GRAPEVINE

Pillow Talk

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Pillow Talk

The folks at Dallas-based Pillowtex Corp. can rest easy, now that Anthony T. Williams is in the house. The new CFO and EVP for the maker of bedding and towels succeeds Jeffrey D. Cordes, who resigned in November. Williams was previously VP of finance for Lucas Varity Plc.

Bernard Jacob has bought into the corporate life at New York­based Consumer Financial Network. The provider of employee benefits, HR, and life planning portal solutions named Jacob EVP and CFO, a new position. Jacob most recently served as SVP, finance and administration, for Liberty Brokerage Investment Corp.

John Considine, 50, is preserving the financial health of Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Becton, Dickinson & Co. He is replacing former CFO Kenneth R. Weisshaar, 50, who left the medical-technology firm in October to “pursue other interests.” Considine was SVP, finance, at American Home Products Corp.

If The Clothes Fit

Wesley S. McDonald is no Abercrombie zombie. The former director of finance and administration at Target Corp. plans to liven things up as the new CFO of Reynoldsburg, Ohio- based Abercrombie & Fitch Co. McDonald replaces Seth Johnson, who was named EVP and COO of the clothing retailer in February.

John A. Haedicke has lost his appetite for Nash Finch Co. finance. The 47-year-old EVP and CFO left the Minneapolis-based food- distribution concern “to pursue other areas of interest.” Nash Finch has not yet named his successor.

Moo’vin On Up

Barbara A. Klein is udderly pleased to be the CFO of Franklin Park, Ill.-based Dean Foods Co. Klein, 46, joins the dairy processor from Ameritech Corp., where she served as VP and corporate comptroller. She replaces William McManaman, who resigned in February.

No one is craftier than Carl A. Texter. That’s why the former CFO of Amoco Fabrics & Fibers Co. was made finance chief at Crown Crafts Inc., in Atlanta. Texter, 44, succeeds David S. Fraser, 61, who resigned from the provider of home-textile furnishings.

Steelin’ The Show

The board at Weirton Steel Corp. admires Mark E. Kaplan’s mettle. The panel recently elected Kaplan, 38, to the job of CFO, empty since 1998, at the Weirton, W. Va.-based steelmaker. He retains his roles of VP and controller.

Everyone’s talking about Paul Suijk. Suijk, 43, has been named SVP and CFO of integrated communications services firm Comdial Corp., in Charlottesville, Va. He most recently served as VP and corporate treasurer at Danka Business Systems Plc. Suijk takes over for Wayne W. Wilver, who has retired.

Divine Providence

Insomuch as the board of Providence-based Inso Corp. can figure, Christopher Burns will make a great VP, treasurer, and CFO. Burns was most recently VP of finance for the software solutions company’s E-business Technologies unit before assuming the new positions.

There’s no reason to outsource the CFO position when Parexel International Corp. has James F. Winschel. The former president of U.B. Vehicle Leasing Inc. inherits the CFO title from William T. Sobo, who departed from the Boston-based pharmaceuticals outsourcing firm in June.

John M. Greeley flew straight into the SVP and CFO positions at software-services concern Phoenix Technologies Ltd. Greeley, 52, was financial and operating chief at Leasing Solutions Inc. before joining the San Jose, Calif.-based firm.

Lucky Town

The former CFO of Alliance Gaming Corp., Scott D. Schweinfurth, is famous for his poker face. Schweinfurth, 46, is the new CFO at Chicago- based gambling concern WMS Industries Inc. He takes over from Jeffrey M. Schroeder, who left “to pursue other interests.”

Stephen Scheppmann, 44, is the new man in charge of Atlanta-based NOVA Corp. He is replacing former CFO Charles Cannada, 41, at the credit- and debit-card processing firm. Scheppmann was SVP and CFO at Albecca Inc., in Norcross, Ga.

Fort Worth­based PawnMart Inc. has a hot new CFO. The pawn concern recently named former Gadzooks Inc. CFO Monty R. Standifer to finance chief, replacing Thomas W. White, 30, who is leaving to pursue another business opportunity.

If You Build It

Richard J. Miller must tower over other CFOs. After all, building communications provider OnSite Access chose Miller as CFO, replacing Ken Hall, who is pursuing other opportunities. Miller was EVP of business development at the New York­based firm.

Gaylord Entertainment Co., a Nashville-based broadcasting, hospitality, and entertainment company, warmly welcomed its new SVP and CFO, 38-year-old Denise Wilder Warren. She replaces Carl Kornmeyer, 47, Gaylord’s EVP for corporate and operational development. He was CFO on an interim basis following the December departure of the previous finance chief.

Stephen H. Foltz, 54, has a new lease on life as CFO of Sunrise, Fla.-based Mortgage.com Inc., a provider of online mortgage-banking services. Foltz, previously SVP of finance at Transamerica Commercial Finance Inc., assumes the note from Edwin D. Johnson, 43, who has been named president and CFO of Able Telcom Holding Corp.

In the wake of former CFO David Beck’s promotion to VP, business strategy and development, Bruce Broussard was named finance chief at casket maker York Group Inc., in Houston. Broussard, 56, was previously controller for the company.

EXECUTIVE DOWNSIZING
Slim Fast.

