With just over five months until Utah’s 2002 Winter Olympic Games begin, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) is passing its trials with flying colors. Since February, when the CFO mantle was passed from Fraser Bullock (who remains as COO) to 34-year-old Brett Hopkins:
* Microsoft Corp. stepped up to take over as Internet sponsor for the Games, after Quokka Ventures filed for bankruptcy-court protection and dropped out as the Olympic Web-site provider.
* A federal judge threw out four racketeering counts against two former Salt Lake City Bid Committee executives who were accused of making illegal payoffs to bring the Games to Utah –a ruling that puts the entire case on hold.
* The SLOC kept the budget to a bargain $1.3 billion, less than half what Nagano, Japan, spent on its Winter Games, in 1998.
The judge’s decision may have caused the biggest sigh of relief, as some had predicted that an embarrassing trial would begin just before the opening ceremonies. But Microsoft’s last-minute save of SLOC’s Internet plan was major, too. Plus, budget cutting and revenue raising has all but eliminated a forecasted $379 million revenue shortfall.
“We’ve now raised about $850 million from sponsors,” says Bullock. “Compare that with Atlanta, which was a Summer Games and much larger; they raised $484 million from sponsors.” Bullock and Hopkins predict the Games will break even– their goal all along.
Hopkins’s next big job: managing the coming increase in finance and material logistics staff from 125 to a projected 200.
The Times they are a-changin’–their CFO, that is. Leonard P. Forman, an SVP of The New York Times Co., will replace John M. O’Brien, who will retire from the CFO position by year’s end. Forman and O’Brien will work closely during the transition.
It’s a Dun deal. Sara Mathew has become SVP and CFO of financial information publisher Dun & Bradstreet Corp., headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J. Mathew previously served for 18 years at Procter & Gamble Co. She replaces Chester J. Geveda Jr., who was acting CFO, and who continues as VP and controller.
THE NUMBERS GAME
Culver City, Calif.-based Game Show Network has a new host in the corporate office, former IFILM SVP and CFO Brent Willman. This is a newly created position at the 24-hour game-show programming service.
Ford’s new CFO, Martin Inglis, has real drive. Inglis, who succeeds Henry Wallace as finance chief, has been with Ford since his 1971 induction as a graduate trainee at Ford of Britain. Wallace plans to retire later this year from the Dearborn, Mich.-based automotive giant.
Donald Heroman must be a real people person. People’s Bank, based in Bridgeport, Conn., has placed him in the EVP and CFO positions, replacing George Morriss, who left in March to pursue other interests. Heroman currently serves as SVP and treasurer of Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc.
Diageo Plc’s Burger King Corp. unit is supersizing its corporate office with the addition of new CFO Bennett Nussbaum. Nussbaum was previously SVP and CFO of graphics and copying firm Kinko’s Inc. He succeeds Colin Heggie, who left the Miami-based fast-food chain last year.
SINGIN’ A NEW TUNE
Denise Wilder Warren has got the CFO blues. Warren recently resigned as head of finance for Gaylord Entertainment Co., which owns, among other things, the country music radio show “Grand Ole Opry.” CEO Colin Reed will assume Warren’s duties while he chooses a new management team.
Don’t .com-miserate yet for troubled Internet holding company CMGI. The Andover, Mass.-based firm has selected George McMillan, a former CEO of Bertelsmann unit BMG Direct, to serve as CFO. McMillan replaces Andrew Hajducky, who is pursuing an opportunity elsewhere.
In other dot-com news, Stephen Collins, CFO of ailing DoubleClick Inc., has resigned. Collins said he will be cycling, spending more time with family, and possibly attending cooking school. As to his replacement, CEO Keith Ryan says the company is keeping its options open.
Most new bosses do a little housecleaning. New SEC commissioner Harvey Pitt found the house cleaned for him, thanks to the recent departure of two prominent officials. Chief accountant Lynn Turner and director of enforcement Richard Walker both left the commission between Pitt’s nomination and confirmation, leaving room for him to make his own mark on the agency.
Few observers were surprised at the departures, but what they portend is unclear. “From Pitt’s comments, I’m expecting to see a different kind of administration,” says Arthur Bowman, editor of Bowman’s Accounting Report. “For the accounting profession, I expect this new leader will not be as aggressive as [Arthur] Levitt was.” Others insist that the former securities lawyer won’t fill the spots with business-friendly lapdogs. Staff changes “should not be construed to mean that Harvey will be any less vigilant on the enforcement side,” says Louis Thompson, president and CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute and a longtime associate of Pitt’s.
Both Walker and Turner say their departure had nothing to do with their new boss. Turner, CFO of Symbios Inc. before heading to the SEC three years ago, says he will teach at his alma mater, Colorado State University, and head up the Center for Quality Financial Reporting. Walker, a 10-year SEC veteran who led more than 1,400 enforcement cases, had not taken a new position as of press time.