Troubled Kingdom

Fast-food changes; SEC sweep in the Wild West; falling at the Gap; and more.

Burger King Corp. is not having its way. Not only did the hamburger giant lose its CEO, Dennis Malamatinas, to Priceline.com in August, but now its CFO, Colin Heggie, has sped away from the drive-thru window to become EVP and finance chief at Fitness Holdings Worldwide, in San Francisco.

Burger King spokesperson Kim Miller says Heggie’s departure stems from the fact that the five-year BK veteran was seeking “new challenges.”

Nevertheless, the revolving executive door has taken its toll on the company, a unit of London-based Diageo Plc that operates 11,180 Burger King restaurants worldwide. The recent exits may have thrown a wrench into an initial public offering that the company was hoping to complete sometime next year.

Says Mark Kalinowski, restaurant analyst for Salomon Smith Barney, “Burger King faces some challenges before it can pull off the IPO.” Kalinowski admits that the company not only needs more consistent marketing and better relations with its franchisees, but it should also put a halt to the high management turnover. “BK would definitely perform better with more stability in the office,” he says.

Following Malamatinas’s departure, Diageo called for stronger sales from the Miami-based company, which soon enlisted the help of former Guiness (also part of Diageo) executive Colin Storm, placing him in the interim-CEO position.

The search for a permanent CEO continues, however, and could further delay the IPO. But, says Burger King’s Miller, “The new CEO needs to be able to handpick his CFO.”

A Time to Be CFO

Trent Shute, 45, will be spicing up the CFO office at New York­based mySeasons. Before joining the gardening resource E-commerce site, Shute served as VP, finance, and controller for Danisco-Cultor Ingredients. He replaces Robert H. Thomlinson Jr., who left to join Forbes.com.

  • Former KPMG executive David Odell has proved the perfect solution to the vacant CFO spot at Hyperion Solutions Corp. Odell replaces Mike Sternad, former interim CFO of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based business analysis software firm. Sternad was named chief strategy officer.
  • It must have made cents to the Bank of Montreal, located in Toronto, to appoint Karen Maidment, former CFO of Clarica Life Insurance Co., to the CFO position. Maidment, 42, replaces Robert Wells as finance chief. Wells will continue as EVP.

No Reservations

Mel Robinson, 45, is checking in at Hotel Reservations Network Inc., headquartered in Dallas. Robinson succeeds the resigning Jack Rubin at the online provider of discount hotel accommodations. Before joining Hotel, Robinson was SVP at Travel Services International Inc.

  • Former Arthur Andersen partner Patrick McCormick went looking for a new space to fill. And the 22-year Andersen veteran found it. McCormick will take charge of the finance department at Planet Exchange, a new position at the open Internet communications platform provider based in King of Prussia, Pa.

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