CFOs on the Move

Southwest Airlines; Lennox International; Blackstone Crystal Holdings Capital Partners; RadioShack; Advanced Magnetics; Dollar Tree Stores; Shop At Home Network; TLC Vision.

  • In a surprise announcement, Southwest Airlines announced that vice chairman of the board and chief executive officer James F. Parker retired for personal reasons. The company gave no reason for the change.

Gary Kelly, who has served as Southwest’s executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2001, will succeed Parker as vice chairman of the board and CEO. Kelly joined Southwest as its controller in 1986 and became vice president of finance and CFO in 1989.

In a statement, chairman Herb Kelleher said, “Gary Kelly is one of our brightest stars, well respected throughout the industry and well known, over more than a decade, to the media, analyst, and investor communities for his excellence. As part of our Board’s succession planning, we had already focused on Gary as Jim Parker’s successor, and that process has simply been accelerated by Jim’s personal decision to retire. Under Gary’s leadership, Southwest has achieved the strongest balance sheet in the American airline industry; the best fuel hedging position in our industry; and tremendous progress in technology.”

Laura Wright, currently vice president of finance and treasurer, will succeed Kelly as CFO. She joined Southwest in 1988; since 1998 has been primarily responsible for Southwest’s overall corporate finance strategy, its capital market and aircraft financing activities, new and used aircraft acquisitions, corporate tax and insurance programs, cash management and investing functions, and stock option programs.

  • Lennox International Inc. named Susan K. Carter chief financial officer, replacing Richard Smith, who has resigned to pursue other interests. Smith will remain with the company to assist with the transition until assumes her new role on August 16.

Carter most recently served as vice president, finance, with Cummins Inc. She had also previously served in senior financial management positions at Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal), Crane Co., and DeKalb Corp.

  • Michael Newman will be joining Blackstone Crystal Holdings Capital Partners, a private equity and advisory firm, as chief financial officer. He was formerly senior vice president and CFO of RadioShack Corp.

RadioShack announced that senior vice president and corporate controller David Johnson will serve as interim CFO while the company searches for a permanent replacement. “We regret Mike’s decision to leave RadioShack, as he has been an extremely valuable asset to our management team,” said Leonard Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of RadioShack, in a statement.

  • Advanced Magnetics Inc. named Michael N. Avallone chief financial officer. He replaces vice president of finance James A. Matheson, who resigned to focus on other opportunities. Avallone most recently served as vice president of finance and CFO of Boston Biomedica Inc., a biotech and medical-products company.
  • Dollar Tree Stores Inc. named Kent Kleeberger chief financial officer. Most recently he served as executive vice president and CFO of Too Inc., an Ohio-based apparel retailer. The company previously announced that incumbent CFO Frederick Coble will move to the newly expanded corporate secretary position.
  • Shop At Home Network named Stephen R. Hanon chief financial officer. Hanon has spent 16 years in the executive ranks at well-known brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, The Limited, Foot Locker, PepsiCo, and May Department Stores.
  • Steven P. Rasche has been appointed vice president of finance for TLC Vision Corp. He replaces B. Charles (Chuck) Bono III, who took early retirement. Rasche joined Public Safety Equipment Inc. in 1996 as chief financial officer.

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