Maybe it's just a coincidence, but we seem to be in another one of those periods when CFOs get hyperactive and start jumping ship, or get pushed.
In the last couple of months, CFOs have been coming and going at American Axle, Lear Corp., Gentex, General Motors (corporate and North America) and Ford Credit.
Some of the moves can be chalked up to normal retirement or a sharp CFO getting a better job offer. Sometimes that job offer is in a galaxy far, far away from car wars.
But you have to admit, these can be trying times for CFOs.
It was bad enough in the good old days when all a CFO really had to worry about was steering clear of misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.
But that was way back in the days when you might hear a serious CEO ask, "What do the numbers look like this quarter?" And a savvy CFO might wink and respond, "What do you want them to look like?"
These days, accelerated cash burn rates, payment stalls by your customers and the looming threat of Chapter 11 bankruptcy are enough to keep any CFO awake at night.
And that doesn't even take into account Sarbanes-Oxley. You know, that grotesque, Dr. Seuss-like SOX monster that uses federal prosecutors as bird dogs to stalk and flush poor, unwary CFOs so the beast can kill and devour them. Slowly.
Ooh. It makes your blood run cold, doesn't it?
When you get right down to it, Willie Nelson nailed it.
Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be CFOs.
You may e-mail Edward Lapham at [email protected]