In the business world, chief executive officers soak up all the attention, especially when change is in the air.

The announcement of new CEOs for CubeSmart of Wayne and Endo Health Solutions Inc. of Malvern within the last week were significant for each company. Endo shares rose 8 percent the day it announced it had hired Rajiv De Silva from outside the drug company and investors anticipated big changes would be made. Meanwhile, CubeSmart shares slid 2 percent as the long-telegraphed transition to a successor chosen from inside its ranks seemed to signal that the self-storage company would stay the course.

But I often pay attention to who's leaving or entering the office next to the CEO's - the chief financial officer's. After all, the CFO is the only executive besides the CEO who signs off on a public company's financial statements. And CFOs are usually on the short list when it comes time to choose a new boss.

Case in point: Christopher P. Marr, tapped to become the new CEO of CubeSmart at the end of 2013. Marr had been CFO of Brandywine Realty Trust before joining CubeSmart to take the same position in 2006.

Liberum Research also considers management changes significant because of their impact on a company's performance and stock price. The New York research firm tracks shifts at the so-called C-level, which it defines as the CEO, CFO, and board of directors. It recorded 197 CFO changes in January, up 5 percent from December.

In the last three weeks, two local companies have hired new CFOs. New Hope's MeetMe Inc., a social-media network, hired David Clark, 46, away from Fort Washington-based Nutrisystem Inc. Clark, who had worked at Nutrisystem since 2007, has been CFO at several other companies.

American Water Works Co. of Voorhees hired Susan N. Story as its new CFO as of April 1 to succeed Ellen C. Wolf, who announced her retirement in January. Story hails from Atlanta's southern Co., where she had been president and CEO of its southern Co. Services Inc. unit.

Carpenter Technology Corp., a Wyomissing, Pa., specialty metals producer, hired Tony R. Thene as its new CFO as of Jan. 31. He replaced K. Douglas Ralph, who announced in September that he would leave the company. Thene had been CFO of Alcoa's Engineered Products & Solutions business in New York. He'll receive a $430,000 salary and got a $100,000 signing bonus.

In addition, George S. Rapp, former CFO of Harleysville National Corp., which was bought by First Niagara Financial Group Inc. in 2010, was hired by Shore Bancshares Inc. as its new CFO. Shore Bancshares is a $1.18-billion-asset, 18-branch bank based in Easton, Md.

Contact Mike Armstrong
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