When Ray Santiago was location production manager at KPIX, a Westinghouse TV station, back in the late 1980s, he was in charge of provisioning a TV crew that was filming in Yosemite National Park. Since the shoot was in the middle of nowhere, the only way to get supplies to the crew was on mule-back. “I logged everything … and I kept all the receipts,” says Santiago. And, when the company controller came a-knockin’, the former newsman was prepared. “When I saw him coming down the hall, I was ready to explain everything, but he just looked at me and said, ‘Ray, I was looking at your expense report, and I have only one question right here under mules,'” says Santiago, recalling the heart-pounding incident. “He said, ‘Ray, mules are not equipment. They’re transportation.'”
That story won Santiago second place in Freeworks.com Inc.’s “Laughing at your Expense” contest, which garnered more than 200 entries. Freeworks, a Mountain View, Calif.- based provider of administration and financial applications for small businesses, used the contest as a marketing tool to attract people to its Web site. Freeworks asked its subscribers (U.S. only) to send in their funniest expense- report experiences, to be judged by a panel of Freeworks employees and Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic strip “Dilbert.” The winner got an all-expense- paid vacation to San Francisco and dinner with Adams.
The grand prize went to Dan Wolff, who expensed a voodoo doll used to exact revenge on a nasty analyst. Freeworks VP of marketing Tapan Bhat says that Wolff’s story was crazy, but he’s seen crazier, including a man who expensed his “social entertainer” as an “interpreter.”
Gregory A. Stoklosa, 45, made the grade. Paper giant R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co. announced the former VP, corporate controller, and acting CFO’s permanent appointment to the EVP and CFO positions. Virginia L. Seggerman, 40, is replacing Stoklosa in the VP and corporate controller positions.
Talk about your oxymorons! York, Pa.based P.H. Glatfelter Co. actually has a Newcomer leaving the CFO and EVP positions. Robert P. Newcomer, 52, has renounced the titles in order to head up the company’s strategic reorganization. Replacing Newcomer at the manufacturer of specialty papers, such as stamps and teabags, is VP of finance C. Matthew Smith.
Lawrence E. Hyatt netted himself the role of CFO at Ashburn, Va.-based PSINet. Hyatt joins the Internet service provider from Host Marriott Services, where he served as SVP and CFO. Hyatt succeeds Edward Postal, who became EVP and CFO of Cidera Inc.
Shoot For The Moon
Garrett E. Pierce is out of this world. That’s why Orbital Sciences Corp. appointed 55-year- old Pierce as CFO of the satellite-technology and global-positioning-systems provider. He succeeds Jeffrey Pirone, 40, who has resigned, but remains as a consultant.
International Game Technology, which operates out of Reno, Nev., is betting that G. Thomas Baker, 59, will fill the CFO slot with ease. Baker, president and COO of IGT, will take on the duties of 40-year-old Maureen Mullarkey at the manufacturer of slot and video-game machines. Mullarkey is heading up finance at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Zoho Corp.
Stephen Lanza, 41, has some new tricks for Neomagic Corp., based in Santa Clara, Calif. The magnificent Mr. Lanza has been named VP of finance and CFO for the embedded-memory and logic- technology firm. He succeeds Douglas Gans, who has been interim CFO since March. Lanza was previously CFO and VP of finance at PolyStor Corp.
Ad It Up
In its campaign to replace former CFO Michael Dolan, 53, who became Young & Rubicam Inc.’s president and COO in May, the firm has elected 42-year-old Jacques Tortoroli. Tortoroli was previously SVP, finance, at the New York based advertising/marketing firm.
Serving as CFO might have been too much excitement for Kenneth A. Goldman, who is retiring from Excite@Home, after four years with the broadband online services provider. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has selected former Hughes Electronics Corp. VP and treasurer Mark A. McEachen to serve as EVP and CFO.
Vail Banks Inc. is ready to show Peter G. Williston the money. Williston, 44, was named senior EVP and CFO, a new position at the Vail, Colo.-based banking concern. Prior to joining Vail, Williston served as a regional manager for Union Planters Corp.
CFOs AT THE TOP
What a way to get a promotion. As soon as his boss, Dick Cheney, was named George W. Bush’s Vice Presidential running mate, David J. Lesar, 47, moved into the chairman and CEO spot at Halliburton Co., a leading oilfield- services provider. Lesar joined the company in 1993 as its CFO, and has since moved through the roles of division CEO and, most recently, president and COO.
Analysts don’t expect the change to have much impact on the company’s outlook or strategy. “Dave has really been running the company for the past few years, so I think this is going to be a pretty seamless change,” says Kevin Simpson, oil services analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York. Lesar has been on top of the “nuts and bolts of running the business” for the past three years, Simpson adds, and Cheney has taken a more strategic role with customers.
Lesar is widely credited with shifting the company’s focus away from pure market-share mining during his tenure, says Poe Fratt, oilfield services research analyst at A.G. Edwards Inc. Fratt says Lesar’s instant appointment upon Cheney’s somewhat surprising resignation shows the board’s confidence in Lesar. “I think it was a no-brainer,” he asserts.
