Truth, Fiction, or False Hope?

A recent article in Bloomberg begins …

Headline: “Wellpoint is committed to keeping management, CFO says.” 

Opening sentence: “Two weeks after Angela Braly was forced out as Wellpoint Inc. (WLP) chief executive officer, the management team she put in place has been told by the board it will stay, said Chief Financial Officer Wayne Deveydt.“

Which is it? Is the Board “committed”? As in they will “try,” but when the rubber meets the road and reality sets in, commitment could / might / can break down? Or, is it a sure thing? If it is a sure thing, just how long does “stay” mean?

Whether Wellpoint keeps its management team in place or not isn’t really my point. My point is … talk is cheap. And because talk is cheap, no executive can count on such words being a promise, particularly when uttered in a crisis situation. They can be well-intended or merely an opportunity for some stealth hiring of a new management team, or team members, while publicly calming the fears of the other executives.

A question was posed on Proformative around whether it was important for a recruiter (or HR) to know your employment status when you are in job search mode. It IS important from their perspective and that question will undoubtedly come up in the conversation. And if it doesn’t, you can bet Google will get them the answer as soon as they hang up with you.


Despite the high unemployment and depth of finance talent that is readily available, companies still prefer passive candidates. The biggest severance package in corporate history won’t change the fact that you will still have to answer the employment question with the word “unemployed.”

Don’t get caught unaware, unprepared, and without a plan. Adopt the “always open to hearing about opportunities” mentality, and then create visibility to attract those opportunities your way. Especially when you are gainfully employed and not looking.

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