Deborah Hopkins, new head of corporate strategy at Citigroup, will be a key player in the company’s attempts to recover from the research-analyst debacle at its Salomon Smith Barney unit — if she sticks around.
The peripatetic executive was CFO at Boeing for just a year and a half before decamping for the CFO spot at Lucent Technologies. She stayed there only one tumultuous year, then landed at management-consulting firm Marakon Associates as a senior partner for another year before making the leap to Citigroup.
Hopkins’s new job may include a vital role in restructuring Citigroup’s research and investment banking business. “The Salomon unit has been a weak spot,” says Stephen Biggar, an equity analyst at Standard & Poor’s. The company took a $1.5 billion aftertax charge in the fourth quarter to cover a $300 million settlement with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and other regulators — who alleged conflicts of interest in the unit — as well as future private suits.
Hopkins, known as a hard-charging, blunt manager, will bring a fresh perspective to Citigroup, since she has little prior banking-industry experience. “She’s an extraordinary executive,” says Jim McTaggart, co-chairman at Marakon. “She’s exceptional at analytical thinking, but she’s also imaginative and creative.”
It could be awhile before Hopkins makes her mark, especially in the M&A area. Biggar doesn’t expect the company to make any big purchases soon. “Their share price has been depressed a little, so I think they’ll wait until the environment improves before they do anything big,” he says.
CFOs on the Move
International Data Group names 35-year IDG veteran Ted Bloom to the CFO seat…. Jim Daley, CFO of Electronic Data Systems, resigns his position. EDS is the subject of an informal SEC inquiry. Robert Swan, CFO of TRW, is Daley’s successor as of February 10. Daley stays on as EVP of global sales and marketing…. Marsh Inc. appoints Jerome H. Bailey as CFO. Bailey was CFO of Dow Jones Inc…. Jean Blackwell is named CFO and chief of staff at engine-maker Cummins Inc. She replaces Tom Linebarger, who becomes president of Cummins’s power-generation business.