Tougher Than The Rest
Can the new CFO of auto-parts maker Federal- Mogul Corp., G. Michael Lynch, get the company running smoothly again? The Southfield, Mich.- based company has had a rough ride since last September, when it first announced that earnings would fail to meet analyst expectations.
The company’s Wall Street woes stem from the 1998 acquisitions of a trio of parts makers– T&N Plc, Cooper Automotive, and Fel-Pro Inc.– designed to broaden Federal-Mogul’s product offerings. But integrating those companies — each almost as large as Federal-Mogul itself– turned out to be tougher than anyone expected.
To make matters worse, the aftermarket business–parts sold for repairs and maintenance rather than to automakers –turned soft right when Federal-Mogul could least afford it. Fortunately, Lynch knows his way around a car-parts company. Prior to his 31/2 years as VP and controller at Dow Chemical, he was at Ford Motor Co. for 29 years, the last 3 spent integrating three parts-making divisions into the unit that became Visteon. “I got to see the business from a supplier standpoint, and I was also integrating three divisions,” says Lynch. “That was one set of experiences that is very relevant [to Federal-Mogul.]”
Equity analyst Charles Brady of Credit Lyonnais Securities Inc. adds that if anyone has the experience to look under the hood and figure out what’s not working at Federal- Mogul, it’s Lynch. “Ford is particularly meticulous in its handling of financial affairs,” explains Brady. “You couldn’t survive 29 years at Ford without learning finance by osmosis, if not by desire. This guys knows how to do the job financially.”
Charles R. Tutterow, 34, has woven himself into the corporate fabric at Greenville, S.C.- based JPS Industries Inc. The textile concern hired Tutterow as EVP and CFO from Optical Resources Group Inc., where he served as SVP and head of finance. He fills a vacancy left by John Sanders, who departed in November.
John C. Angelella, 38, will iron out any finance wrinkles he can find at Speizman Industries Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. The former VP of finance and corporate controller of Esavio is succeeding James H. McCorkle III as VP of finance, secretary, treasurer, and CFO of the textile and industrial-laundry-equipment distributor. McCorkle left “to pursue other interests.”
Dade Behring Inc.’s former SVP of business development, Nelson Chai, is plugging in as CFO at electronic communications network Archipelago Inc. This is a new position at the Chicago-based company.
The spotlight’s on Kevin Hylton, who recently became CFO of media and entertainment firm The Ackerley Group. Hylton last served as director of finance for Nordstrom, Inc. He is replacing Denis Curley, who was named co-president and COO as part of a company restructuring.
CEC Entertainment Inc. is where a CFO can be a CFO, especially if you’re Rodney Carter. Carter, 42, was appointed CFO of the Irving, Tex.-based owner of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. He was previously CFO of J.C. Penney Credit. Carter assumes responsibilities left behind by Larry Page, who is relocating to California.
Garry K. McGuire is entering the telecom world as the new CFO of Avaya, the planned fourth- quarter spin-off of Lucent Technologies Inc.’s Enterprise Networks Group. McGuire previously served as president and CEO of Williams Communications Solutions LLC.
The Right Makeup
Richard W. Kunes is putting on his best face for Estée Lauder Cos., where he has been promoted from VP of financial administration and corporate controller to SVP and CFO. Robert J. Bigler, the New Yorkbased cosmetics concern’s last finance chief, is retiring at the end of the year.
May The Force Be With You
Comforce Corp., staff thyself. The Woodbury, N.Y.-based staffing, consulting, financial, and outsourcing services firm was forced to find a new CFO, after the departure of Robert Baldwin, and chose current EVP Harry V. Maccarrone, 52, as his replacement. Baldwin has positioned himself at Heartland Payment Systems, in Princeton, N.J.
There seems to be a revolving door at women’s Web sites these days. Most recently, Women.com Networks Inc. CFO Michael Perry left the top finance spot to become head of finance at a private business-to-business Internet start- up. A search for his successor is under way.
So Long, Salon.
Imagine his alarm last June as Todd Hagen, 41, then CFO of Salon.com, watched the stock of the online magazine drop to 11/16. Not good news for the finance exec, whose compensation included 75,000 options at a strike price of $2.92 per share, according to Salon.com’s 1999 proxy statement.
But Hagen’s disappointment was tempered by a call from San Francisco based AlarmX.com, a new B2B exchange for the security-alarm industry, asking him to sign on as CEO. “Part of the reason [I left] Salon,” he says, “is that I’ve spent most of my career looking at business models, and [AlarmX.com’s] just hit me over the head.” Hagen says other factors in his decision to dot-com hop were the lure of the CEO title after 15 years as a CFO, and the challenge of growing a new company.
Meanwhile, analysts predict that Salon will have trouble raising additional cash once the $18 million from its March 1999 IPO dries up. “Salon is definitely in a difficult position,” says Greg Kyle of Pegasus Research International, a New Yorkbased research firm. Somehow, Hagen was able to leave the ailing company without burning bridges. “CEO Michael Donnelly’s first reaction was to shake my hand and say, ‘Congratulations,'” says Hagen.
