When the CFO Quits

Zacks

An article last night put Andrew Mason on the hot seat. The CEO of Groupon (GRPN) is supposedly in danger of losing his job, but most of those fears were alleviated today at a conference where he said "If I ever felt that I wasn’t the right person to do the job, I’d fire myself.”

When the CEO is leaving it’s a big deal. To me, when the CFO leaves, it’s a bigger deal. I have come to live by an old saying "When the CFO leaves, sell the stock" and that has proven invaluable to me over the years. Why do I think that it’s more important when the CFO leaves? Well the CFO is much closer to the numbers, the real metrics of how the company is making money. More importantly, they see how the company is not making money and when they see a big problem on the horizon, they sometimes don't want to stick around to see what happens. Take the recent example of Guess (GES). On November 1, the CFO announces he quits, the stock sinks 7% in after hours. The stock had closed at $25.89 and then opened at 23.20 the next day. From November 1 through November 15, the stock was down 7.67%. There are numerous other examples of the CFO leaving and the stock dropping significantly in the near term.

Do you agree with me that the CFO leaving is more important than the CEO? Let me know what you think and share an example if you wish!

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