HETTLINGER IS HARRIS FINANCE CHIEF
NEW YORK — Richard Hettlinger has joined Paul Harris Stores as chief financial officer.
Hettlinger reports to Glenn Lyon, president and general merchandising manager of the Indianapolis-based women’s specialty chain. He will oversee all financial functions and information systems at the company. His post has been vacant since last year.
Hettlinger was most recently president and chief executive officer of Heartland Industries. Prior to that, he was with May Department Stores for 11 years where his positions included senior vice president and cfo of the Famous-Barr, L.S. Ayres and M. O’Neil divisions and vice president of audit for the corporation. Earlier in his career, he was with Federated Department Stores and Coopers & Lybrand.
His appointment fortifies a management team that has been operating without a chief executive since the March departure of Charlotte Fischer as chairman, president and ceo “to pursue other interests.” The company said at that time that its board would search for a new ceo and named Lyon, the former president of the Modern Woman division of Charming Shoppes, to his current post.
“There is not much that Rick hasn’t handled in the financial arena of retail during his career,” Lyon said in a statement. “He is a true veteran and seasoned pro who has not only helped companies improve their business by operating a smarter balance sheet, but who has been successful in developing more efficient systems that have helped to increase revenues.”
Keith Himmel Jr. continues as vice president of finance and controller of Paul Harris, reporting to Hettlinger.
The company operates 318 Paul Harris stores and 11 J. Peterman units.
As reported in these columns last month, Paul Harris has been coping with a liquidity crisis in recent months. Including a one-time $3 million charge for money due to Fischer upon her departure, the company lost $5.7 million, or 52 cents a share, in the quarter ended April 29 as compared to income of $683,000, or 6 cents, in the year-ago period. However, Lyon projected that the company would be able to generate earnings-per-share of 45 cents for the second half, about 55 percent higher than in the latter half of 1999.
Lyon also predicted that June same-store sales would be in the vicinity of 5.5 percent, 3 percent above plan. In fact, June comps came in higher, at 6.6 percent.