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.”