CEO, Board Liability
Consider this phrase:
“Non-financial managers can no
longer afford to be non-financial.”
When I first said that to a workshop audience
a few years ago, some took it as a pitch for
my executive finance coaching services.
Then a series of events hit the news wires:
- Bernie Ebbers was convicted despite claiming
he knew little about WorldCom’s finances;
- Ken Lay was indicted following the fall
of Enron, although he claimed little knowledge
and no blame for what happened;
- Arthur Anderson collapsed under the weight
of Enron and other “errors of judgment;”
- Sarbanes-Oxley sailed through congress,
imposing new requirements on CEOs.
Now my sound byte sounds almost prophetic.
Today as always, most CEOs rely on their financial
advisors to know the details, to interpret
the indicators, and to keep them informed.
In many cases CEOs simply don’t know enough
about the financial underpinnings of their
own companies. Often they are challenged by
an inability to effectively read between the
lines of their own financial reports. As
a result, they live with an awesome potential
Yet, despite the risk, many CEOs do not want
to freely acknowledge their financial shortcomings
to their staff, their boards, not even to their
CFOs. Or maybe especially to their
boards and CFOs.
This risky scenario is being played out in
corporations large and small across the country.
To minimize your risk you must develop your
knowledge and skills in the financial implications
of your decisions.
For a completely confidential discussion of
CEO and Board liabilities, please call me at
my office (310) 645-1091 or my cell phone (310)720-1091.
We’ll know in just a few minutes if executive
finance coaching can help you to increase your
effectiveness while reducing your personal
liability for the financial matters affecting