until 2002. Most recently he served as chairman and CEO of 360networks Corp., a broadband provider serving the western United States.

• Islandia, New York-based Computer Associates International Inc. announced that Claude Pumilia has joined the company as senior vice president for worldwide sales, finance. Pumilia, who reports to chief financial officer Bob Davis, heads the group providing finance support to the company’s global sales team lead by executive vice president for worldwide sales, Greg Corgan. Previously Pumilia held several senior finance positions at Hewlett-Packard Co.

• Chris Stibbs has joined The Economist Group, the London-based parent of CFO Publishing Corp. and, as finance director. Previously Stibbs was corporate development director at Incisive Media Plc. He succeeds Kiran Malik, who is retiring.

• Institutional food-service company Sysco Corp. named G. Mitchell Elmer chief accounting officer. Elmer, who will retain his responsibilities as vice president and controller, joined the Houston-based company in 1989 as a staff auditor in operations review. Since then, Elmer held a number of senior finance roles including vice president of marketing, merchandising, and finance for the company’s Louisville, Kentucky, operation. He assumed his current role as vice president and controller in 2000.

• Olga L. Conley, executive vice president and chief financial officer of apparel retailer The J. Jill Group Inc., was promoted to the additional role of chief administrative officer. In addition to finance, accounting, information technology, and legal, Conley will now oversee operations at the Quincy, Massachusetts-based company’s customer-contact center as well as its fulfillment and distribution facility in Tilton, New Hampshire. Conley has been the company’s CFO since 1997 and became executive vice president in 2003.

• Jackson, Mississippi-based Cal-Maine Foods Inc. named Timothy A. Dawson vice president and chief financial officer effective August 1. He succeeds, Bobby J. Raines, who is retiring at the end of October. Dawson served in several senior finance positions with Mississippi Chemical Corp. since 1981, including senior vice president and CFO from 1999 until the company’s sale to Terra Industries in December 2004.

• About Inc., parent of, said Andrew Pancer was named to the new post of chief operating officer. Pancer was chief financial officer of About from 2002 to 2004; he rejoins the New York-based company after a stint as CFO of Direct Revenue LLC.

• Corporate office-supplies provider Corporate Express Inc. promoted John Brenholt to senior vice president and chief financial officer for Corporate Express North America. He replaces Gordon Glover, who is leaving Corporate Express to pursue an opportunity in the paper distribution industry. Brenholt joined the Broomfield, Colorado-based company in 1999 as vice president of finance for its promotional marketing division. In 2001, he became assistant controller, vice president of financial services at the company’s headquarters, and later vice president and controller.

• Palo Alto, California-based software maker Attensity appointed Robert Howells chief financial officer. Previously Howells was CFO of Entegrity Solutions, where he raised more than $50 million in funding and negotiated the acquisition of five companies. Prior to his nine years with Entegrity, Howells was vice president and general manager of the Global Services Division at Pyramid Technology.

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