Fin 301 Case Assignment Module 1

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ARE FINANCE DEPARTMENTS THE BES PLACE TO TRAIN FUTURE CEOs?

Is the best place to train Chief Financial Officers (CFO) to become Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in the financial department? In today’s world, it is becoming more and more common to see CFOs advance to become CEOs. There is a growing trend of Chief Financial Officers (CFO) taking the top post in the corporate world. Troubled companies look for leaders with financial background to turn their companies around. An estimated 25% of top executives are former CFOs. Many have performed exceptionally and some did not do so well.

There are pros and cons of hiring CFOs to become CEOs. The key is when considering the CFO for the executive position; one should look if his or her credentials merit the look. If that's the case then they should be considered. Pros:

The skills and experiences CFOs possess make them strong CEO contenders in the changing marketplace. Some of the main reasons why CFOs are best suited to become a CEO are their knowledge and awareness of all the financial situations of the corporation. This background enables them to see the corporation’s overall financial health and picture. CFOs’ exposure to the board is another reason as they are in attendance at majority of the board meetings making them critical players in the day to day operations. And by the nature of their position, CFOs have access to the numbers of the business and their frequent interaction with the CEO more than probably any other top-line manager allows them to get a glimpse of what a CEO does.

Part of the reason for the trend towards recruiting CFOs is that the investor community looks much more critically at the business performance and management strengths and weaknesses of corporate. “The two most visible people in the company to the investor community are the chief executive and the finance director,” says Ian Butcher, finance director at UK recruitment firm Whitehead Mann Group (Janine Brewis,...
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