Another Mutation for the Monster

Here we go again. The management at Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq: MNST  ) is undergoing another metamorphosis. Back in April, it was the CEO's office that saw a switch. This time around, it is the CFO's position being shuffled.

According to reports, Timothy Yates, who at one time was CFO for Symbol Technologies, will be Monster's new money man, replacing Lanny Baker. Interestingly enough, Sal Iannuzzi, the current CEO of Monster, used to be the CEO of Symbol Technologies. Talk about symmetry.

Monster's shares closed down in yesterday's trading session, giving up more than 2% of their value. The market as a whole was down as well, of course, but one can understand how an alteration in management could spook investors, especially when the change involves the guy in charge of a company's financial picture. In addition to this major personnel change, Monster has announced some traditional streamlining initiatives aimed at promoting efficiency.

Only time will tell whether this is the jolt Monster is looking for. The e-commerce company needs to solidly position itself for growth amid competition from online resources such as Yahoo!'s (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) HotJobs site, as well as traditional staffing agencies like Kforce (Nasdaq: KFRC  ) and Manpower (NYSE: MAN  ) . And it needs to move on from its other problems, such as issues concerning stock-option backdating, which I discussed in a previous article around the time of the CEO change (fellow Fool David Lee Smith also wrote about the debacles with the company's founder, Andrew McKelvey). Stuff like this shouldn't happen in the first place, but in fairness to Monster, options woes are something of a shared phenomenon on Wall Street these days. Hopefully, better controls to prevent the embarrassing events which have plagued the business in the recent past are now firmly in place.

Monster shareholders have experienced a bit of a ride this past year. If the current management changes lead to stability, then investors may want to take a hard look at the company as an investing idea. According to Yahoo! Finance, Monster is pegged to earn $1.93 in fiscal 2008. If the company can grow earnings somewhere around the expected 25% over the next few years, then its PEG ratio is reasonable. Without a doubt, a CFO change on top of a recent CEO change can make an investor want to sit on the sidelines -- I myself see no reason to rush into buying right now. However, considering Monster's brand power -- I mean, come on, all of us have heard a friend or colleague say "I've just posted my resume on Monster.com" at some point -- and its current valuation, I'd say this is definitely a stock to at least put on the watch list for future evaluation.   

More Monstrous Takes:

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. As of this writing, he was ranked 6,322 out of 29,806 rated investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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