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VeriFone Secures Interim CFO, Restates

E-payment security firm, in the throes of correcting problems found in an audit-committee probe, names Tatum veteran Clinton Knowles.
Stephen TaubAugust 20, 2008

VeriFone Holdings Inc. appointed Clinton Knowles as its interim chief financial officer, the same day it filed its long-awaited restatements to correct certain accounting errors in its financial results.

Knowles succeeds Barry Zwarenstein, , who resigned as CFO earlier this year, after an audit committee investigation into inventory accounting errors that forced the company to plan for a restatement of prior periods. The company provides technology designed to make electronic payment transactions more secure.

“Clinton’s 35 years of finance experience will be helpful during this transition period following completion of our restatement,” said VeriFone CEO Douglas Bergeron, adding that the company executives are “in the final stages of our permanent CFO search and hope to make that announcement shortly.”

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Knowles is a partner with Tatum LLC, an executive services firm that provides CFOs on an interim basis. He previously served as chief financial officer, controller, and treasurer for a variety of companies in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, technology, mining, and food processing industries, in the U.S. and internationally. Among his duty stations have been Oracle’s Americas Support Services Group, Covey Leadership Center, and Totes Inc.

VeriFone Tuesday filed its amended and restated reports for the first three quarters of 2007 and the first two quarters of fiscal 2008.

Last December it said that its quarterly reports for the first three periods of fiscal 2007 should no longer be relied upon, principally due to errors in accounting related to the valuation of in-transit inventory and allocation of manufacturing and distribution overhead to inventory, each of which affects VeriFone’s reported costs of net revenues.

It added that the errors caused the company to overstate previously reported inventories “in material amounts” and to similarly understate cost of net revenues for the 2007 quarters ended Jan.31, April 30, and July 31. The restatements reduced 2007 earnings by a total of $70 million.

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