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CFOs on the Move: Week Ending August 1

Wachovia, Campbell's Soup, The Children's Place, Navigators, Forbes.com, United Plastics Group, Icahn Enterprises, Hayes Lemmerz, ARI, Orisis, Mich...
Eila Rana and Kate PlourdJuly 31, 2008

• The financial-services meltdown appears to have claimed another victim, with Wachovia’s announcement that CFO Thomas Wurtz plans to leave the embattled bank after a successor is named. A search will begin immediately.

• Campbell’s Soup Company announced controller Anthony DiSilvestro will serve as principle financial officer until the board finds a replacement for retiring CFO and senior vice president Robert Schiffner. Schiffner, who announced his planned retirement in April, will resign on August 4. DiSilvestro joined Campbell’s in 1996 as controller.

• The Children’s Place Retail Stores said that CFO Richard Paradise, who is also its principal accounting officer, will resign after less than eight months on the job.The retailer, which had overcome restatements and internal accounting investigations, said he will leave Aug. 1 to pursue another business opportunity. Neither the company nor Paradise provided details about his departure. Susan Riley, executive vice president, finance and administration, will reassume the CFO role in addition to her other responsibilities.

• International insurance holding company The Navigators Group has hired Francis McDonnell to replace the retiring Paul Malvasio, the company’s senior vice president and CFO. The transition will take place August 5. McDonnell comes from a stint as CFO of ACE US; he previously was CFO of PMA Capital Corporation.

•Forbes.com has hired Lisa Mogensen as its chief financial officer. Mogensen, who was most recently founder and chairman of LAM Endeavors, will oversee financial operations for Forbes.com, ForbesAuto.com, ForbesTraveler.com, Investopedia.com, RealClearPolitics.com, Clipmarks.com, and the Forbes.com Business and Finance Blog Network. She was also previously CFO for TheStreet.com.

• Mark Straszynski, the former controller and treasurer at United Plastics Group, has been hired as CFO for Best Western International, which is looking to set a new strategic direction for its hotel brand.

• Carl Icahn’s holding company, Icahn Enterprises, has hired former Bear Stearns assistant controller Dominick Ragone as its finance chief. Ragone held the Bear post from May 2007 until June 2008. Before that, he served as managing director of Morgan Stanley from 2004 to 2007.

• Mark Brebberman has been promoted to vice president and CFO of Hayes Lemmerz International, a worldwide wheel supplier. Brebberman joined the company seven years ago as controller of its North American Wheel Group business unit. He has also served as corporate controller.

• Technology business solutions company ARI announced that Kenneth Folberg will join the company as its CFO and vice president of finance. Folberg has served on varioius finance teams for 16 years. He most recently was global finance program director at Manpower and previously was interim CFO for Resources Global.

• Richard Hunt took on the CFO position at stem-cell therapeutic company Orisis Therapeutics on July 23. Hunt had been CFO of Global Healthcare Exchange. He also has been CFO for Neighborcare and Healthcarextras, and had an 18-year career at Baxter healthcare/American Hospital Supply, where he reached the position of vice president of corporate audit.

• Arts and crafts store company Michaels Stores has named Elaine Crowley executive vice president and CFO. She replaces Jeffrey Boyer, who resigned in April. She brings 18 years experience from the Bombay Company, where her last job was CFO and treasurer.

• Naguib Kheraj, former group finance director of Barclays, the U.K. bank, has been appointed CEO of U.K. investment bank JP Morgan Cazenove. Although Kheraj stepped down as finance chief of Barclays in October 2006, he was retained as a senior adviser and was instrumental in the bank’s failed bid for ABN Amro. He was also recently appointed as an advisor to the Financial Services Authority, the U.K. markets regulator.

• German utility Energie Baden-Wuerttenberg has named Rudolf Schulten CFO for a five-year term. He joins from MVV Energie, which operates in the same sector, where he was chief executive. Schulten replaces Christian Holzherr, who left in April 2008 to become finance chief of pharmaceutical retailer Celesio. Since April, EnBW CEO Hans-Peter Villis has been doubling up as CFO.

• Charles Bellringer has been appointed interim CFO of Friends Provident, the U.K. financial services group that is in the midst of implementing a revised business strategy after seeing its share price halve in recent months. Bellringer joins from turnaround specialist AlixPartners, where he has been a director since 2004. Friends Provident has kicked off a search for a permanent CFO, and Bellringer will stay with the company until the right candidate is found. The interim CFO has more than 30 years in finance, including senior roles at Legal & General, GE Capital, Metropolitan Life and Equitable Life.

• Ascom, the Swiss telecoms technology company, has appointed Martin Zwyssig CFO. He succeeds Alberto Romaneschi, who will step down at the end of August to “pursue new career opportunities.” Romaneschi has agreed to stay on, however, to see through the divestments of Ascom’s Toll and Payphones units in the coming months. Zwyssig joins from Hiestand International, the Swiss food group, where he was CFO.

• Jan Kjaervik, acting CFO of Norwegian engineering firm Aker Solutions, has been appointed head of group finance at AP Moller Maersk, the Danish shipping company. Kjaervik replaces Jørgen Engell, who is retiring after 35 years with the group.

• Vsevolod Rozanov, CFO of Russian telecoms operator MTS, has been appointed president and CEO of Shyam Telelink, an Indian subsidiary of MTS’s parent company, Sistema.