Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US) hired Ken Goldman, a technology-industry veteran with three decades of experience in software and Internet companies, to succeed Tim Morse as chief financial officer, the biggest management switch yet by Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer.
Goldman, previously CFO at network-security provider Fortinet Inc. (FTNT:US), joins as of Oct. 22, Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said in a statement yesterday. Morse, who joined in 2009, will leave later this year, Yahoo said.
Mayer, CEO since July, is realigning leadership in her drive to reverse three years of declining revenue and market share losses to Facebook Inc. (FB:US) and her former employer, Google Inc. (GOOG:US) She may seek to impose fiscal discipline by hiring Goldman, who has a reputation for cutting costs and improving oversight, said Erik Suppiger, an analyst at JMP Securities LLC.
“He was brought into Fortinet a few years ago to improve on the company’s controls,” said Suppiger, who’s based in San Francisco. “Investors have a relatively high regard for him.”
Yahoo said in August that Mayer would embark on a review of the business, including its growth and acquisition strategy (YHOO:US), its cash position and capital allocation plans. A plan to cut about 2,000 jobs and reorganize the company, disclosed in April under then-CEO Scott Thompson, is also up for review.
Fortinet retreated 3.2 percent to $25.02 at the close in New York, while Yahoo fell less than 1 percent to $15.61.
Goldman is set to receive a compensation package that could be worth at least $16.6 million over four years.
The compensation includes annual base salary of $600,000, an annual bonus of as much as $540,000, restricted stock units valued at as much as $6 million and performance stock units with a target value of $6 million. The tally doesn’t include 76,000 so-called make-whole restricted stock units, designed to make up for compensation forfeited from his former employer.
Goldman was known for trimming expenses at Siebel Systems, where he worked as CFO for six years prior to joining Fortinet, said Howie Shohet, an executive who reported to Goldman while at the customer management software maker.
“He was very operationally inclined, very effective at cost saving,” said Shohet, who is now chief financial officer at San Mateo, California-based Lattice Engines. Goldman focused on “streamlining and rationalizing” the investments Siebel was making, Shohet said yesterday.
At Siebel, acquired in 2006 by Oracle Corp. (ORCL:US), Goldman and other executives came under scrutiny by the Securities & Exchange Commission, which said he selectively disclosed market- moving information. The company paid a $250,000 fine in 2002 to settle accusations, without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
Goldman has worked at several other tech companies that have been acquired, including Sybase, which was bought by SAP AG (SAP); @Home Network, purchased by Excite; and VLSI Technology, bought by Royal Philips Electronics NV. (PHIA)
Before luring Goldman from Fortinet, Mayer brought in entrepreneur and former American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (AEO:US) executive Kathy Savitt last month as chief marketing officer.
Mayer plans to discuss her turnaround strategy on a call with analysts next month, Anne Espiritu, a spokeswoman for Yahoo, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
“We will have more to share about our approach to building Yahoo’s future at our next earning’s call, which is in mid- October,” Espiritu wrote.
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