No Grave Misgivings
Salvatore A. Bucci is eternally optimistic about his new role as CFO of troubled HeavenlyDoor.com Inc., a Web site that provides funeral-planning information and online obituaries. “Most companies I have been involved with were in a period of difficulty when I joined them. I believe that I can make a difference.”
Despite his positive attitude, Bucci’s road to death’s door was mighty rocky. He left Merrill Lynch & Co. in the late 1980s to join First National Realty Associates Inc., which dissolved in 1992 following an SEC investigation of stock manipulation by its majority shareholders. Several years later, he found himself CFO of DeGeorge Financial Corp., now seeking reorganization under Chapter 11.
But hope springs eternal. Bucci, 45, says he never lost his “zest for a challenge.” Which is good, since he faces a big one at HeavenlyDoor, formerly Procept Inc. The company’s stock traded below $1 in July, and its first-quarter revenues were 40 percent below the same period last year. Since its 1985 inception, it has yet to generate product- sale revenues or profits, and bears a $76.8 million deficit, according to its annual report. However, Bucci, who owns 1 percent of the company in options, is sanguine. “We’re at ground zero here,” he says. “But we have a business plan that loses its parentheses in the not-too-distant future.”
Funeral-financing mechanisms, fees from partners’ sites, and display ads are HeavenlyDoor’s main source of potential revenue. One advertiser, Spaceburial.com, lets you launch your loved one’s cremated remains into space for $5,300 and up.
One Step Up
J. Daniel Garrett, 42, has already formed an alloy with the folks at Birmingham Steel Corp. Maybe that’s why the Birmingham, Ala.-based mini-mill steel concern added CFO to Garrett’s current role of VP, finance. He succeeds Kevin E. Walsh, who resigned in March.
John Watson slid into the top office at Chevron Corp. Watson, 43, is replacing Marty Klitten as CFO. Klitten and Chevron Chemical Co. president Darry Callahan are splitting duties left behind by James N. Sullivan, Chevron’s former corporate vice chairman, who retired from the San Franciscobased oil firm.
Dallas-based Unocal Corp. has a new CFO, appropriately named Terry G. Dallas. The 49- year-old former SVP and treasurer at Atlantic Richfield Corp. takes over for Timothy H. Ling, who remains EVP of Unocal’s North American energy operations.
It’s no baloney! James M. Beltrame is the new CFO of Nashville-based Shoney’s Inc. The 57- year-old ex-president and CEO of Successories Inc. succeeds Howard Sachs, who was acting CFO at the parent company of Shoney’s Restaurants and Captain D’s Seafood Restaurants for two years.
It appears W. Donald Pennington has bolted from Nautica Enterprises Inc. Pennington recently resigned the CFO position at the New Yorkbased apparel maker “to pursue other opportunities.” SVP of administration Wayne Marino will be assuming the CFO responsibilities.
The Count Of Blount
We’re all rooting for Rodney Blankenship. The 51-year-old VP and controller was named SVP and CFO of Blount International Inc., a maker of tree-harvesting machinery and other products. Blankenship’s predecessor, Harold Layman, became president and COO of the Montgomery, Ala.-based company.
Michael D. Newman’s face bears a broad smile. Newman, 43, is the new CFO of Intimate Brands Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based retailer, operating both the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works chains. The former VP and CFO at Hussman International Inc. replaces Philip E. Mallot, who retired in March.
Dale A. Schnittjer, Teledyne Technologies Inc.’s corporate controller, had an impulse to act as CFO. Schnittjer succeeds Stefan Reisenfeld on an interim basis at the Los Angelesbased electronics company. Riesenfeld resigned to pursue another job option.
Cincinnati-based Cinergy Corp. must have seen a certain spark in Charles J. Winger, 54. That’s why the electric and gas utility holding concern chose Winger as its new chief of finance. Former CFO Madeleine Ludlow has been named finance chief at Cadence Network Inc.
Just a year ago, she was a leader in the Internet revolution. And now she has disappeared from E-earth. We’re talking about Joy Covey, 36, the work-hard, play-hard former CFO of Amazon.com Inc.
Covey joined Amazon in its prehistoric days, 1996, and was CFO before taking a new job as VP of strategy about 15 months ago. She mesmerized analysts, helping convince the Street that short-term profitability would deny the company long-term growth potential. Asked once by an analyst if there was anything Amazon wouldn’t sell over the Internet, she deadpanned, “Cement.” Those were the heady days of the ‘Net, when companies like Amazon could get away with refusing to say when they would be out of the red. Now the world’s leading E-tailer is getting sharply criticized for its poor inventory management.
But that doesn’t concern Covey anymore. A spokesperson says Covey took a leave of absence, and when she returned in April, she decided to leave the company. Amazon made no public announcements of her departure– a little surprising, considering her high profile.
But fear not for Covey. A year ago, her Amazon holdings hit about $125 million. Even with Amazon trading about one-third off its peak, Covey’s still sitting pretty. Last November, she exercised 100,000 shares that would have yielded more than $7 million.