By Mark Maurer
Colgate-Palmolive Co. named a new finance chief as the maker of Softsoap and Ajax cleanser continues to navigate high demand for products such as soap and pet food during the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York-based consumer-products company said Friday it has appointed Stanley Sutula, effective Nov. 9. Mr. Sutula, who joins from technology company Pitney Bowes Inc., succeeds Henning Jakobsen. Mr. Jakobsen, who has been in the role since May 2018, plans to retire at the end of the year and will assume the role of senior vice president until then.
At Colgate, Mr. Sutula will likely be tasked with helping to allocate capital for more advertising spending and product development, said Erin Lash, an equity analyst at Morningstar Research Services LLC. The company in recent months has seen strong demand for health and hygiene products in North America and other markets.
Colgate on Friday reported $698 million in net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up 20.8% from the prior-year period. Global net sales grew 5.7% to $4.15 billion, while North American net sales excluding pet nutrition rose 6.2% to $923 million.
The incoming CFO could play a key role in pursuing acquisitions to expand the company's geographic position or its existing distribution channels, Ms. Lash said. In January, Colgate acquired Hello Products LLC, an oral-care business, for a cash consideration of $351 million. The company in recent years largely shied away from large-scale acquisitions.
Mr. Sutula has served as CFO of Pitney Bowes since 2017. The company leases and services postal meters and presorts mail for commercial clients. Before that, he spent 28 years at International Business Machines Corp., where he held positions such as treasurer and controller.
His experience using data analytics to drive revenue growth could be useful as Colgate looks to strengthen its digital and e-commerce operations, said Brennan Clark, a credit analyst at S&P Global Ratings, the ratings firm.
Mr. Jakobsen, the outgoing CFO, joined Colgate in 1989. He was instrumental in leading the company's efforts to improve organizational efficiency, Chief Executive Noel Wallace said Friday. The company reduced total costs by more than $500 million as part of a multiyear program that ran from 2012 to 2019.
Colgate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Colin Kellaher contributed to this article.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires