BearingPoint Taps Tenth CFO in Nine Years

The outgoing finance chief lasted five months, the previous one three weeks. Now the clock starts ticking again.

BearingPoint, the nine-year-old consultancy that once was part of KPMG, now has enough former CFOs to fill out a baseball lineup. Or, if you prefer, to stock the Supreme Court.

Eddie Munson, a member of the firm’s audit committee, took over as finance chief in June, when Eileen Kamerick, the eighth person to hold the job, resigned after only three weeks. Five months later, Munson is out, too, though he’s still on the board.

The company’s 10th CFO is Kenneth Hiltz, a managing director at AlixPartners, a financial-advisory firm that BearingPoint retained in October.

Hiltz arrives as bad financial results continue to plague the firm. On Monday BearingPoint reported a third-quarter loss of $30.5 million, or 14 cents a share. That was better than its performance in the year-earlier period, when it lost $68 million, but it also withdrew its earnings estimates for the year and said it plans to meet with debtholders to restructure its debt. The firm did manage to turn an operating profit of $4.6 million in the third quarter, compared to a year-earlier loss of $27.7 million.

Hiltz plans to focus on cash management and debt restructuring, according to an SEC filing. In his career he has served as CFO of Dana Corporation, Foster Wheeler Ltd., and Hayes Lemmerz, as well as CEO for the Sofco division of U.S. Foodservice.

He said in a statement, “During the last month, I’ve not only conducted an in-depth review of BearingPoint’s financials, but become heavily engaged in the company’s 2009 budget and planning process. While it’s too early to make a definitive forecast, I feel very comfortable that we will have enough cash to allow us to work through the next couple of quarters as we focus, almost exclusively, on cash and other balance sheet improvements.”

Upon Kamerick’s resignation in June, BearingPoint said in an Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it was not based on a disagreement with the company’s financial-statement disclosures, or accounting principles or practices. No reason for the departure was given, except that it arose from discussions with the audit committee.

Another particularly short tenure in the CFO seat ended in May 2005, when Joseph left after four months. At the time, BearingPoint was involved in an accounting controversy and the subject of an SEC investigation into its internal controls.

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