ADC CEO Jumps Ship to MCI
So what's behind the move? Has MCI tendered "Rick," a former AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) executive who moved to ADC in February 2001, an offer so attractive he can't refuse? The carrier's chairman and CEO Michael Capellas clearly needs as much help as possible as MCI struggles through bankruptcy and investigations into its former financial dealings (see The Week at WorldCom, Government Bans MCI, and so many more). In that vein, MCI just got a new top lawyer (see MCI Hires New General Counsel).
Alternatively, is it possible "Rick" is jumping ship a week before ADC announces its third-quarter results August 20? This seems less likely, as the company's been hinting it might reach breakeven ahead of schedule, following an effective cost-cutting strategy. Not a bad time for an ambitious, and perhaps bored, CEO to cut loose. Still, ADC isn't out of the woods yet: Its past two quarters have seen decreasing losses, but also decreasing sales (see ADC Reports Q1 Results and ADC Q2 Sales Slip).
The lure of a big new challenge in plenty of limelight can't be discounted as motivators for the move. Neither can the lure of the greenback. Though it's not clear yet what MCI has offered "Rick," he seems to like a fat wedge to go with hefty job titles (see Exec Pay Defies Downturn, 2001 Top Ten: Fat Cats, Fat Cats Feast, Despite Layoffs, and Rick Roscitt).
At press time, MCI hadn't returned calls regarding such compensation.
Filling the ADC CEO and prez hotseats is CFO Robert "Bob" Switz. In a conference call this morning, Switz waxed brash, saying news of "Rick's" departure came at "relatively short notice, but it was certainly adequate time enough to make the right decisions."
Asked about ADC's relationship to MCI, Switz said: "WorldCom was one of our largest customers in the past, but I'm not sure where it fits into our Top 25. It's not one of our top customers just now."
A new CFO for ADC is being sought. John "Gus" Blanchard III has been named non-executive chairman.
ADC also announced recently a new president for its software business, Dilip Singh (see ADC Names Software Prez and ADC Plans Software Expansion). Presumably, he's known as "Dill."
— Neal Raymond "Ray" Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch