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Nautilus CFO Steps Down

Linda Pearce, chief financial officer (:CFO) of fitness product company Nautilus Inc. (NLS), recently put down her papers to take up another opportunity. However, Pearce will continue with the company till Jul 2, 2013. Vancouver, Wash.-based Nautilus is now on an extensive lookout for a suitable successor.

Hailing from Oregon, Pearce is leaving Nautilus in less than a year’s time to pursue the same position at Ore.-based Tillamook County Creamery Association, a large dairy cooperative.

Pearce’s recruitment at Nautilus followed the resignation of the previous incumbent Michael D. Mulholland who bowed out in Jan 2012 after serving the company for just about nine months. The company did not cite any reason for his resignation. We believe, frequent changes in top management remain a cause of concern for Nautilus.

Under her financial leadership, Nautilus performed quite satisfactorily and scaled new heights. Over the last four quarters, this consumer fitness products company operating in the US and Canada turned around from a loss making entity to delivering profits. Its bottom-line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates for the last four quarters.

Prior to that, Nautilus had a tough time in conforming to the New York Stock Exchange listing regulations. However, Nautilus managed to conform to the NYSE Listing Standards again in Mar, 2012.

Coming to Pearce, she has donned many important roles in her illustrious career. Prior to joining Nautilus, she served as the executive vice president and CFO of an off-road equipment and accessories company Warn Industries – a subsidiary of Dover Corp. (DOV) since 2000. She also served Warn industries as an interim president for all global operations.

Before joining Warn Industries, Pearce assumed several financial management positions at companies like Gardenburger Inc., Blount International Inc. (BLT) and Lindsay Forest Products Inc.

Considering Pearce’s vast know-how in financial management and her 25-year long experience as a financial expert with leading companies, we believe Nautilus is losing a great employee.

Nautilus currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We believe, the new recruit will face a tough job of carrying on the company’s winning momentum in a sluggish business environment. For us, an element of uncertainty will prevail till a permanent CFO is appointed.

Another multi-channel retailer HSN Inc. (HSNI) is also similarly placed with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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