Who Was Who in

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March issue preview: In another blow for Arthur Andersen, the consultant agrees to shell out $11 million to collectibles-maker Department 56 over a failed information technology engagement. What went wrong?

Blame Game">

Who Was Who in Blame Game

Susan E. Engel, Chief Executive Officer

Fifty-four-year old has been CEO since September 1996, was COO before that … an experienced retail and merchandise executive, she has done stints at JC Penney and Sara Lee, and spent 14 years as an analyst and partner at Booz Allen Hamilton … Achilles' heel in this case may have been her lack of knowledge about technology; analysts say Engel left the project largely in Andersen's hands.

Alan L. Sussman, Chief Information Officer

Stepped in nine months after the company went live with its J.D. Edwards ERP system … already had experience with a tricky J.D. Edwards integration project from his time as VP of IT at Rollerblade … spent 12 years early in his career as a consultant at Andersen, proving that not everyone connected to the onetime auditing-consulting giant is persona non grata at Department 56.

Gregory G. Sorensen, Vice President, Management Information Systems

Was at the helm of Department 56's 20-person IT department during the company's troubled J.D. Edwards ERP implementation … first contact with Department 56 was as a consultant … was previously president of information systems at Tsumura International, a distributor of consumer soaps and toiletries.

Tim Poehling, Senior Business Manager, Arthur Andersen

Project leader who worked on Department 56's ERP implementation … got ground up pretty thoroughly in the now-settled Department 56 lawsuit, which called him a "low-level professional" who was "secretive" and "uncooperative," and who displayed "panic" in late 1998 as Department 56's project fell hopelessly behind schedule. Andersen appears to disagree; Poehling it still on its payroll.

This article was originally published on 2002-03-06
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