CFOs suffering because of CEO optimism

A survey of 741 CFOs in Europe, the US and Asia has found that they are
leaving their jobs at a faster rate than ever. Executives blamed increasing
pressure to deliver improved results and the mounting demands of regulators as
major sticking points.

The survey found the CFO’s role is becoming increasingly harder to fulfil in
a tougher regulatory landscape, while being closely scrutinised by more
insistent shareholders. CFO
poll reported that money controllers also cited the natural
optimism of their chief executives as being a major contributor to the

The situation has caused a concerning knock-on effect, and CFO’s reported
that shorter terms at CEO and FD positions had lead to curtailed investment
horizons as execs avoid (or change) projects that will mature after they have
left their posts.

Some 45% of surveyed FDs believed that CEOs took a more optimistic view than
they did, highlighting the fair weather outlook as a requirement for the
top job. Some 29% beleived that it was expected of CEO’s by customers and
employees, but one survey respondent responded: ‘CEO is a moron,’ in answering
the question. 

The study compiled in association with Rotterdam’s
RSM Erasmus University and 
Duke University in
the US also found that stateside CFOs were most likely to denounce
excessive compliance demands as one of the prime reasons for handing in their

Further reading:

The Finance Directors’ Forum: What’s

Behind the numbers: stop airing your dirty

Ethical burden: Can you teach ethics?

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