Monster CFO Hits the Road, but Are Executive-Level Changes a Symbol of Impending Monster Sale?

After it was announced that Monster Worldwide’s chief financial officer resigned, shares of the company fell 3% Thursday afternoon.

To replace Lanny Baker as CFO, Monster has hired Timothy T. Yates, who will also serve on the executive management team as executive vice president and member of its board of directors. Yates is now responsible for Monster’s accounting, tax, treasury, business development, and investor relations activities.

Yates previously served as chief financial officer at Symbol Technologies. If that company sounds familiar, it’s because Monster Worldwide’s current chairman, Sal Iannuzzi, previously served as Symbol’s president and chief executive officer. During his tenure, he was noted for his abilities to prepare Symbol for a sale (the company was acquired by Motorola in January 2007).

Wachovia Capital Markets senior analyst John Janedis speculated on the Symbol Technologies connections, writing in a note to investors that “while it’s easy to draw conclusions that Monster is more likely to be sold because of the Symbol connection, we think it’s too soon to make that call.”

Monster also said Doug Klinger, formerly president of Careers North America, is leaving the company. In other management news, Monster created four additional “executive vice president” positions, with the following duties spread among the positions:

  • Steve Pogorzelski, formerly group president of international, has been named executive vice president, global sales and customer development. He is responsible for the company’s enterprise, field, telesales, and e-business channels on a global basis.
  • Brad Baker, formerly president of product, technology and service, was named executive vice president, product, marketing and customer service. He will lead product development, customer service, and global marketing resources.
  • Darko Dejanovic, who recently joined Monster as senior vice president, global chief information officer, was named executive vice president, global chief information officer, and will assume the responsibilities for technology from Brad Baker.
  • Mark Stoever, formerly senior vice president, general manager will continue to oversee the Internet Advertising & Fees division, as executive vice president.

Position of Strength or Sale?

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While chairman of Monster Worldwide Iannuzzi says these moves were made “from a position of strength,” Goldman Sachs’ analyst Peter Appert wrote in a note to investors that the changes are “significant” but not necessarily a sign that Monster will be sold.

“We could see downward pressure on the shares given softer revenue growth trends in the U.S. recruitment ad market,” Appert wrote.

The executive changes follow last week’s announcement that Danielle Perry, director of public relations, has chosen to leave the company after 18 months. The company has not named an immediate replacement for Perry; Neal Bruce, vice president of alliances, is serving as the interim contact.

In April, Monster Worldwide hired Iannuzzi as its new chairman and chief executive officer, pushing president and chief executive officer William Pastore out after just eight months on the job. At the time, Pastore’s quick exit was attributed to lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings announcement, upon which the company’s stock fell to a five-month low.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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