Nvidia Corp. says it has appointed Colette Kress chief financial officer, ending a multi-year search to fill the position that first became vacant in March 2011 following the resignation of David White. Kress joins the graphics chip manufacturer from Cisco Systems Inc., where she was a senior vice president and CFO of the communications equipment maker’s business technology and operations finance unit.
Kress’ appointment fills a glaring top management vacancy at Nvidia, which has been expanding operations into the consumer electronics business in an effort to diversify sales and reduce its dependence on the margin-challenged PC market. She will take over the CFO position from Karen Burns who was named interim CFO after White resigned.
Although the search for White’s replacement was unusually long, Nvidia has secured one of the top names in finance management in the high-tech market with the appointment of Kress. In addition to her stint at Cisco, 46 years old Kress also previously worked 13 years at Microsoft where she was CFO at the server and tools division. Before joining Microsoft, Kress worked eight years at Texas Instruments “where she held a variety of finance positions,” Nvidia said in its statement.
“We have searched extensively for the right candidate and are thrilled to have Colette join us,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia in a statement. “She brings fantastic experience, excellent financial management skills and deep industry knowledge to Nvidia. Colette will be a great asset as we work to extend our global leadership in visual computing, mobile and the cloud. ”
Nvidia is paying a hefty bundle to secure Kress. In addition to the annual salary of $500,000, Kress gets a signing bonus of $1.5 million and $1 million on her first anniversary with Nvidia. She also gets a grant of 220,000 Nvidia shares “vesting over four years subject to her continuous employment,” according to Nvidia.