November 23, 2016 – Executive search firm Spencer Stuart has been retained by Entercom Communications Corp. to lead its search for a new chief financial officer. Steve Fisher will be stepping down as executive vice president and CFO of the company effective in 90 days.
“Steve has been an outstanding leader at Entercom, playing a major role in our success over the 18 years he has been with the company,” said David J. Field, Entercom’s president and chief executive officer. “He has been involved in many aspects of our growth and development and made a meaningful impact on our operational efficiency and effectiveness.”
The move comes shortly after the company announced the acquisition of four stations in Charlotte, NC from Beasley Broadcast Group for $24 million in cash. In early November, Entercom also reported a five percent gain in revenues to $120.5 million and net income of $11.4 million. Entercom shares have increased 17 percent since the beginning of the year, while its stock has increased 21 percent in the last 12 months.
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.
Spencer Stuart has conducted more than 1,400 finance searches over the past two years 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. In June, Spencer Stuart was retained by Choice Hotels International to lead its search for a new CFO. That search is still ongoing.
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Expanding Sector Needs Finance Talent
As the sector expands, 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.
One trait every CEO desperately seeks in his or her next CFO is leadership. “More and more often, the CFO is viewed as the No. 2 executive within a public company,” said Phil McCall, a Crist | Kolder Associates managing director. “That perception is consistent with both insiders (peers, managers), and outsiders (analysts, investors, and board members),” he added. “Because a public company CEO is so time constrained, the CFO is expected to take his or her place at certain times. When that happens, you need a CFO who won’t shirk from those responsibilities, but rather, will instill a following.”
Recent CFO Searches
In recent months search firms of all sizes have placed CFOs at various companies. Here is a look at just a few from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
- 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