Conn's Promotes CFO, Hires Successor

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Beaumont, Texas - Conn's has promoted executive VP/chief financial officer Michael Poppe to COO and has hired Schlumberger exec Brian Taylor to succeed him.

The changes are effective today.

Separately, the company said it will begin moving members of its senior management team and other functions from headquarters here to offices in nearby Houston this summer.

Poppe had served as chief financial officer since 2008 and was named an executive VP in 2010. In his new role, he will be responsible for the regional majap, furniture and CE chain's credit and service operations and human resource and legal functions.

He joined the company from Arthur Andersen in 2004 as controller, assistant chief financial officer and assistant treasurer.

"Mike has been a key contributor to our success and I am looking forward to working with him as his role changes," said Conn's chairman/CEO Theo Wright.

Taylor, who will also carry an executive VP title, will be primarily responsible for the company's accounting, treasury, internal audit and risk-management functions. He previously held various financial management roles with Smith International, including corporate VP and controller, and most recently served as finance integration manager at Schlumberger following its acquisition of Smith.

"We feel very fortunate to have someone of Brian's caliber join the company as we develop and strengthen our management team and prepare for the next phase of the company's growth," Wright said.

In other Conn's news, the company said it will move about 50 of its 400 headquarters personnel to offices in Houston this summer, where some of its functions are already based. Poppe told the local

Beaumont Enterprise

that he and CEO Wright will operate primarily out of the Houston facilities, while retail president David Trahan will maintain offices in both locations.

Joining them in Houston will be the merchandising, advertising and internal auditing teams, as well as several accounting personnel.

Pope told the newspaper that Houston was chosen for its proximity to Beaumont, and that basing senior management there will make it easier for them to travel and meet with vendors as the company expands.

"We have the call center in San Antonio, corporate functions in Beaumont and a smaller group in Houston -- that will get everybody situated in the right place for a long time to come," he told the newspaper.

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