Added CFO Pressures Force Some Out the Door

February 26, 2007 ( - The top reason that chief financial officers (CFOs) leave their posts is to accept another job, followed by an inability to fit into company culture, but some leave because the job pressures become too high, according to a recent survey by career consultant Right Management.

According to a press release , the survey of human resource managers and executives at 191 mid-to large organizations found that half of CFOs left their jobs to go elsewhere, followed by 23%, who said the CFO did not fit into the organization’s culture; 22%, who said the work environment was too stressful and 5% who said new corporate disclosure requirements were too burdensome.

CFOs may not have adjusted to the added pressure of the corporate disclosure requirements prompted by Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. “The strains that Sarbanes-Oxley placed on the job are still present. Some CFOs have not adjusted to the greater duties and increased responsibilities that a chief financial executive for a public company must now confront,” said Doug Matthews, president and chief operating officer for Right Management, in the press release.

According to the survey, the average time a CFO stays in one spot is:

  • 28%, six to 10 years;
  • 27%, three to five years;
  • 25%, up to three years;
  • 20%, more than 10 years.

When a CFO leaves the company, 22% say it takes one to two months to find a replacement; 34% of organizations say it takes three to five months; 26% say it takes six to 12 months; 11% say less than one month; and 7% say more than a year.