CFOs on the Move: Week Ending October 5

Lear, Aon, Bank of New York Mellon, Hershey, Nokia Siemens, Nortel Networks, AstraZeneca, Quest Software, MGM Mirage, Far East Energy, Gulf Island ...
Sarah JohnsonOctober 4, 2007

• Lear Corp. has appointed its chief accounting officer, Matthew Simoncini, as CFO. As CAO, he was senior vice president of global finance and responsible for the automotive supplier’s worldwide operational finance and accounting. Simoncini previously served as Lear’s CFO for its Europe, Asia, and Africa operations. He also held several finance positions for United Technologies Automotive, which Lear acquired in 1999. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche.

• Aon Corp. has hired a Microsoft executive to replace its outgoing CFO. Christa Davies, formerly Microsoft’s CFO of its Platform and Services Division, will become Aon’s executive vice president of global finance next March. She replaces CFO David Bolger, who announced in May that he would leave the company when his successor is found, to become the chief operations officer of the Chicago Olympic Committee. Davies joined Microsoft in 2002.

• Mellon Financial CFO Michael Bryson has resigned along with a string of other Mellon executives following its merger with the Bank of New York. Bruce Van Saun, CFO of the combined company, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., has declined to comment on the news. Bryson reportedly plans to retire in 2008 and is currently working in Mellon’s Pittsburgh offices.

• The Hershey Co. has promoted one of its former CFOs as president, CEO, and director. Currently the chief operating officer of Hershey, David West will begin the CEO job when current chief executive Richard Lenny leaves the company by the end of the year, and is assuming the president and director titles immediately. This is West’s second promotion of the year; he moved from CFO to COO in January. West joined Hershey in 2001 as vice president of business planning and development and later became chief customer officer. He was named CFO in 2005. He previously worked at Nabisco Biscuit and Snacks Group as CFO and held other positions during his 14 years at the food company. He has also held positions in finance and cost accounting with Wearever Proctor-Silex and Unisys.

• Nokia Siemens Networks has given its acting CFO Eric Simonsen the permanent job. He has been filling in for the finance chief role since June. Simonsen has been working for consultancy AlixPartners since 2002. During that time, he has held senior management positions at WorldCom Corp., Cable & Wireless America Inc., and Genuity Inc. He previously served as chief operations and chief financial officer for Allmerica Financial Corp.

• Nortel Networks has hired Pavi Binning as its new executive vice president and CFO. Starting November 12, Binning will take on the finance-chief reigns. Earlier this year, former Nortel CFO Peter Currie resigned after spending nearly three years helping to steer the company through restatements, the dismissals of top executives, and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Currie took over the position after former CFO Douglas Beatty was fired. Binning joins Nortel with more than 25 years of experience, including tenures as CFO at building materials company Hanson PLC and telecommunications company Marconi PLC. David Drinkwater, who had been filling in temporarily as CFO after Currie’s departure, will return to his role as chief legal officer.

• Simon Lowth will replace Jonathan Symonds as CFO of AstraZeneca. Symonds abruptly left the pharmaceutical company in June to join Goldman Sachs as a managing director. Lowth joins AstraZeneca from Scottish Power PLC, where he was the finance director. He left the company in May following its sale to Iberdrola. Before joining Scottish Power, he spent 15 years with McKinsey & Co.

• Quest Software CFO Michael Lambert has resigned, effective October 10. The company is in the middle of restating several years worth of financials to correct how it accounted for previously issued stock options grants. Quest said Lambert has taken a job at another company, but would not comment further on the announcement or say where he is going. Lambert joined Quest from Quantum Corp., where he was CFO of the provider of tape drives and storage solutions. He also held the CFO title at NerveWire, a systems integration consultancy, and the internetworking systems division at Lucent Technologies. He also once worked at IBM in the finance area.

• MGM Mirage has made several personnel changes as it prepares a new property. Jon Corchis, CFO of Bellagio, will become senior vice president and CFO of the resort and casino at CityCenter, a mixed-use development that will open in two years in Las Vegas. He has been with the company since 1993, holding positions at The Mirage, Beau Rivage, and Bellagio. His job change triggers a domino effect in the company: Mike Longi, the Mirage’s CFO, will now be the finance chief of Bellagio. In turn, Bill Boasberg will take his place after serving as vice president and CFO of New York-New York. And Courtney Wenlender, most recently CFO at Beau Rivage, will now be the CFO of the hotel made to look like the Big Apple. In her place is Jorge Perez, who most recently held the title of executive director of financial projects for the Mirage Resorts Division.

• Far East Energy Corp. has hired Randall Keys as CFO. He has been a director of the company for the past three years and chaired the audit committee. He previously was the CFO of BPZ Energy and Transmeridian Exploration. He began his career at KPMG. The energy company is based in Houston but is focused on exploring and developing coal bed methane in China.

• Joseph Gallagher has stepped down as Gulf Island Fabrication’s CFO. He was also the company’s treasurer. Controller and chief accounting officer Robin Seibert will take his place. The company declined to give the reason for Gallagher’s departure.

• Mark Parrell will be the new executive vice president and CFO of Equity Residential. He replaces Donna Brandin, who resigned in September to pursue other interests. Parrell previously served as the company’s treasurer and has worked there since 1995. Interim CFO John Lennox will continue in his role as senior vice president of financial planning and analysis.

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