In our interview with Bob Monks earlier this year, the governance advocate considered the question: when should an IRO resign? Monks was talking in the context of corporate fraud. But the question lends itself to other scenarios – for example, when you disagree with management about the need to warn on profits.
Such a disagreement may have led to the resignation of Tim Weller, Cable & Wireless Worldwide’s departing CFO, whose decision to step down was announced in the weeks before a recent profit warning.
At the time of his resignation, the company said Weller was leaving to pursue new challenges. An article in today’s Times, however, challenges that claim, reporting instead that Weller quit in frustration after the company’s board would not lower ‘its profit guidance in the run-up to a positive trading statement last month, only to shock the market with a damaging warning.’
Here’s more of the Times’ article (via Alphaville): ‘The Times can reveal that Mr Weller, who is well regarded by investors, quit after a series of meetings with other executives last month where his concerns about the strength of the numbers were dismissed. The situation boiled over during a heated exchange at a meeting with the board when he threatened to quit unless his advice to warn on profits was heeded. They just sat there and thought about it until it was too late, a person familiar with the situation said.’
If the report is true, Weller will have further boosted his stature in the eyes of the investment community. The rest of the company’s board, on the other hand…
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