Mackie Is Gone
Robert G. Scott, CFO of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter since 1997, has popped to the top amidst a recent management upheaval at the investment bank. The firm, which dropped the “Dean Witter” from its name in January, announced that Scott will take over the role of president from longtime colleague John Mack, who is resigning at the end of March. Chairman and CEO Philip Purcell, who was at Dean Witter before the merger, will retain his title and assume charge of the key institutional securities group that Mack had directed.
Analysts had mixed feelings about Mack’s resignation, which followed a well-publicized tussle with Purcell over the future leadership of the company, which Mack apparently lost. The resignation comes on the heels of some major leadership turnover in the institutional securities group, the retirement of veteran executive Peter Karches last fall, and two consecutive disappointing earnings announcements.
“I’m very disappointed that John Mack is gone, but given that he is, Bob’s probably exactly the right person,” says Mark Constant, an analyst with Lehman Brothers. “The question is how all these departures, and possible future departures, will impact the franchise strength over the intermediate and long term.”
Morgan Stanley’s chief strategic administrative officer, Stephen S. Crawford, will fill Scott’s CFO spot, the announcement said. Scott was unavailable for comment. Shares dipped slightly following the announcement of Mack’s resignation, but surpassed preannouncement levels in the following weeks.
HE’S A LOANER
Jack Remondi is collecting for USA Education Inc. The former SVP of finance at USA has been named EVP and CFO of the top provider of student loans. The position has been vacant since last year’s merger with Sallie Mae.
Judith Boynton, 49, is no longer in the picture at Cambridge, Mass.-based Polaroid Corp. The former CFO resigned in order to pursue “broader career opportunities.” The announcement came one day before the company reported a fourth-quarter loss. Carl L. Lueders, now serving as treasurer and VP, becomes interim CFO.
Chiquita Brands International Inc. peeled James B. Riley out of the CFO spot at turbine manufacturer Elliott Co. Riley, 49, was named finance chief for Chiquita, replacing Warren Ligan, who left the Cincinnati-based company last year.
HEAD OF THE CLASS
Randall S. Livingston is college- bound. Livingston was CFO of OpenTV Corp. before joining Stanford University as CFO and VP of business affairs. He replaces Mariann Byerwalter, who–after serving for five years at Stanford–has decided to return to the private sector.
Basil Anderson, 53, thinks retirement sounds mmm- mmm good. The CFO of Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. retires effective April 30. He plans to pursue opportunities for “personal growth and development.” His successor has not yet been named.
In other retirement news, The Spiegel Group announced the departure of its CFO, James W. Sievers. Jim Cannataro, EVP and CFO of Spiegel division Eddie Bauer, will replace Sievers at the Downers Grove, Ill.- based clothing retailer.
TWO THUMBS UP
Zagat Survey LLC gives Steven C. DeLorenzo rave reviews. The New Yorkbased provider of consumer surveybased information has chosen him as CFO, a newly created position. DeLorenzo comes to Zagat from Pseudo Programs Inc., where he was SVP and CFO.
William Alldredge has bounced into the CFO position at Newell Rubbermaid Inc., headquartered in Freeport, Ill. Alldredge previously served as VP of finance at the household-products maker. He replaces Dale Matschullat, who was named general counsel for Newell.
Finally, CFO is sad to report the death of RadioShack Corp. CFO Dwain Hughes. Hughes, 53, a 22-year veteran of the electronics retailer, died at his home in Fort Worth on January 30 after a brief illness. VP of finance Loren Jensen will serve as acting CFO.
It’s a long distance between Denver, Colo., and Basking Ridge, N.J., but Oscar Munoz found it worth the trek to become CFO of AT&T Corp.’s consumer division. Munoz, formerly SVP of finance and administration at Denver-based Qwest Communications, joins in time to help manage AT&T’s split into three companies, and the subsequent issuance of a tracking stock for the consumer division. Despite widespread criticism of the company’s plans, and a 13.2 percent drop in the unit’s revenue last year, Munoz, 41, says he saw a growth opportunity. “We’ve got incredible brand strength, lots of customers, and lots of cash,” he says. “I’m not here to stem the tide of long- distance decline. That’s a macroeconomic thing.” Instead, he’ll continue initiatives like bundling long-distance service with advertiser-subsidized Internet service.
Critics hate the tracking-stock idea, largely because such stocks are traditionally poor performers. AT&T Wireless tracking stock, for example, has traded up to 80 percent off its April 2000 offering price in the past six months. Some say a consumer-division tracker will highlight its pariah status at AT&T. “The reality of the situation is that no one wants this business,” says Mark Minichello, principal at SpinOff Advisors LLC, in Chicago, although he adds it’s a great turn- around opportunity: “If they can stop the hemorrhaging, it will make them look like stars.” Munoz agrees: “I’ve got the best of all worlds…where everything you do makes the company move forward.”