After a grueling six-month search, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has found a replacement for former CFO John Menzer, 48. The retail giant chose former Black & Decker CFO Thomas M. Schoewe, 47, to replace Menzer, who is now head of international operations. Wal-Mart is expected to exceed $165 billion in sales for FY2000, and should soon surpass General Motors Corp. as the largest U.S. corporation.
Rod Jacobs, 59, has taken his last ride on the Wells Fargo & Co. wagon. Jacobs has retired as vice chairman and CFO of the San Francisco based banking concern. Deputy CFO Ross Kari, 41, will take over the position.
Patrick G. Crowley’s future may be golden, but not at Molson Inc. Crowley, 48, has resigned the EVP and CFO posts at the Toronto-based brewery to pursue an opportunity at an undisclosed company. Molson is seeking his successor.
Horton Hears a “Hired”
Thomas W. Horton, 38, will reach new heights as CFO of Fort Worthbased AMR Corp.’s American Airlines unit. Horton, formerly VP, Europe, takes the controls from Gerard J. Arpey, 41, who was promoted to EVP, operations. The decision moves Arpey in line to someday assume the chairman and CEO roles.
The top brass at American Standard Cos. says G. Peter D’Aloia, 55, former VP of business development at Honeywell International Inc., meets their corporate standards. The new SVP and CFO of the Piscataway, N.J.-based manufacturer of plumbing supplies and braking and air-conditioning equipment succeeds George Kerckhove, 61, who will continue to work on special projects.
Leap Of Faith
Len Kuhr, 41, has made the leap from health to hardware. Kuhr was named CFO of Chicago-based TruServ Corp., the largest cooperative of independent hardware retailers, operating more than 7,000 True Value Stores. Kuhr joins TruServ from Cardinal Health, where he was VP and treasurer. He replaces Kerry Kirby, 53, who has retired.
Rider To The Rescue
Neal Rider is dishing out finance at Oklahoma City based Fleming Cos. The 39-year-old finance chief replaces John Standley, 36, who assumed Rite Aid Corp.’s CFO role in December. Rider joins the food wholesaler from Regal Cinemas Inc., where he served as CFO.
American Home Products Corp.’s CFO Robert Blount, 61, is homeward bound. Blount, a 25- year AHP veteran, retired from the Madison, N.J.-based drug company this past February. Kenneth Martin, 45, assumes the empty spot. Martin was previously CFO of AHP’s Wyeth- Ayerst pharmaceuticals unit.
When the phone rang for David Rane, 45, he was the contented CFO of Callaway Golf Co. But on the other end of the line was an offer to join San Diegobased StoreRunner Inc., an online consumer products search service. And soon Rane was riding the dot-com roller coaster.
Many executives like Rane cannot resist the excitement and potential of the Internet. “I make decisions daily that have an impact on the future of the business,” says Rane, who joined StoreRunner in early January. He says the decision to leave his job at Callaway was difficult, but one he wouldn’t change. “I have a family, and children in college, and adding risk and stress to your life is not always the best thing to do,” says Rane. “But this was an opportunity to get involved in what I consider to be the most exciting, dynamic industry in the world today.”
Rane says one of his priorities is managing the burn rate. “Right now, we’re spending more than we’re making, and I have to make sure we manage our need to grow the business within our resources.”
Rane took a pay cut for his new post, but options provide an incentive. Meanwhile, friends look on with envy or horror. “You get two reactions,” says Rane. “One is, ‘That sounds like the most exciting thing in the world.’ The other is, ‘That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.'”
A Title Divides
Deal making has reached record highs this year, and the numbers may be responsible for a growing trend in company titles.
Increasingly, companies are separating the CFO role from the arena of strategy, development, and planning, often creating entirely new job titles. One recent example is that of Exodus Communications Inc.’s former CFO Richard Stoltz, who has assumed the newly created position of senior adviser for strategy and finance. The company says Stoltz will oversee the company’s overall financial growth, hence the word finance in the title. But the new CFO, R. Marshall Case, 41, will manage day-to- day finance activities. Another example is Kroger Co.’s former CFO, W. Rodney McMullen, who was named to the new position of EVP for strategy, planning, and finance.
Expect to see the job split in such industries as biotech, telecom, and pharmaceuticals, which rely on licensing, joint ventures, or acquisitions as the primary sources of growth, says Walter Williams, managing partner of executive search firm TMP Worldwide. That’s because “some companies deem strategy and planning important enough from a strategic growth point of view, particularly when it’s a company that is driven by deals and acquisitions,” he adds.
Peter Crist, vice chairman of executive search firm Korn/Ferry International, says the title split is the result of four things: “pace of business, volume of business, velocity of business, or a CEO who says, ‘I need a point person in that role all the time.'” Watch for this trend to move to other industries in coming months.