Ace Signs a Mr. Fixit to Work with Its CFO

Rick Affolter becomes VP of finance of the hardware chain, reporting to the finance chief who arrived in March in the wake of the restatement refle...
Stephen TaubDecember 4, 2008

Ace Hardware Corp. signed on a new vice president of finance to report to the CFO it named last March, continuing its efforts to shore up the department a year after a restatement due to a huge accounting error.

The hardware cooperative named Rick Affolter as vice president of finance. He will report to Dorvin D. Lively, the former CFO of Maidenform Inc.

Affolter will be responsible for day-to-day operations of Ace’s finance department and will oversee the company’s controller, tax director, and director of financial planning and analysis. He joins Ace from HD Supply Inc., a wholesale distributor of construction and maintenance products, which the Home Depot sold in 2007, and where he served as a director of finance.

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In January, Ace revealed that a mid-level employee in the finance department caused a $152 million accounting discrepancy between general ledger and actual inventory, the Chicago Sun-Times reported at the time. As a result, the cooperatively owned retailer was forced to restate its earnings for fiscal years 2004 through 2006, and correct its numbers for fiscal 2007.

CEO Ray Griffith told the paper at the time that the person who made the error worked at Ace for eight years but was no longer employed there. Ace’s vice president of finance, Ron Knutson, resigned in early December 2007, and other employees were reassigned, according to the paper.