Checkfree Corp. announced two major changes in its corporate architecture: the naming of a chief operating officer and the relocation of its headquarters.

Peter F. Sinisgalli, 40, will join next week as chief operating officer, reporting to chairman and chief executive Peter J. Kight. Mr. Sinisgalli is now executive vice president and chief financial officer of Dun & Bradstreet Software.

He will be based in Atlanta, which has just been named Checkfree's headquarters. The 15-year-old company had been based in Columbus, Ohio, but Atlanta has become a significant center of activity this year since Checkfree acquired software vendor Servantis Systems Inc.

Mr. Kight said designating Servantis' headquarters as Checkfree's "makes a clear statement as far as how serious I consider the integration" of the two operations.

He called the facility, on a campus setting removed from downtown Atlanta, "well situated to provide corporate and staff support for all of our operating divisions in all our locations."

In Columbus, where it began as a provider of electronic bill payment services, Checkfree will be looking for a larger facility to house a retail services operations center and software development headquarters.

"Checkfree has made a number of very important strategic acquisitions," Mr. Sinisgalli said. The challenge facing the company is "to successfully exploit those acquisitions to make Checkfree a more appealing provider of products and services to customers.

"My role will be to work with management of those acquisitions to make sure we're maximizing the value of those franchises to our customers," he said.

The combination of "his strong operating background at Dun & Bradstreet" and "the fact that he has a very strong financial background" made Mr. Sinisgalli the right choice, Mr. Kight said.

The new chief operating officer began working in Dun & Bradstreet's software unit in 1994, initially as chief financial officer. Before that, he was senior vice president-group finance at Dun & Bradstreet Corp. and CFO of its Nielsen Media Research division.

Mr. Sinisgalli's Dun & Bradstreet background should be helpful in overseeing Checkfree's electronic banking and processing activities, said James R. Beams, a consulting analyst with Tower Group. "Checkfree has a lot of disparate pieces that they need to work on integrating."

Gary Craft, an analyst with Friedman, Billings & Ramsey, said he wondered whether Mr. Sinisgalli would try to change Checkfree's "overall direction."

Checkfree reported a third-quarter loss of $3.8 million, but many analysts expect its recent acquisitions to result in market leadership and stronger cash flow.

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