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iVillage CFO Loads the Car, Heads to AutoNation

Craig T. Monahan is leaving the Silicon Alley women's network and returning to his auto roots.

iVillage picked a bad time to lose its CFO.

After nearly two years at Silicon Alley's community heroine,

iVillage

(IVIL)

CFO

Craig T. Monaghan

is returning to the big time. He's had his Internet fun -- all 119-bucks-down-to-10-bucks-a-share of it.

Now he's getting back to his

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report

and

Reader's Digest

(RDA)

roots, taking the CFO post next month at

AutoNation

(AN) - Get AutoNation, Inc. Report

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, the giant auto retailer that is quickly building its own Web presence. Scott Levine, iVillage's chief accounting officer, will be thrown to the lions in the meantime, until a replacement can be found.

The Nerve!

iVillage was left holding the red Kate Spade bag on its first-quarter conference call. What could be a more joyous occasion for founder and CEO

Candace Carpenter

? The stock market has picked your pocket until there's not even a lint ball left. After five quarters public, you're still clocking $25.2 million in losses, or 85 cents a share. Your COO, Allison Abraham, left less than a week ago to join LifeMinders.com

(LFMN)

. And, oops, now -- just as the market is turning more cynical and pushy, you've got no CFO to convince the Street you can change your ways.

As CFO, Monaghan presided over quarterly losses of $29.9 million in Q4, $28.4 million in Q3, $17.1 million in Q2 and $41.2 million in Q1 of last year.

iVillage managed to nudge up its first-quarter revenue a fragile 8% over Q4 numbers. Carpenter read her mantra haltingly throughout the analyst call: "in a seasonally weak quarter." Of that $20.8 million in revenue, $17.6 million came from advertising, while $3.2 trickled in from commerce. Revenue in the quarter was up 221% from a year ago, when it was $6.5 million.

Oh, and did we mention we have $93 million in cash and cash equivalents, so we won't fold -- pay no attention to those big, bad vultures circling our dehydrated bodies? Yes, Carpenter did. Several times. She was also highly complimentary to new company President Doug McCormick, a

Lifetime

cable guy, and Michele Anderson, senior VP of strategic development, fresh from Booz Allen & Hamilton. See, we don't just lose people, we gain people. (Then again, Chase Hambrecht & Quist's Paul Noglows asked one of only three analyst questions on the post-earnings conference call, inquiring as to what exactly McCormick was going to do at the company.)

Now iVillage has somewhat of a tarnished CFO history. Carpenter knows that after the loud pre-IPO departure of the once-CFO Joanne O'Rourke Hindman -- who got a lot of press for book-cooking insinuations and filed a lawsuit because of an alleged undelivered stock package -- onlookers would be skeptical. It's not too much of a stretch to wonder if a) Carpenter ruins her CFOs; or b) The stock might be at a level where Monaghan thinks it will lounge for some time.

Maybe Monaghan just wanted a bigger office and gilded bathroom fixtures. Or maybe the gaping losses were getting old at a site that's solidly in the top 25 Web sites in terms of traffic.

It's not his mess anymore.

Tish Williams' column takes at look at the people who make Silicon Valley tick. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, she doesn't own or short individual stocks, although she does own stock options in TheStreet.com. She also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. She breathlessly awaits your feedback at

twilliams@thestreet.com.