CFOs on the Move: Week Ending January 23

Zale Corp., NeuStar, National Bankshares, Florida, Carter's, TEPPCO, ConAgra, Cabot, Sysco, Cibus, The Cheesecake Factory, Finjan, Veolia Environne...
John Zhu and Kate PlourdJanuary 22, 2009

Zale Corp., after asking CFO Rodney Carter to resign, began a search for what it said would be an aggressive new finance chief with skills suited to the tough economic climate for jewelry retailers like itself.The announcement of the 51-year-old Carter’s resignation came two weeks after Zale reported dismal holiday sales. Carter came to Zale in 2006 from PETCO Animal Supplies Inc., where he also served as CFO.

After more than four years, NeuStar’s CFO and senior vice president Jeffrey A. Babka has quit to become CFO of Sophos Plc, an IT security and data protection company. Babka will leave the CFO role immediately, however, he will stay with NeuStar through the end of March to aid year-end reporting activities. Paul S. Lalljie, the company’s vice president and treasurer has been appointed senior vice president and interim CFO.

David K. Skeens has been appointed treasurer and CFO of the Blacksburg,Virginia-based National Bankshares, Inc. He will continue to serve as senior vice president of operations and risk management at the company’s community bank subsidiary National Bank.

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The state of Florida’s CFO Alex Sink has passed up the opportunity to run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left open by Republican Sen. Mel Martinez next year. Instead Sink will run for re-election as CFO, a position that is considered the second most important state job following governor.

Children and baby clothing retailer Carter’s Inc. has hired Richard F. Westenberger as its CFO and executive vice president. From 2006 until now Westenberger served as vice president of corporate finance and treasurer at Hewitt Associates. Before that he was senior vice president and CFO for the specialty apparel company Land’s End.

William G. Manias has resigned from his position as vice president and CFO of TEPPCO Partners. Tracy E. Ohmart has been named acting CFO.

ConAgra Foods has promoted its CFO Andre J. Hawaux to president of the company’s consumer foods division. Replacing him as CFO is John Gehring, current senior vice president and controller. Hawaux has served as CFO since he joined the company in 2006. He was previously at PepsiCo. Gehring served as interim CFO before Hawaux came to the food company that owns brands such as Chef Boyardee and Egg Beaters.

The global performance materials company Cabot has announced that its CFO Jonathan Mason will leave to become CFO at the dairy products company Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited of New Zealand. Replacing him on February 13 will be Eduardo E. Cordeiro, who currently serves as the company’s controller.

Food producer and manufacturer Sysco has promoted its CFO Bill DeLaney to the position of CEO following current CEO Richard J. Schnieders retirement.  DeLaney, who joined Sysco in 1987 as assistant treasurer, will continue to serve as CFO until a replacement is found.

LaDon Johnson has been named CFO and president of Cibus International. Johnson has previously worked as a consultant at his firm Johnson Consulting in the United States and Belgium. He also previously held the position of CFO and managing director at Advanta, a crop seed company and served as CFO for SeedWorks.

Casual dining restaurant The Cheesecake Factory has named W. Douglas Benn executive vice president and CFO, effective January 19. Benn has spent 20 years in management roles in the restaurant industry. He was most recently EVP and CFO of RARE Hospitality International, which owned The Capital Grille and LongHorn Steakhouse until October 2007 when the restaurants were sold to Darden Restaurants.

Dennis P. Wolf has been appointed CFO and executive vice president of Finjan Inc., a secure web gateway products company. Most recently Wolf served as CFO of MySQL, Inc. He also held senior management roles at Redback Networks, Credence Systems, Centigram Communications and Omnicell.

Jérôme Contamine, finance director of French environmental services group Veolia Environnement, unexpectedly resigned. He is succeeded by Thomas Piquemal, a former banker at Lazard.

German reinsurer Hannover Re announced that its CFO, Elke Koenig, will leave the company on March 31st. Roland Vogel, who has headed Hannover Re’s finance and accounting division since 2001, will be the new CFO.

Co-operative Financial Services CFO Barry Tootell will be the CFO of the combined group formed from the merger of Britannia Building Society and CFS, two of the biggest customer-owned financial services businesses in the UK.

John Allwood, CFO of newspaper publisher Mecom, has resigned along with five other board members. They issued a joint statement that questioned Mecom’s “strategic direction, the effectiveness of executive management and the accountability of the chairman and chief executive to the board.” Henry Davies, the financial controller, is now the acting finance director.

John Allan, CFO of Deutsche Post, announced he will step down on June 30th. The German logistics provider said Allan, who helped to sell Deutsche Postbank to Deutsche Bank last year, will act as a senior advisor to chief executive Frank Appel after he leaves the board. Allan will move to UK retail group DSG International to become chairman after DSGi’s annual shareholder meeting in September.

Norwegian communications company Comrod Communication’s CFO Kjell Ove Hatlem has will resign after publication of the company’s results, scheduled for February. Kari Duestad, currently finance director at subsidiary Comrod AS, will take on the group CFO role.

Dutch electronics company Nedap will appoint Gerard Ezendam as its new CFO. Ezendam will succeed current CFO Willem Badendorp, leaves the company after 20 years.