Delta Means Change
For the second time in less than a year, Delta Air Lines Inc. has lost a CFO to the siren song of E-commerce. Edward H. West, 34, the airline’s whiz kid, left to become CFO of Internet Capital Group Inc., a holding company with dozens of E-commerce companies in its stable, along with 20 software and services firms.
“The Internet has created a renaissance in business,” West says, “and the opportunity to help establish not just one firm, but many, is what attracted me to this position.”
West’s departure was announced last month, just 11 months after he succeeded Warren C. Jenson, who left Delta in September 1999 to join Amazon.com. West was with Delta for six years, serving as SVP of strategy and business development before ascending to the CFO post. At Delta, he played a key role in the airline’s partnership with Priceline.com Inc., which helped move Delta into E-commerce (airline tickets are one of the top sellers on Priceline.com), and also led to an $800 million windfall when Delta converted its stock holdings in the dot-com to cash.
Tapped to replace West at Delta is Michele Burns, treasurer and SVP of finance. She joined the airline less than two years ago, but in her short tenure has led a team that established several E-commerce partnerships.
Does Delta really want another E-minded CFO? Says Burns, “Any CEO today is wise to have a CFO who has a passion for the New Economy and the technology that drives it.” Burns says she’ll spend 25 to 30 percent of her time on E- commerce issues, but as a native Georgian, plans to be with Atlanta-based Delta “for some time to come.”
Can’t Beat The Feeling
Judith A. Sprieser, former EVP in charge of E- commerce at Sara Lee Corp., is taking another giant bite out of the food industry. Sprieser will be CEO at Transora, a new Internet cooperative of large food and packaged-goods companies, including Coca-Cola Co. and the Nestlé SA unit of Nestlé Holdings Inc.
Who’s the new Tommy Boy? It’s Joel H. Newman. The apparel design house, headquartered in Hong Kong, appointed Newman chief financial and administrative officer, succeeding Benjamin Ng, who is leaving to pursue opportunities in broadband and new media. Newman previously served as EVP of finance.
Forbes.com Inc. has a new subscriber. The New Yorkbased Internet/media firm chose Robert H. Tomlinson Jr. as CFO, replacing Tom Vanderslice, who left in April. Tomlinson was formerly CFO at MySeasons.com, an online gardening Web site.
Oneida, N.Y.-based Oneida Ltd. brought a deal to the table for Gregg R. Denny. The 43-year- old former VP of purchasing was moved into the CFO position, which has been vacant for more than two years.
Barry J. Goldstein won’t be taking any more work home from the office. Goldstein, 57, has announced plans to retire from Office Depot Inc., based in Delray Beach, Fla., as soon as the office-products firm has chosen his successor.
John Harbottle is proud as a peacock. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Interact Commerce Corp. plucked the former EVP, finance, and CFO out of NBC Internet Inc. and placed him in the EVP, finance, and CFO roles at the provider of interactive selling solutions. He replaces Gary Acord, who has joined San Francisco based iVelocity.
Mix It Up
K-Tel International Inc. has added A. Merrill Ayers to its corporate hit mix. Ayers, a former SVP and CFO of Sparta Foods Inc., was named VP, finance, and CFO at the entertainment and consumer products company. Ayers replaces Steve Kahn, who is pursuing another business opportunity.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Dial Corp. isn’t cleaning up these days. The firm has announced the resignations of chairman and CEO Malcolm Jozoff and EVP and CFO Susan Riley. The departures followed news that quarterly earnings will, for the third time in a row, fall below analysts’ estimates. Controller Jack Tierney was named acting CFO.
Glenn Gibson is CFO to the Max! Gibson, 41, replaces John Maduri, 38, who left the CFO position at Toronto-based Maxxcom Inc. Gibson was SVP, finance, and CFO of Queensway Financial Holdings Ltd. before joining the marketing communications company.
On July 6, seven years after $130 million in accounting misstatements sent The Leslie Fay Cos. into bankruptcy, former CFO Paul F. Polishan was convicted of 18 of 21 charges for his role in the fraud at the Hanover, Pa.- based clothing company.
Polishan, who will be sentenced October 23, faces a statutory maximum of 115 years, says David M. Barasch, the U.S. Attorney who oversaw the case. “We will recommend that he receive a substantial period of incarceration,” says Barasch.
“We are very pleased with this verdict,” he adds. “It will cause a lot of people to think a second and third time before they become involved in the willful manipulation of books of publicly traded companies.”
Polishan, 54, has five adult children. His son, Timothy Polishan, acted as his codefense counsel. “The family is deeply disappointed by the verdict,” says Michael G. Berger, his attorney.
This conviction underscores the government’s push to aggressively prosecute financial fraud. “There was no evidence that Polishan was stealing funds directly from the coffers,” says Barasch. “However, there was evidence … that he stood to gain directly from the inflated earnings statement.” In 1993, Polishan’s bonus plan earned him 0.31 percent of corporate profits over $16 million.