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CFOs on the Move: Week Ending April 25

Campbell Soup, Wolverine World Wide, Gilead Sciences, Meru, Pinnacle Data, Pep Boys, Zebra Husky, Calix, Cadence Design Systems, Société Générale, ...
Kate Plourd and Eila RanaApril 24, 2008

• Campbell Soup CFO Robert Schiffner will retire before August 1. Schiffner, who has been with the company since 2001, said he would leave the snack and soup company earlier if the company finds a replacement.

• Starting in May, Don Grimes will oversee the finances at Wolverine World Wide Inc., the clothes wholesaler with brands such as Hush Puppies, Merrell, and Sebago. Grimes replaces former CFO Stephen Gulis, who was promoted to president of global operations last October. Most recently, Grimes was CFO of Keystone Automotive Operations Inc.

• Gilead Sciences Inc. has announced that Robin L. Washington will oversee the finances at the biotechnology firm starting in May. Washington, who was also appointed vice president, replaces Caroline Dorsa after she left the Foster City, Calif.-based company in January, ending a four-month term.

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• Meru Networks has hired former Oracle vice president Brett White to be CFO of the wireless infrastructure provider. In addition to his 10-year career at Oracle, White was CFO for Fortinet, Corio, and Kana Software. He will be responsible for Meru’s technology and finance groups.

• Nicholas Tomashot has joined Pinnacle Data Systems to serve as its finance chief, treasurer, and secretary. Tomashot previously served as vice president operations finance for Innovex Inc.’s Thailand division since 2004. Before that, he was vice president of finance for Innovex.

• Auto parts company Pep Boys has named Ray Arthur as its CFO and executive vice president, starting April 28. Arthur comes from Toys “R” Us Inc., where he managed its operations restructuring and leveraged buyout. He was also CFO and president of Toysrus.com. He succeeds former CFO Harry Yanowitz, who departed to pursue other interests.

• Zebra Technologies Corp. has announced that longtime CFO Charles Whitchurch is retiring from his position at the bar code and plastic card printer. Sixty-one-year-old Whitchurch will be replaced on June 30 by Michael C. Smiley, who previously led international accounting and finance functions at Tellabs Inc. Whitchurch joined Zebra as CFO in 1991.

• Alister Cowan has been appointed vice president and CFO of Canadian energy company Husky Oil Operations Ltd. Most recently Cowan was executive vice president and CFO for BC Hydro.

• Calix has appointed Kelyn Brannon-Ahn as its CFO, replacing former CFO Michael Ashby, who retires after five years with the Petaluma, Calif.-based company. Brannon-Ahn was previously CFO of Calypso Technology and Arzoon, and the CEO of Studio Systems Inc. She has also served as the chief accounting officer and CFO of Amazon.com’s international division.

• Kevin Palatnik is replacing William Porter as CFO of software company Cadence Design Systems. Porter has been named to the new position of chief administrative officer. Palatnik has been with the company for 12 years, the last two of which he served as controller.

• Frédéric Oudéa, CFO of Société Générale, the French financial services group, has been promoted to CEO. The move comes after chairman and CEO Daniel Bouton decided to split his two roles to put the firm in line with good corporate governance practices. Shareholders have given Bouton, who will remain chairman, a rough ride of late after internal controls failed to pick up rogue trading activities that cost the bank 5 billion Euros. Oudéa, who has been with Société Générale since 1995, was appointed CFO in 2003. The company has yet to announce Oudéa’s replacement.

• U.K. bank Lloyds TSB has named group finance director Helen Weir as its new head of U.K. retail banking. Tim Tookey, Weir’s deputy, takes over as acting group finance director. Weir joined Lloyds TSB in 2004 from Kingfisher, the U.K.-based home improvement group.

• Tom Vanden Borre has been named CFO of Fortis Private Banking, part of Fortis. The new combined private bank has emerged from Fortis’s joint takeover of Dutch rival ABN Amro, in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. The CFO appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

• Manfred Wimmer, the head of Erste Bank’s Romanian unit BCR, has been appointed CFO of the Austrian bank. Wimmer replaces Peter Kisbenedek, who is returning to his home country of Hungary for family reasons.

• Swiss construction company Implenia has appointed Beat Fellmann CFO. Fellmann, who is currently deputy CFO of Swiss cement company Holcim, will take up the new position in January 2009. He replaces Roger Merlo, who is stepping down.

• Rene Verbruggen, CFO of Dutch towage and salvage firm Smit Internationale, will leave the company on May 1 by “mutual agreement.” Group controller Gert Bruinsma will take over Verbruggen’s duties. Ben Vree, Smit’s CEO, told Dutch journalists that Verbruggen’s departure was mainly due to cultural differences between Smit and Royal Dutch Shell, Verbruggen’s former employer.

• Naguib Kheraj, former group finance director of U.K. bank Barclays, has been appointed senior adviser to the Supervisory Enhancement Programme of the Financial Services Authority, the U.K. stock market regulator. The SEP will implement the recommendations arising from a review of the FSA’s handling of Northern Rock—the U.K. bank that was recently nationalized after becoming overexposed to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. Kheraj left Barclays in March 2007.