Eberhart tapped as CDI Corp. chief

Chalk up another CEO job at one of the region's public companies for a seasoned female executive.

CDI Corp. named Paulett Eberhart its president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. CDI does not have the name recognition of Campbell Soup Co., DuPont Co., or Sunoco Inc. where women already are, or soon will be, CEO.

Then again, only a handful of Philadelphia companies are household names. Most are somewhat anonymous, providing products or services to help other companies operate. CDI is a large services company that provides engineering and technical personnel to automobile and aircraft manufacturers.

Eberhart, 57, succeeds Roger H. Ballou, who retired as of Monday after running the Philadelphia staffing and recruitment firm since October 2001.

In a brief interview, Eberhart said she'll be meeting with CDI employees and clients over the next few weeks as she formulates strategy. "I love the services world," she said.

Eberhart spent more than 25 years at Electronic Data Systems Corp., joining in 1978, when H. Ross Perot's computer-services firm had just $300 million in sales and about 3,000 employees. When she retired in 2004 as president of its largest operating unit, EDS had annual sales of $22 billion and a global workforce of 120,000. "It was a heck of a ride," she said.

Eberhart was president and CEO of Invensys Process Systems, a $1.7 billion manu-

facturer based in Foxboro, Mass., from January 2007 until January 2009. Since then, she's been running HMS Ventures, which houses several of her business interests, and serving on corporate boards, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., and Fluor Corp.

As she views it, CDI is in the sweet spot of size and scale - not so large that it can take years to change, but big enough to count blue-chip companies among its key clients. CDI's revenue for 2009 was $885 million, down from $1.12 billion in 2008. That decline came in part because manu-

facturers curtailed activity during the recession.

At $678 million, CDI's revenue for the first three quarters of 2010 was running slightly ahead of the same period for last year.

In a statement, CDI founder and chairman Walter Garrison said the company had conducted an "extensive search" before selecting Eberhart. "We found her energy and enthusiasm to be contagious with the entire board," he said.

Garrison also expressed gratitude for the "outstanding job" Ballou did running CDI for the last decade. He mentioned that Ballou wants to spend more time with his family and "intensify his participation" on other boards.

The announcement came after the stock market had closed for the day. CDI shares closed at $19.20, up 10 cents, or 0.5 percent.

Eberhart and her husband, Mike, will be relocating from Texas to the Philadelphia area.

Salary's the same

Ralph E. Faison, who was hired last week as president and chief executive officer of Pulse Electronics Corp., will get the same salary as his predecessor.

Faison, 52, will be paid a base salary of $650,000, get an annual bonus guaran-

teed to be at least $325,000 for 2011, and receive option grants to buy 650,000 shares at an exercise price that will be pegged to the closing price on Feb. 5.

That's also the same base salary Daniel M. Moloney had agreed to when he was hired as CEO as of March 22. However, Moloney left after only four months to become president of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

And what is Moloney's salary to run Motorola Mobility? Give yourself a Tastykake if you guessed $650,000.


Contact Mike Armstrong at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com. See his blog at www.phillyinc.biz.