CFOs on the Move: Week Ending June 27

Google, Omni, Progress, SIFMA, OGE, Pennichuck, Peabody, Navistar, MedCath, Gilat, Telecom Italia, Thomas Cook, National Express, Focus, Caisse des...
Kate PlourdJune 26, 2008

• After a 10-month search, Google announced that Bell Canada’s president of operations, Patrick Pichette, will replace George Reyes as CFO. During Pichette’s seven years at Bell Canada, he a one-year stint as CFO.

• Omni Financial Services’ acting CFO, Shaun Williams, announced that he will resign on July 18 to pursue other interests. Williams was the controller for the Omni National Bank subsidiary before taking on the acting CFO position in April, when then-CFO Connie Perrine became the bank’s president. The company said Williams’ decision had nothing to do with a management or board disagreement.

• Peter Scott, finance chief for Progress Energy Inc., said he will retire toward the end of the third quarter. The power company’s senior vice president of finance, Mark Mulhern, will fill Scott’s spot, which he’s held since 2005.

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• The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has hired Frank Baier as its new CFO and chief administrative officer. Baier comes from Meridian Capital Group, where he was a consultant. He previously held a number of positions, including CFO, at Independence Community Bank from 2001 to 2006. At SIFMA Baier replaces Don Kittell, who is retiring.

• OGE Energy Corp. controller and chief accounting officer Scott Forbes has been named interim CFO, replacing James Hatfield, who will resign July 11. Hatfield has worked for the OGE, the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, for 14 years. Forbes came to the company in August 2005 after serving as CFO for Texas-New Mexico Power Co. for three years.

• Thomas Leonard has been named treasurer and CFO of Pennichuck Corporation, which supplies potable water in New Hampshire to regulated water utilities. Leonard will replace William Patterson, who will return to an independent corporate finance advisory and consulting practice. Leonard starts July 7.

• The coal company Peabody Energy has promoted its director of operations planning, Michael Crews, to CFO. Crews has been at Peabody since 1998, during which time he’s served as assistant corporate controller, director of planning, and assistant treasurer. Former CFO Richard Navarre was promoted to president and chief commercial officer in January.

• Navistar International has created the role of chief risk officer and moved its CFO, Bill Caton, to the position. The company’s former senior vice president and treasurer, Terry Endsley, will become CFO. Endsley started at Navistar in 1977 and held positions in the accounting and finance departments.

• Healthcare provider MedCath announced that Jeff Hinton will join the company as CFO. Most recently he headed up finance at Matria Healthcare, and previously he served as vice president of internal controls for HealthSouth.

• Israeli company Gilat Satellite Networks has appointed Ari Krashin to replace Tal Payne as CFO. Payne accepted a position as CFO of Check Point Software Technologies. Krashin has been financial director at the satellite communications company since 2005 and served in its finance department since 2000.

• Enrico Parazzini, CFO of Telecom Italia, is to step down after the board approves the group’s interim results in August. He will be replaced by Marco Patuano, the company’s general manager of operations.

• U.K. travel group Thomas Cook has promoted Jürgen Büser, CFO of its U.K. and Ireland division, to group CFO. He replaces Ludger Heuberg, who is stepping down for “personal and family reasons.” Heuberg will stay with the group, however—he will be returning to Germany to become CFO of Thomas Cook’s operations in Continental Europe.

• Elsewhere in the travel sector, the UK’s National Express has appointed Jeremy Maiden as its group finance director. He will join from Northern Foods, also in the U.K., where he is currently CFO.

• Bill Hoskins, the finance director brought in to turn around troubled U.K. do-it-yourself retailer Focus—owned by U.S. hedge fund Cerberus—has resigned after 10 months in the job to spend more time with his family. Hoskins will be replaced by Andrew Unitt—a former finance chief of Experian, Boots Healthcar,e and Halfords—who was appointed after a five-month search.

• Caisse des Dépôts, the French state-owned bank, has appointed senior civil servant Alain Quinet as head of finance and strategy. He replaces Dominique Marcel, who is to be given another role at the bank, according to French press reports.

• Susan Panuccio has been appointed finance director of News International, the U.K. subsidiary of News Corporation. Panuccio, who qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in Australia, joined News International in 2002 and was most recently director of corporate planning at the company.

• Titan Cement, the Greek building materials company, has appointed Charalambos Mazarakis as its new group CFO. He will join the firm in September from Vodafone Greece, where he is currently chief operating officer and a former CFO.

• Interros, the Russian investment group with 19 billion euros worth of assets under management, has appointed Alex Polevoy as CFO. Polevoy was formerly a board director of Mechel, the Russian metals and mining group, where he was also CFO from 2005 to 2006.

• Harald Pinger has been appointed CFO of Kion Group, the German material handlings company that spun off from Linde, the gases and engineering group, two years ago. Pinger, who was formerly CEO of Swiss retail and real-estate group Jelmoli Holding, replaces Nedim Cen, who is stepping down to “pursue new career challenges outside the company,” according to a statement from Kion.

• Boehringer Ingelheim, the German drug maker, said CFO Marbod Muff will be retiring at the end of this year after 40 years with the company. Hubertus von Baumbach, currently head of finance at the group, will step up to replace him.

• Mick Summersgill, CFO of Zurich Financial Services’ discontinued operations in the U.K., has joined Big Four accountancy firm Ernst & Young as a director in its insurance run-off team.

• Ben Doveton, finance director of the personal and group programmes division of Aon Risk Services, the U.K. risk consultancy and insurance broker, has been promoted to managing director of Aon private clients, the company’s high-net-worth business.

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