April 14, 2017 – Chief financial officers continue to be in high demand and hunting them down is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever. In one recent assignment reflective of this growing appetite for finance leaders, search firm Spencer Stuart recruited Richard J. Schmaeling as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Entercom Communications Corp. He replaces Steve Fisher who recently stepped down.
Mr. Schmaeling brings deep media expertise and more than 30 years of finance and leadership experience to Entercom. Most recently, he served as CFO at Travel Leaders Group, the largest travel agency company in the U.S., with over $20 billion of annual gross billings and more than 40,000 travel agents globally. Within the media industry, he held the role of CFO at LIN Media, a local TV and digital media provider serving 23 markets. Prior to that, he served as vice president finance at Dow Jones, where he oversaw nine business units and held key operational finance responsibilities.
“Rich is a proven leader with an excellent track record and outstanding reputation as a public company CFO,” said David J. Field, Entercom president and CEO. “His breadth of experience and hands-on leadership of successful integrations for the LIN Media/Media General and News Corp/Dow Jones mergers make him an ideal choice as we join forces with CBS Radio and position ourselves for a dynamic future. I am thrilled to welcome Rich to Entercom.”
“I am excited to join Entercom at this pivotal time in the company’s history and to help drive the next era of Entercom’s growth,” said Mr. Schmaeling. “I look forward to working with David and the team as we complete and realize the full benefits of the CBS Radio transaction and position Entercom to better serve listeners and advertisers while creating significant value for shareholders.”
Entercom Communications is the fourth largest radio broadcasting company in the U.S., reaching and engaging more than 40 million people a week through its 124 stations in 27 top markets across the country. It is a purpose-driven company, committed to entertaining and informing its listeners with locally curated music, news, sports, and talk content, driven by local personalities.
For its part, Spencer Stuart has conducted more than 1,400 finance searches over the past 24 months for clients that include Fortune 500, FTSE 100, DAX 30 and HS 100 companies, as well as private equity firms and their portfolio companies, emerging companies and non-profit organizations. Financial services is one of the firm’s top producing global search practice sectors, which is today comprised of a team of 40 consultants. Joel von Ranson leads Spencer Stuart’s financial officer practice in North America.
High Demand for Finance Talent
Recruiters say a need for top flight financial executives has risen, making CFOs much more in demand than other C-suite leaders. And that begs an interesting question: What are ‘actively-looking’ CEOs most after as they team up with headhunters in the pursuit of their next CFO? The position generally serves as right hand man to the chief executive so the perfect match is critical.
Recent CFO Searches
In recent months search firms of all shapes and sizes have placed CFOs at various companies. Here’s a look at just a few from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
- The McAulay Smith Firm recruited Alexander Pease as executive vice president and CFO of Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. President Steven Smith led the assignment. Mr. Pease joins the company from McKinsey & Co., where he was a leader in the firm’s global corporate finance and business functions practice working with leading CFOs across a wide range of industries.
- BridgeStreet Partners tapped Temple H. Weiss as CFO of Centennial Real Estate Company. Dave Westberry, managing director of BridgeStreet Partners, led the assignment. Previously, Mr. Weiss served as CFO of several private equity-owned portfolio companies, including CEC Entertainment, Pegasus Solutions and Ace Cash Express.
- WinterWyman placed Gary Eason as CFO at TG Gallagher. Senior vice president and partner Ken Martin led the search. Previously, Mr. Eason was director of finance for Interstate Electrical Services Corporation and the director of finance and administration for Triumph Modular Incorporated.
- Caldwell Partners recruited Kevin Cash as CFO of law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Michael DeCosta, a partner and leader in the firm’s professional services practice, led the search along with Kristin Hebert, a leader of Caldwell’s legal practice and managing partner of its San Francisco office. Mr. Cash previously served as CFO of law firm BakerHostetler.
- Odgers Berndtson placed Paul S. Herendeen as executive vice president of finance and CFO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. John Hawkins, vice chairman and director in Odgers Berndtson’s life sciences practice, led the assignment. Mr. Herendeen previously served as EVP and CFO of Zoetis Inc.
- Bespoke Partners recruited Bob Bies as CFO of Syncsort. Previously, Mr. Bies was CFO at private equity-backed Cannondale Investments, where he was part of the leadership team that acquired OneSource from InfoGroup and formed Avention.
- PFM Executive Search placed Nelson Chan as CFO of Capital Regional District (CRD). Mr. Chan has experience in both the public and private sectors and is regarded as a collaborative, action-oriented leader and change driver with a refined business acumen.
- NorthWind Partners recruited Kevin L. Cook as CFO of Alion Science and Technology Corporation. Managing partner Mark HuYoung, who leads the firm’s private equity practice, along with partners Hunter Murray and Brian Thomas, led the search. Mr. Cook formerly served as CFO of Booz Allen Hamilton.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media