R.G. Barry Corp., maker of the Dearfoams brand, this week named José Ibarra as CFO and SVP of finance, expediting a June announcement that 20-year veteran Daniel Viren would be stepping down later this year.
Ibarra, 49, has taken over the post ahead of schedule, he said, because the transition — which included repositioning four others in the finance department — went more smoothly than expected.
“I was working very closely with the [finance team] and shadowing Viren,” Ibarra told FOOTWEAR NEWS. “Six months into it, we realized we had made the progress we needed in the transition.”
Ibarra, who has been with the Pickerington, Ohio-based company for 18 years, has held several accounting and finance positions at the firm, including SVP and treasurer, VP and corporate controller, director of finance for international operations and manager of internal audit. Before joining the company, Ibarra worked for the New York-based international audit group Philip Morris Management Inc. and with Ernst & Young in the southwestern U.S.
“Ibarra brings needed continuity tempered with an exciting, fresh perspective to the CFO role,” R.G. Barry President and CFO Greg Tunney said in a release. “Thanks to Ibarra’s leadership in assimilating his new duties and the tremendous depth of experienced talent in our finance area, we have been able to smoothly facilitate the critical transition to a new CFO ahead of our initial plan.”
Meanwhile, Viren, 62, who announced his plans to retire last June, will continue to work with the company on its mergers and acquisitions initiatives through Aug. 30, when he is set to retire. His new role, as special assistant to Tunney for M&A, will revolve exclusively around the company’s growth strategy.
In addition, Ibarra said he and executives at R.G. Barry decided to reposition the finance department rather than fill his vacated position and have promoted four other staff members to take on portions of his former responsibilities.
“We knew we would not bring someone on board to replace me and decided to allocate those roles [to members of] our deep and experienced team,” Ibarra said. “This is a way to really maximize the resources we have [in a poor economy].”
Gary Sandefur has been named corporate controller, Mike Maggard was promoted to corporate treasurer, Paul Cieply has become manager of financial planning and analysis, and Ann Scarberry has been tapped as manager of treasury.