By  on September 30, 2005

NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises on Thursday named Michael G. Archbold as executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer, reporting to Fred Wilson, chairman and chief executive officer.

Saks said Archbold essentially replaces Donald Watros, the former chief administrative officer of SFAE, who was let go in May following an internal investigation into improper collections of chargebacks and related accounting and disclosure issues.

The investigation led to other dismissals and Saks agreed to pay certain vendors about $48 million, including interest, to settle chargeback issues.

Accounting issues also led to the delay of the company's first- and second-quarter reports. Saks is expected to file them soon. The chain's September comparative-store-sales results will be released next week, but the company is up against tough comparisons from a year ago.

Saks said Archbold will be responsible for the financial and information technology operations and will work closely with two executive vice presidents of SFAE's parent, Saks Inc. They are Doug Coltharp, chief financial officer, and Kevin Wills, finance and chief accounting officer. The appointment should help Saks Fifth Avenue maintain better controls over its accounting.

Archbold is a certified public accountant with about 20 years in retailing. He worked at AutoZone, a retailer of automotive parts and accessories, where he was executive vice president and chief financial officer. Before AutoZone, he worked at the Booksellers division of Barnes & Noble Inc., and held financial positions at Woolworth Corp., now Foot Locker. He began his accounting career at Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

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