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Even CFOs Don't Want to Be King

Posted by: Jena McGregor on November 14, 2007

No wonder so many people say there’s not enough good talent for the top job. Even some of the managers most qualified to become CEOs don’t want it. A new study by Grant Thornton, the national accounting firm, found that 43% of CFOs don’t want to be CEO of a company one day. While 57% said they would, I found the 43% proportion a particularly high one, especially given that CEOs often make twice as much as their lieutenants in the C-suite.

Has the job gotten that hard? That intense? That scrutinized? I’d say it has. Finding time on some CEOs’ schedules feels like getting an interview with a president. Others, of course, seem to have plenty of time…look no further than Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne’s days golfing and playing bridge in the midst of the firm’s hedge fund meltdown.

Reader Comments

J. Robert Beyster

November 20, 2007 1:42 AM

This is not a surprising result as I believe that most CFOs -- more than 43% -- could not handle the job of CEO from a personality standpoint. CFOs tend to be more cautious and are not typically risk takers. The most successful CEOS, however, tend to be inclined to take risks.


November 21, 2007 1:47 PM

Here are a few suggestions:
Pay employees properly
Try to make good decisions
Talk to your staff
Invest in your company
Let dishonest and corrupt employees go
Gee! I think I could take a million dollar salary for at least a few months to do this!

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