RR Donnelley & Sons Co., the Chicago-based commercial printing outfit, named Glenn Richter, the current CFO of Sears, Roebuck and Co, as its new finance chief and executive vice president and CFO, effective April 1.
As a result of the move, Sears may be faced with dealing with new merger talks without its CFO. The Wall Street Journal reported that other suitors might be eyeing Sears in the month before it closes its consolidation with Kmart Holdings Corp. One possible buyer is Vornado Realty Trust, which owns 4 percent of Sears’s shares, noted the Journal.
Richter reportedly played a pivotal role in the Sears’s merger with Kmart. The deal, which is expected to be voted on by shareholders on March 24, will fold Sears into Kmart Holding Corp.
Richter will replace Kevin Smith, RR Donnelley’s current CFO, who will remain in his post until the end of the company’s first quarter, on March 31.
In the announcement revealing Richter’s appointment, Donnelley chief executive officer Mark Angelson confirmed that the company would meet or exceed its previously announced earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and full year of 2004. The company also reaffirmed its guidance for 2005. More details will be available during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call, slated for March 1.
In December, RR Donnelley predicted fourth-quarter and fiscal year operating profit from continuing operations of 57 cents and $1.61 per share, respectively, according to the Associated Press. Fiscal 2005 earnings are forecast to rise to $1.95 per share, if a $200 million share repurchase is completed by year’s end.
Angelson thanked Smith for his contributions, citing his efforts to implement internal procedures in compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the merger and integration of Moore Wallace, a printing company, in 2004.
Richter has been a Sears executive since 1998, where he was controller, vice president of finance, and chairman of Sears Canada. Before joining Sears, Richter held several of senior financial posts, including CFO of Dade Behring Holdings, Inc., a NASDAQ traded company. He also held various finance roles at PepsiCo Inc., and, early in his career, served as a McKinsey & Co. consultant.