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Hell hath no fury like a CFO scored...

Samuel Dergel posted this article on LinkedIn today. It's a great article, not so much in my opinion of the case outlined, but as a managerial problem. The article is here: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140711/BLOGS11/140719983/hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-cfo-scorned How does one part company with key people who large amounts of knowledge that could be detrimental to your company. Notwithstanding NDA's, which isn't the end all and be all of assuring silence; a parting that is not under good terms can result in; an negative article in Crain's for an example. What's your feeling on this, and have you encountered issues such as these?

Answers

DANIEL POIRIER
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Pro Tech International
(Chief Financial Officer, Pro Tech International) |

Wayne,

This is a great managerial problem to highlight, from both company and individual perspectives.

Handling the termination of any employee who has intimate knowledge of your business needs to be done with kid gloves unless there is reason to believe that individual has done something illegal or immoral. The board members identified in the article appear to be taking actions for personal more than business reasons and if the "facts" identified in the article are true, they may be reaping that which they have sown.

In my opinion, the best way to avoid the type of fight these folks are having is by keeping your business activities above board to begin with. There are people who like to operate in the grey areas of life. Most financial executives do not like operating in the grey areas and do not appreciate being placed in a position where their ethical values are challenged. If they become complicit, which they will have to if they decide to stay, then the Finance Officer and the company are both in the same bed that they have made. If the company, or it's top officers, are taking things too far, then the Financial Officer needs to make a decision about whether or not he/she wants to stay and assume the risks involved with those activities. Either way, the parting of ways will become much more complicated as either party has the ability to turn on the other to gain the upper hand in any potential conflict.

Dan

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