Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.
Ed Tries To Sack The CFO
‘I’m leaving the CMO till last because he’s a big fiery Scottish bloke and I know he’s going to lose his temper and hit me,’ Ed confides to his diary.
The private equity firm which owns his company has told him to replace all the C-Class execs as a way to bring fresh blood, energy and thinking into the company.
‘So that leaves the CFO, CLO, COO and CSO to sack before I have to deal with the CMO. I’m surprised they haven’t rumbled what’s going on,’ muses Ed, ‘I think the next easiest to fire will be the CFO – typical anal accountant type – well used to being bullied.’
A few days later the entry reads: ‘Sacked the CFO today. He just sat there blinking like a bloody owl then said quietly: “Of course I shall have to report what goes on here to the Institute”.’
‘”What bloody Institute?” I ask him.’
‘”The Institute of Chartered Accountants,” replies the worm, “they take a dim view of some of the practices we employ in this company”.’
‘”Well you’re responsible for them,” I tell him.’
‘”Only under the direct orders of the board – I’ve got documentation that shows every questionable practice was mandated by the board,” replies the worm, “I merely implemented their orders having expressed my reservations about the practices”.’
‘Where’s this documentation?” I ask.’
‘”Somewhere safe,” replies the worm, ‘I expect the Institute will order an investigation when they see my report.’
‘”Don’t do anything,” I tell the worm, “we don’t want you to go. That was just a stratagem to get you to re-think some of the parameters of your role. You’re a valued member of the team”.’
‘After the ex-CFO, now re-instated CFO, leaves my office I ring The Brats,’ (Ed’s name for the 20-something year-old super-sharpies who monitor his company for its private equity owners.
‘”Ed, Ed,” replies A Brat patronisingly, “you don’t have to formally fire them all – ease ‘em out. Make life hell for them. Undermine them. De-perk them. Just be plain nasty to them until they push off. You should be good at that”.’
‘So no more Mr Nice Guy’ Ed tells his diary, ‘roll on my $25 mill.’Tags: bloke, brats, private equity firm, questionable practice, temper