NEWS16 June 2011

Harris loses third CFO in three years

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US— Struggling online researcher Harris Interactive’s chief financial officer Pavan Bhalla has left after just eight months.

Bhalla (pictured) was hired last year by former CEO Kimberly Till – whose own departure and replacement by Al Angrisani was announced last week.

Harris said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that his departure “is not based on any disagreement with the company’s accounting principles or practices, or financial statement disclosures”.

Bhalla had previously worked at human resources outsourcing and consulting firm Hewitt Associates.

He is the third CFO to depart the firm in less than three years, following Ron Salluzzo who left in December 2008 and Robert Cox who served for just five months before leaving in November 2009. The gaps in between were filled by Deborah Rieger-Paganis and Eric Narowski, who now takes over once again as interim CFO.

New boss Al Angrisani has come back to Harris after serving as president between 2002 and 2004. He is charged with the task of turning the business around, following disappointing performances under its past two chief executives, Kimberly Till and Greg Novak.

The agency’s most recent quarterly results showed revenues down 7.5% to $38.1m, a decline of 9% excluding exchange rate effects, and operating losses up to $1.9m from $0.9m a year ago.