The newest man in charge at American Express Co. is former Monsanto Co. CFO Gary Crittenden. Crittenden replaces the retiring Richard Goeltz as finance chief at the New York based financial- and travel-related- services firm.
High-class finance is George Mileusnic’s specialty. Mileusnic, 45, has been named EVP and CFO at Dean & DeLuca Inc., new positions at the provider of food, wine, and kitchenware. Mileusnic joins the New Yorkbased firm from Coleman Co., where he served in the same capacity.
Word has leaked out that former Praxair CFO John Clerico will be heading up MetFabCity Inc., an Internet company started by Praxair that deals with metal fabrication. James Sawyer, VP and treasurer, was named interim CFO of the supplier of industrial gases based in Danbury, Conn.
Ready To Wear
Dirk A. Montgomery has made a speedy transition from Focus 2000 Initiative Executive at Sara Lee Corp. to VP and CFO of Express, a division of The Limited Inc. This is a new position at the Columbus, Ohio-based clothing concern.
Building-materials company Owens Corning has an addition for its corporate office. The Toledo-based firm recently announced the appointment of Michael Thaman to the CFO position. Thaman was formerly VP of New York based Mercer Management Consulting. He succeeds Thurston Roach, who resigned to “pursue personal opportunities.”
Dave Thomas is searching for a CFO who meets with daughter Wendy’s approval. Dublin, Ohio- based Wendy’s International Inc. has hired a search firm to fill the CFO post vacated by Frederick R. Reed. Reed, 51, retired in April from the third- largest hamburger chain in the world.
Dean C. Hallett, 41, must be accustomed to the magic of Disney. The former SVP of planning and control at Walt Disney Co.’s Walt Disney Studios unit has been made the unit’s SVP and CFO. The 10-year Disney veteran replaces Rob Moore, who left the Burbank, Calif.-based entertainment concern to pursue other opportunities.
The Paper Boy
Who’s more newsworthy than Liam J. Carlos? No one, it seems! Carlos was named CFO at the New York Times, the newspaper division of The New York Times Co. The 47-year-old former assistant controller assumes the responsibilities of Jim Terrill, who will retire this month.
Craig Monaghan is the latest CFO to bid farewell to iVillage Inc. Monaghan, 43, resigned from the women’s Web-site maker to become CFO at auto retailer AutoNation Inc. Scott Levine, iVillage VP, controller, and chief accounting officer, will serve as interim CFO.
Patrick R. Bennett, the former CFO of Bennett Funding Group Inc., of Syracuse, N.Y., was sentenced to 30 years in prison on April 28 for his role in a 6-year Ponzi scheme that law- enforcement officials say was one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history.
From 199096, Bennett’s firm secured loans and sold securities backed by equipment leases that either didn’t exist or had been sold to multiple investors. The firm filed for bankruptcy the same day Bennett was arrested in 1996 with at least $600 million still owed to more than 10,000 investors.
Although Bennett was convicted on 42 of 53 counts, Bennett’s lawyer, Michael D. Pinnisi, says the ex-CFO should have been sentenced to no more than 6 years, calling the 30-year sentence “unlawful and unconscionable.”
But many were pleased with the stiff sentence. “It was a good signal to these poor victims … that the justice system does work,” says the creditors’ attorney, Daniel M. Stolz, of Wasserman, Jurista & Stolz, in Millburn, N.J. Stolz expects to recover at least 20 cents on the dollar for most investors.
Scott Magargee, an attorney at Cozen and O’Connor, in Philadelphia, says the sentence illustrates a trend toward aggressive prosecution of economic crimes. “It was extreme,” he says, “but given today’s climate, I don’t find it particularly surprising. It should send a clear message to people in positions of financial responsibility that they risk personal, criminal, and civil responsibility for their actions.”
Deborah Hopkins, whose appointment as Boeing Co. CFO was one of the more talked-about corporate hires of 1998 (see “Fearless in Seattle,” CFO, April 1999), created an even greater stir in April by jumping to Lucent Technologies Inc. after just 18 months.
Hopkins, 45, said “the passion and velocity of a high-tech company” lured her to Lucent as EVP and CFO–a spot that opened suddenly when Lucent CFO Donald Petersen was named CEO of Enterprise Networks Group, which Lucent plans to spin off this year.
Some analysts think Lucent gives Hopkins a better shot at her long-expressed goal of becoming a CEO, a job held at Lucent by 53- year-old Rich McGinn. It was a comment in an early interview about her interest in the Boeing CEO job that led some in Seattle to think she was too bold. Still, Hopkins was praised for introducing value-measurement programs, marking low- value units for disposal, and boosting Boeing’s services side.
Replacing Hopkins at Boeing is Michael Sears, the 52-year-old chief of Boeing’s military- aircraft business. When asked to describe his finance experience, Sears said, “It’s zero.”
Boeing CEO Phil Condit says Hopkins assembled such a “world-class financial team” that he could pick a new CFO “without a deep financial background,” but with a keen strategic eye. When asked about his interest in the CEO job, Sears gave the same answer that Hopkins gave a few months ago: “Who wouldn’t want to be at the top of the Boeing Co.?” Condit says that’s just the answer he wants from a CFO.