Falcon Crest Rerun? Big Shake-up at Peregrine

Amid accounting probe, company CFO out--San Diego Padres finance chief steps up to the plate. Elsewhere: Brown CFO leaves Ivy League, and Mark Swartz buys a lot of Tyco stock.

>> Apparently, CFO Matt Gless is leaving Peregrine Systems Inc. on a bad note. E-commerce software maker — and former Andersen client — said it is investigating its books. Gless, along with CEO Steve Gardner both resigned…. San Diego Padres finance chief Fred Gerson steps in as acting CFO…

Investigation involves possible revenue-recognition irregularities that could add up to $100 million, though “the scope and magnitude … have not been determined,” according to company statement. Results of probe will affect current and previous fiscal years. Inaccuracies were brought to company’s attention by KPMG, which Peregrine hired in April to replace Andersen… Company notified Securities and Exchange Commission about investigation…

Besides the Gerson hire, Peregrine also named Charles La Bella executive VP and senior counsel. In addition, company drafted Padres chairman John Moores to replace Gardner as chairman…

>> Dialysis-systems maker Aksys Ltd. said Larry Damron joined as SVP and CFO. Damron most recently CFO of Everest Healthcare Services Corp., where he helped sell company to Fresenius Medical Care. Was also SVP of finance and treasurer for Evanston Northwestern Healthcare from 1997 to 1999. Before that, was with Baxter International for 17 years, including six years as corporate treasurer… Holds MBA from Harvard University…

Damron joins Aksys at critical time as company readies product for market. Aksys’s dialysis system, recently approved by FDA, enables patients to perform simple daily dialysis at home… “[Damron]‘s depth and breadth of experience will be valuable to the successful commercial launch and over the long run as we build sustained shareholder value,” said Bill Dow, Aksys CEO.

>> Brown University finance chief Donald Reaves transferring. Brown CFO resigning post to become finance chief at University of Chicago… Reaves at Brown for 14 years, starting out as budget director and moving up to VP of finance, then CFO in 1993. Currently serves as executive VP of finance and administration… Ivy League school’s VP of finance, Ellen O’Connor, named acting VP of finance and administration effective July 1.

CFO Insider

>> Tyco CFO Mark Swartz bought up 500,000 shares in the conglomerate, worth $10 million… Tyco spokesman Brad McGee told Reuters shopping spree was show of confidence in struggling company. Also could be a shrewd purchase: Tyco’s stock price plummeted after company reported almost $2 billion quarterly loss…

>> Erich Booth, former CFO of restaurant-chain operator Avado Brands Inc., earned $340,000 and no bonus in 2001… In 2000 earned $335,000 and no bonus…

>> Books A Millions CFO Richard Wallington received $75,000 bonus in company’s fiscal 2002. That’s on top of Wallington’s $150,000 salary. Big step up for Wallington, who earned $140,000 salary (plus $12,500 bonus) in 2001.

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