This week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question asked whether there is a developing power struggle between finance directors and their managing directors or chief executives. Well over half dismissed the idea, while only a quarter thought that a struggle existed.
But the reasons for such boardroom harmony are varied, with some claiming the battle of egos was played out long ago. ‘I think you need to go back to the late seventies to see this power struggle in action. It has long since been won by the FDs. In good times the strengths of the FDs are masked by the strutting of the MD. It’s only in the hard markets when the true location of power is revealed,’ said one finance director. ‘The FD is the real boss and deep down, the MD knows this,’ agreed another.
Others were more submissive. ‘I see my role as an FD as supporting the chief executive,’ said one FD. Another commented: ‘The chief executive must have ultimate executive authority.’
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