CEOs and CFOs are usually the architects of cost-cutting measures, not their victims. But at ProxyMed Inc., a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., provider of physician transaction and electronic data exchange systems, CEO John B. Okkerse and CFO Bennett Marks, along with the COO and CMO, were part of a 20 percent workforce reduction plan. The move was part of an effort to shave $8.5 million off SG&A expenses.

In the interim, chairman Harold S. Blue will assume the CEO role and longtime controller Judson Schmid will serve as acting CFO. They will be part of a team that will try to pull ProxyMed out of the mess that started when the market swooned in April. The first quarter had ended well, says Sara Wilkins, VP of investor relations and corporate communication, with ProxyMed topping estimates. “We were very much on track. We had brought in a new CEO [Okkerse] and were moving aggressively into the E-health space, which in late 1999 and early 2000 was a very hot place to be,” she says.

Then the market tanked, which triggered a margin call for ProxyMed’s largest external shareholder, who then flooded the market with ProxyMed shares. ProxyMed’s low stock price gave the holders of $15 million in convertible preferred shares the option to convert their shares to common stock. The company is now hustling to find $20 million in private funding to buy out convertible shareholders and provide working capital. But in order to find investors, ProxyMed had to slim down first.

IPO Man

Richard Mora has some advice for CFOs doing their first IPO: sometimes it’s better to be lucky than smart. Mora, the 53-year-old CFO of Numerical Technologies Inc. (NumeriTech), in San Jose, Calif., should know. During his first IPO 13 years ago as CFO of HHB Systems, the company’s IPO clearinghouse check came through on October 16, 1987–the Friday before Black Monday. “It’s a good thing we didn’t wait another day,” laughs Mora.

Since then, Mora has become one of the rare and sought-after breed of CFO with a string of IPOs under his belt–four in 13 years at last count. Things have gone more smoothly since his first experience. Today, Mora makes going public look like “taking a walk in the park,” says Y.C. (“Buno”) Pati, 36, CEO of NumeriTech, which IPO’d in April.

“I think one of the reasons I have been able to do four IPOs in a row is that after the first one, you get the pick of opportunities out there,” says Mora.

The IPO at NumeriTech “is just an amazing story,” says John Barr, an analyst at Needham & Co., in New York. The company had no CFO until it hired Mora in May 1999. “He made sure all the numbers were in order, put systems into place, and then did an acquisition.” In fact, Transcription Enterprises Inc. was acquired just eight days before Mora filed for an IPO.

Mora’s “IPO master” status is another in a long line of accomplishments–the child of onetime migrant farm workers, and a former professional boxer, Mora passed up a chance to spend his Vietnam service in the ring in order to study electronics at Navy radar school. Then, he spent nine years at Price Waterhouse, where he says he got his IPO acumen.

CORPORATE RAIDERS
Bank one’s talent search.

Citigroup Inc. has become a veritable ATM of executive talent for Jamie Dimon, chairman of Bank One Corp. Last month, Dimon tapped his old friend Charles Scharf, CFO of Citigroup’s corporate and investment bank, to become the new CFO at Bank One. He replaces Robert Roshalt, who resigned May 1. Scharf will see some familiar faces at his new employer: other ex-Citigroup players include Michael Cavanagh, former chief administrative officer at Citigroup’s Salomon Smith Barney Europe division, who joined Bank One in May as SVP of strategy and planning. Also joining Dimon is William Campbell, former co-leader of Citigroup’s global consumer business unit, who consults with Bank One on technology and planning matters.

Dimon says, “Charlie will be more than a CFO; he will be a great part of the whole management team. We’re looking at our business from top to bottom to see how we can do a better job. Charlie will help us accelerate that process.”

It’s no surprise that Dimon raided Citigroup; he was ousted as its president in 1998 after an internal showdown. In March, Dimon joined Chicago-based Bank One, which has seen its stock price plunge in the last year as profits consistently fell shy of analyst estimates.

“Worst Kept Secret” Award

For the past six months, General Motors Corp. has sought a replacement for its CFO, J. Michael Losh, according to recent press reports. But apparently everyone associated with the search has taken a vow of silence. Neither Losh nor incoming CEO G. Richard Wagoner Jr. (a former GM CFO) nor Egon Zehnder International, the firm reportedly conducting the hunt, will comment on the search status. In fact, GM won’t even admit it’s doing one.

“We haven’t confirmed or denied that a CFO search is even taking place,” said a GM spokesman in June. Hmm. Cagey.

If the secret search is in fact taking place, it’s no surprise. Losh is not a favorite with analysts, and is known primarily for keeping them at arm’s length.

“There are reports that he didn’t meet the expectations of Wall Street, and it could be a driving force to look for a successor,” says E. Peter McLean, managing partners in New York for search firm Spencer Stuart.

Topping McLean’s list of CFO candidates are Richard Wallman, CFO of Honeywell Inc.; Thomas W. Sidlik, DaimlerChrysler’s procurement and supply head; Ronald D. Sugar, president/COO of TRW’s Aerospace & IS division; and Deborah Hopkins, Lucent Technologies Inc.’s CFO.

McLean sympathizes with Losh, who continues as CFO while GM finds his replacement. He also guesses that the company may be looking to move Losh into an operating position. “I’m sure he’s pretty capable and astute at dealing with internal politics,” says McLean. “I’m mostly really surprised that GM is being so closemouthed about the whole thing.”

What whole thing?

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