CFO Turnover

Why is CFO turnover so high? David McCann’s article in addresses the fact that one–quarter of Fortune 1,000 lost (for one reason or another) its senior finance leader in 2007.

These two excerpts point to the facts, but the article in its entirety is a must–read.

“For large-company finance chiefs considering job switches, the good news is that a lot of CFO positions are opening up. The bad news is that those who land one of them might not have it for long.”

“Being a CFO at a very large company is a precarious position indeed. ‘The average tenure of a [Fortune 1,000] CFO right now is less than three years,’ Michele Heid, co-managing partner of the finance practice at Heidrick & Struggles, told ‘Five years ago, it was closer to five years’.”

Knowledge is power. With a “here today, gone tomorrow” culture surrounding senior–level finance executives, the questions is … how are you going to use that knowledge?

You can do nothing of course. But when (and it is more likely when, not if) you find yourself on the curb, your marketability will have taken a big hit.

Or, you can begin to proactively manage your career much like you proactively run your company. Where do you want to be in three years? In five years? What do you need to do and who needs to know about you in order to get there?

Isn’t there an old adage that goes something like … failing to plan is planning to fail?