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CFOs on the Move: Week Ending November 21

Virgin Mobile USA, VeraSun Energy, BRE Properties, American Media, Blue Spark Technologies, Strategic Oil & Gas, Frontier Oil, Becton Dickinson, Su...
Gabor Taroczy and Kate PlourdNovember 20, 2008

• Virgin Mobile USA finance chief John Feehan has decided to stay at the company, after he said two months ago that he would depart in mid-November to become the CFO of LifeLock. Virgin Mobile’s CEO said the company was having difficulty finding a replacement with Feehan’s proven “intelligence, sensibilities, and understanding of our unique positioning.” Feehan has been with the company since 2006.

• VeraSun Energy Corp. has terminated its CFO and president, Danny Herron, two weeks after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The ethanol producer’s vice president of finance and chief accounting officer, Bryan Meier, will take on the CFO responsibilities.

• Henry Hirvela, CFO and executive vice president of BRE Properties, has resigned. The San Francisco-based real estate investment trust said the departure was for personal reasons and not because of any disagreement with the company regarding financial or accounting practices. Chief operating officer Edward Lange is returning to the CFO seat, which he held from June 2000 to December 2006.

• American Media chief financial officer Dean Durbin was given the added role of chief operating officer, succeeding John Miller, who resigned at the end of October. Before Durbin came to the publisher of celebrity and fitness magazines he spent seven years at Vertis Communications Inc.

• Blue Spark Technologies has hired Nancy Rubin as CFO. She has served as CFO-in-residence for BioEnterprise and contract CFO at numerous Cleveland-area firms. In addition to finance, she has overseen administrative systems design and implementation, as well as human resource management and recruitment. Previous employers include BestQuote Agency, CBG Inc., OttoSensors Corp., and American Specialty Foods.

• Strategic Oil & Gas Ltd. announced that CFO Gordon Reid is retiring and will be replaced by Jim Screaton, most recently president and CFO of Camton Exploration Inc., a private company operating in Western Canada. Before than he ran finance at Sky Petroleum Inc. and Sentra Resources Corporation, following 25 years in senior accounting and finance roles in the oil and gas industry at Ernst & Young.

• At Frontier Oil Corp., finance chief Mike Jennings has been promoted to president and CEO effective January 1. He will succeed Jim Gibbs, who will retain his role as chairman. Jennings becomes a director of the company immediately.

• Becton, Dickinson and Company has appointed David Elkins as CFO, effective December 1. Elkins, 40, joins BD from AstraZeneca, where he has headed finance for North America since 2006.

•Terence Delaney was named interim CFO for Sunoco, effective Dec. 1. He will succeed Thomas Hofmann, who will retire. Delaney, 52, is vice president of investor relations and planning.

• Retailer Coop Sverige appointed Charlotta Grette as its new finance director. Currently finance chief of Swedish rail operator SJ, she will join the company next year.

• Daryl Paton is the new CFO of Complinet, a compliance solutions specialist for financial services companies. Previously he served as finance chief of several public and private technology companies, including Hemscott, Telco Global, and CMG UK.

• Beazley, a specialist insurance group, announced the appointment of Martin Bride as group finance director. He previously held financial roles at Zurich Financial Services and Aviva. He replaces Andrew Horton, who was promoted to CEO in September.

• Esa Ikäheimonen brought a 20-year career at Shell to a close when he became the CFO of Poyry, a Finnish consulting and engineering firm. He will be relocating from Shell’s office in Lagos, Nigeria, where he was vice president of finance for exploration and production.

• Oerlikon, a Swiss industrial technology group, will welcome Jürg Feider as its new CFO at the start of next year. He joins from chemicals company Ciba, where he was CFO for a year and a half. Oerlikon’s previous finance chief, Jörg Eichkorn, left the company in August.

• British biotechnology company Vernalis announced the appointment of two former Acambis executives, Ian Garland and David Mackney, to CEO and CFO, respectively.

• Investment bank Collins Stewart said that CFO David Lindsay, will leave the firm. His departure comes amidst a company-wide reduction in staff following the appointment of Mark Brown as CEO.