NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Troubled advertising holding company Interpublic Group of Cos. today named Frank Mergenthaler as the latest in a series of chief financial officers.
SEC Widens Investigation of IPG
CFO of Embattled Holding Company to Leave
Interpublic Issues Unaudited 2004 Results
Operating Loss Estimated at $285 Million; CEO Defends Agencies
Cloud Over IPG Darkens
Possible New Financial Restatements and Extensive 'Material Weaknesses' Revealed
Interpublic Delays Release of Earnings Report
Cites 'Items That May Require Adjustments'
IPG Names Michael Roth New CEO
David Bell Moves to Co-Chairman
S&P Cites 'Negative Implications' for IPG
May Downgrade Holding Company's Credit Rating Further
Interpublic to Settle Shareholder Lawsuits
Company Will Pay $115 Million in and Stock
Lawsuit Alleges 'Accounting Manipulations' at Interpublic
Current and Former Top Executives Named as Defendants
David Bell Named Interpublic Chief
John Dooner Steps Down, Will Return to Head McCann-Erickson WorldGroup
Interpublic Stock Hits 10-Year Low
Analysts Say New Credit Agreement Less Harsh Than Expected
Standard & Poor's Issues Interpublic Debt Warning
Cites Possibility of Junk Status Rating
SEC Launches Formal Probe of IPG Accounting
Focus Includes Five Years of Earnings Statements
Mr. Mergenthaler, who was previously executive vice president and CFO at Columbia House, a direct marketer of music and entertainment videos and DVDs, replaces Robert Thompson, who resigned in early June.
Mr. Thompson lasted only a year in the position he took over from Chris Coughlin; Mr. Coughlin resigned after a year as CFO.
Mr. Mergenthaler, who officially beings Aug. 1, takes over the company's financial affairs in the midst of continuing corporate tumult that began in August 2002 when Interpublic revealed what would be the first in a series of financial restatements to fix improper accounting. The holding company is now being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a statement issued this morning, Michael I. Roth, Interpublic's chairman-CEO, lauded Mr. Mergenthaler as a "first-class executive who has personal experience with and great command of every facet of the finance function. He's comfortable and effective in dealing with operating issues and has a strong strategic sense. His experiences in related industries and at a major accounting firm provide a unique background that will allow him to step in and make significant contributions here at Interpublic."
Accounting firm partner
Prior to Columbia House, Mr. Mergenthaler held positions at Seagram Co., Vivendi Universal and was a partner in the accounting firm Price Waterhouse.
In his section of the statement, Mr. Mergenthaler said, "In the complex media environment we all face, there's an increasing need on the part of clients for effective marketing programs and services. I'm excited to work with [Mr. Roth], who made it very clear that he was looking for a CFO who would serve as his operating partner and be an important driver of the turnaround to which he is committed."