December 11, 2018

Accounting Career Moves: When Faced with a Choice, Do You Go with Prestige or Power?

Let's use Luca Maestri’s move from Xerox to Apple as a discussion starter:

Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s most valuable company, has hired Xerox Corp. (XRX) Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri as its corporate controller. […] “Moving from Xerox to Apple is a step up, even going from CFO to controller,” John Bright, an analyst at Avondale Partners LLC, said in an interview. “Is this a stepping stone? It certainly could be.”
But he was CFO, wasn’t he? Some people would never give up the access, power, and control that a CFO position provides them. Hell, for some organizations, the CFO can be the de facto boss and it can eventually lead to the big chair. 
 
Maestri’s move is certainly a calculated one –- he’s giving up title for a subordinate position at a far more prestigious company and maybe the outside shot at one day becoming the CFO of said prestigious company. In a way he's letting go of ego a bit here by sacrificing the C-suite, but at the same time he's feeding it by ditching a has-been for one of the most successful companies in the history of U.S. business.
 
Similarly, we've seen many, many people (read: KPMG partners) leave their jobs to join PwC, presumably leaving the fast track to the top echelons of the House of Klynveld for lesser roles within a firm that is accepted as the most prestigious in its industry.
 
So if (or when) faced with a similar choice in your career, which way do you go? Will your ambition get the best of you or does playing on the best team mean more? Discuss.
 

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Grant Thornton and the Antichrist

al pacino_devil.jpgIt’s rather mysterious that the New York office of Grant Thornton is located at 666 Third Ave. As I’m sure our more pious readers know, the significance of the 666 is commonly known as “The Number of the Beast“. We won’t get into any more specifics than that other than to mention that it is a pretty creepy-ass looking number.
Is G to the T run by a secret group of Al Pacino-esque figures that are working against the forces of good?
Maybe not but the otherwise boring-assness of that particular lobby is def working too hard to not be noticed…