CFOs on the Move: Week Ending July 13

Circuit City, Orbitz, National Presto Industries, TiVo, Bionovo, Cyberonics, Business Wire, Marvell Technology Group, Apollo Group, XL Capital, Equ...
Sarah JohnsonJuly 12, 2007

• Yankee Candle CFO Bruce Besanko will take on the finance chief role at Circuit City Stores at the end of the month. He has been with the candle retailer for two years after leaving the vice president of finance role at Best Buy, where he worked from 2002 to 2005. He has also worked at Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Atlantic Richfield Co. Besanko replaces Mike Foss, who left Circuit City earlier this year after nearly four years with the company.

• Orbitz Worldwide has appointed Marsha Williams as senior
vice president and chief financial officer to fill the spot left open by Steve Barnhart when he became CEO and president of the travel agency in April. Williams will report to her predecessor. She was previously executive vice president and CFO of Equity Office Properties, which Blackstone Group purchased by this year. She also once worked at Crate & Barrel as chief administrative officer and has held senior finance positions at Amoco Corp. and Carson Pirie Scott & Co.

• Randy Lieble plans to leave National Presto Industries to become a financial adviser on August 24, after nearly eight years as CFO and 30 years with the company. In addition to the CFO title, he is vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The company is looking for his successor.

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• TiVo has hired interim CFO Cal Hoagland to replace Steven Sordello, who resigned after less than a year in the role to join LinkedIn Corp., an online networking company. The company is still searching for a permanent finance chief. Hoagland has been a principal of Financial Leadership Group, a Silicon Valley CFO services and board advisory consultancy, since 2005. Before that, he served as finance chief for Interwave Communications, Phasecom, and ACCOM. He was also treasurer at Persistence Software and corporate controller of both ADAC Laboratories and Valence Technologies. Hoagland served as an audit manager with Coopers & Lybrand.

• Bionovo has appointed Tom Chesterman as senior vice president and CFO. He most recently was senior vice president, CFO, and secretary at Aradigm Corp., another pharmaceutical company. He has also worked at Bio-Rad Laboratories as vice president and CFO and Europolitan (which later became Vodafone Sweden) as vice president of strategy and CFO. In his place, Aradigm has named Norman Halleen as interim CFO. He previously worked at the company as finance chief from 1999 to 2001.

• Cyberonics has named Gregory Browne CFO. Most recently, he worked at executive services company Tatum and founded the outsourcing company PeopleWorks. Before that, he was the finance chef at Amedisys and the CEO for Ramsay Healthcare Inc. Browne fills the spot left vacant by Pamela Westbrook, who resigned as CFO and vice president of finance and administration in November along with CEO Robert Commins around the same time the company’s audit committee discovered inaccurate measurement dates of previously issued option grants. The company has restated six years’ worth of financial results. John Riccardi, director of financial planning and analysis, has been filling in as interim finance chief.

• Geff Scott has joined Business Wire as chief financial officer. Previously a partner with law firm Marinelli & Scott, Scott has also worked at KPMG. “With Business Wire now being a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family, the CFO role takes on heightened significance,” said Cathy Baron Tamraz, president and CEO of the company, which disseminates news releases.

• Just a few months after agreeing to become interim CFO of Marvell Technology Group when his boss resigned, Michael Tate has announced his own resignation. A six-year veteran of the storage company, Tate was corporate controller and treasurer when CFO George Hervey stepped down in May. Tate was tasked with updating the company’s regulatory filings. Earlier this year, following an internal review of its stock option granting practices, the company announced several management changes, including Hervey’s departure, and the need to record a total pre-tax charge estimated at between $325 million and $350 million. Its quarterly report for the period ending April 28, 2007, had been delayed until Tate filed it this week. The company is searching for a new CFO.

• Scott St. Clair, the CFO of the Arizona Zoological Society since 2003, has taken on the job of vice president of taxes for the Apollo Group. The company announced St. Clair’s new job and several other new finance roles just a few weeks after St. Clair’s new boss, Joseph D’Amico, agreed to become its full-time CFO. D’Amico had been the interim finance chief since December, when Kenda Gonzales resigned for personal reasons. Also joining D’Amico’s team will be Brian Swartz, who has been promoted from within to senior vice president, finance, and chief accounting officer; controller Gregory Iverson, formerly director of financial reporting for US Airways Group; international controller Carlos Rojas, who founded an investment consultancy 11 years ago; and corporate treasurer Junette West, who has worked for Apollo in various financial capacities, including director of finance for international operations.

• XL Capital Ltd. has appointed Brian Nocco as executive vice president and CFO. He will join the company on June 23 and officially take over finance chief duties on August 10 from interim CFO Fiona Luck, who is also the insurance company’s chief of staff. Previously, Nocco was chief risk officer of Nationwide Insurance Group, where he also held the title of senior vice president and treasurer from 2001 to 2005. He has also worked at Imperial Bank as executive vice president of corporate development and as CFO of two of its subsidiaries. In addition he was senior vice president and chief compliance officer with The Chubb Corp. and treasurer and vice president of finance for Continental Bank Corp. He began his career with Continental Illinois National Bank.

• Stephen Coffey has resigned as senior vice president and CFO of Equitable Group Inc. to pursue “personal interests,” according to a company press release. The mortgage lender is searching for someone to fill Coffey’s shoes when he leaves the company on September 30.

• The First American Corp. has named George Grupp CFO of specialty insurance. He will retain his role as executive vice president and CFO of First American Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Grupp began his career with Ernst & Young and has worked mostly in the finance and operation areas of title insurance and property and casualty insurance companies.

• Susan Baxter Gibson has resigned as vice president of finance and CFO of Health System Solutions Inc. for personal reasons. Her last day is July 27. The company is searching for her replacement. Gibson joined the company in 2003, when it terminated Kimberly Richards’ job as principal financial officer, secretary, and assistant treasurer. Gibson had been working at Advanced Home Care as a branch manager. She has also worked at Barnhart Healthcare Consulting as a financial consultant, Baptist Hospital Home Care as CFO, and Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasury Cost as CFO.

• Robert Hult will retire as senior vice president and CFO of Mercury Computer Systems Inc. on September 28. He was placed in the finance chief role in 2004. The company is searching for his replacement.