Paradise Lost at Children’s Place

Richard Paradise, that is, who will leave the CFO post at the store chain for another opportunity.
Stephen TaubJuly 30, 2008

The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. 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 that he would 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.

In a statement, she said: “Rich has been instrumental in helping us reduce the size of our shared services workforce to ensure that we will continue to be a highly competitive value retailer. With those actions largely behind us, Rich has decided this is an opportune time for him to explore another opportunity outside the company.”

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Paradise joined the company in November 2007 as senior vice president, finance, and was named CFO and principal accounting officer effective Dec. 6 of that year, after the company’s becoming current in all of its SEC filings, the company said at the time.

He previously had more than 20 years of finance experience, serving as vice president and CFO at American Standard Companies Inc.’s Bath & Kitchen division, and before that as corporate vice president and controller. Previously, he held a number of senior financial positions with AlliedSignal Inc. (now Honeywell International Inc.) He began his career as an auditor with Price Waterhouse.

Late last year, the company completed a restatement of its results to make changes to its stock option granting practices. It also finally became current with its regulatory filings.

Last month, Children’s Place said it was in full compliance with all Nasdaq listing requirements. Now, its largest shareholder, board member and former CEO Ezra Dabah, is pressuring the company to put itself up for sale. He reportedly is mulling making a $24-a-share offer himself for the entire company.

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