Tough times call for desperate measures. That why Riverside National Bank of Florida is taking a page from the Wild West, and issuing wanted posters offering a $5,000 reward for a CFO. The reward is actually a referral fee to anyone who provides an introduction to a highly qualified CFO candidate who gets hired.
The stunt seems to be working. So far, the Fort Pierce, Fla.-based company has received information on more than 35 candidates to replace current CFO Rob Henleben, who’s moving to a strategic-planning position.
The unique recruiting idea emerged during a “brainstorming session” between CEO Vernon Smith and SVP of human resources Chip Beaston. “We wanted someone who had been in the industry for a while and wanted to remain in the industry,” says Beaston. “We also wanted someone who had been with a successful bank.” He adds: “It was challenging to find someone with that expertise.”
Shel Hart, the division director for recruiting firm Robert Half International’s management resources unit in Tampa, says a tight labor market and record M&A activity in the banking industry has “left people displaced in the marketplace,” warranting such extraordinary measures. But, he cautions, “the downside is you could end up with an influx of unqualified talent that could take time to sift through.”
So far, that hasn’t been a problem for Riverside. “Of the 35 candidates,” notes Beaston, “most meet the qualifications.” Riverside is offering a salary ranging from $125,000 to $150,000. At press time, while the bank had interviewed a few of the candidates, it had yet to extend an offer. That means the $5,000 is still up for grabs, pardner.
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Richard H. Daniel turned down a hefty retention bonus and salary from the combined Bankers Trust Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, becoming the most senior executive to leave the bank since the $9 billion acquisition by Germany’s largest bank. The former CFO of Bankers Trust stood to receive a $9 million retention bonus and at least $4.5 million in salary and bonus over three years. He was to have a diminished role at the combined bank.
Bedi Ajay Singh landed the EVP and CFO role at Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. He was formerly SVP of strategic planning and deputy CFO at News Corp.’s Fox Filmed Entertainment unit. Singh takes over for Ted Howells, who left the movie and television unit of Sony Corp. to pursue other interests.
The Stanley Works is putting a new tool in its box. James M. Loree was named CFO of the New Britain, Conn.-based tool and hardware maker. He succeeds Theresa Yerkes, who had been acting CFO since mid-1997. She will continue as VP and controller. Loree was VP of finance and strategic planning at GE Capital Corp.’s Auto Financial Services unit.
Richard Anglin is hoping to put a shine on Florsheim Group Inc. The CFO of the Chicago- based footwear manufacturer was appointed to the office of the president, following the resignation of chairman and CEO Charles J. Campbell. Anglin will share the CEO duties with COO L. David Sanguinetti. Earlier this year, a former assistant of Campbell’s filed a lawsuit against Florsheim, claiming she was improperly required to facilitate the CEO’s extra-marital affairs.
Frederick G. Silny won’t have to attend any more breakfast meetings. He resigned as CFO of IHOP Corp. to pursue other interests. Controller Gene A. Scott will assume the CFO duties while the Glendale, Calif.-based franchiser and operator of International House of Pancakes restaurants looks for a new finance chief.
Call him an E-CFO.
Dennis N. Cavender was named to the top finance post at CyberCash Inc., a Reston, Va.- based maker of software for financial transactions on the Internet. He succeeds James J. Condon, who was promoted to president and COO in January.
Paul Saleh will be managing Mickey’s euros. He was named to the newly created position of SVP and CFO of Walt Disney International, Disney’s overseas operation. He was previously SVP and treasurer of the unit.
Thomas E. Larson is ready to boogie down. He was named CFO of Party City Corp., a Rockaway, N.J.-based party-supply retailer. He succeeds David Lauber, who resigned in May after the company ran into financial difficulties.
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How seriously are large media companies taking their Internet strategies? Seriously enough to put a CFO on the job. Time Warner Inc. recently appointed CFO Richard Bressler to chairman and CEO of Time Warner Digital Media, the newly created unit that will oversee the media giant’s Internet and digital-media strategy. “Digital Media is Time Warner’s most important growth area,” said chairman and CEO Gerald M. Levin, in a company release. So far, analysts are supporting the move. “His relationships with key people throughout the organization and his broad overview make him as good a person as any to pull it all together,” says James C. Goss, an analyst at Barrington Research Associates, in Chicago.
Time Warner selected insider Joseph Ripp to replace Bressler as CFO. He was formerly CFO of Time Inc., Time Warner’s publishing unit. At Time, Ripp earned a reputation as a cost cutter and saw the unit through 23 consecutive quarters of year-over-year EBITA increases. “He was selected because, at Time, he was able to get a collection of individual enterprises to work together and share commonalities,” says Goss. Ripp intends to do the same at Time Warner. He plans to focus on finding synergies and joint opportunities throughout the company. “We need to find ways to cross-promote our products, and have a view from the top,” he says. Ripp also points to the opportunities created by the Internet. “It’s an exciting time to be here,” he says.