Wall Street Bucks National Trend Of Rising CFOs

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Nearly one-fifth of US chief executive officers in 2005 were formerly chief financial officers, a doubling of the percentage from the prior decade. The Economist explains the changing make-up of CEOS--more women, shorter tenures--but it leads with the rise of the financial professional, which seems to be caused largely by regulatory changes such as Sarbanes-Oxley and increased financial disclosure requirements.
Perhaps surprisingly, Wall Street is bucking this trend. Although CFOs such as Gary Crittenden, Zoe Cruz and Erin Callan often get talked about as successors to the top spot at their respective banks, they more often get passed over. Of Wall Street's current chiefs, only John Thain, now the head of Merrill Lynch, served as chief financial officer (when he was at Goldman Sachs). This could be because years of Wall Street experience involve enough hands-on finance regardless of what position a senior executive takes, making the CFO experience superfluous. Or maybe Wall Street is still trapped in a pattern other US companies broke out of a year ago.
How to get to the top [The Economist]

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