Former Polaroid exec takes top finance job at 3Com

Donald Halsted, one target of a class action suit alleging financial improprieties at bankrupt Polaroid, officially becomes CFO.

A former financial executive from bankrupt Polaroid has officially taken over as chief financial officer and executive vice president at 3Com, the networking gear maker announced Monday.

Donald Halsted was named CFO during 3Com's fourth-quarter conference call on June 22, but he did not officially take on his new role until now. Mark Slaven, the company's former CFO, has been commuting to the company's new headquarters in Marlborough, Mass., from his home in California for the past year. He plans to remain with the company through the end of 2004, 3Com said.

Halsted served as Polaroid's controller during the camera giant's rapid financial decline. Polaroid filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2001. In 2002, Polaroid's assets were sold to One Equity Partners, a division of Chicago-based Bank One.

In August of last year, Halsted and other Polaroid executives were named as targets of a class action lawsuit filed by former Polaroid investors. The lawsuit claims that Polaroid executives and KPMG auditors engaged in improper accounting and failed to warn investors of the company's deteriorating finances. The lawsuit is still pending.

Karin Bakis, a 3Com spokeswoman, said 3Com was aware of the lawsuit before it brought Halsted on board.

"Today it is all too common for executives to be involved in litigation," she said. "But 3Com is pleased that Don will be a key member of our senior management team, as he helps us execute our plan for profitable future growth."

In 1979, Halsted began his career at IBM, where he remained until 1998. He worked for Polaroid from 1998 until 2003. Most recently, he was vice president of finance at London-based Invensys.