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Christine McCarthy named CFO

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
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Her resume sounds like she's very much of the corporate bean counter variety, makes me uncomfortable. Someone can correct me if i'm wrong, but here's what her profile on Disney says-

Christine M. McCarthy is Executive Vice President, Corporate Real Estate, Alliances and Treasurer of The Walt Disney Company. She is responsible for the enterprise-wide management of a variety of functions, including corporate finance, capital markets, financial risk management, international treasury, insurance, pension and investments, global cash management and treasury operations, and credit and collections. She also oversees corporate alliances and the company’s global real estate organization, including development, portfolio management and facilities management.
http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/about-disney/leadership/corporate-management-team/christine-mccarthy
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Isn't that what you want in a CFO?
Not necessarily. Managing finances sure, but not if their idea as a finance person is slicing more and more away from a product to enrich the people who don't give a crap about the company. Instead of smartly allotting money for building the company the proper way.

I don't know much about this person, I admit I could be entirely wrong. But her resume makes me worry a bit. Someone who knows more about her can correct me if i'm mistaken.
 

asianway

Well-Known Member
Not necessarily. Managing finances sure, but not if their idea as a finance person is slicing more and more away from a product to enrich the people who don't give a crap about the company. Instead of smartly allotting money for building the company the proper way.

I don't know much about this person, I admit I could be entirely wrong. But her resume makes me worry a bit. Someone who knows more about her can correct me if i'm mistaken.
At least it wasn't Lansberry
 

PhotoDave219

Well-Known Member
Not necessarily. Managing finances sure, but not if their idea as a finance person is slicing more and more away from a product to enrich the people who don't give a crap about the company. Instead of smartly allotting money for building the company the proper way.

I don't know much about this person, I admit I could be entirely wrong. But her resume makes me worry a bit. Someone who knows more about her can correct me if i'm mistaken.
Having a "Chief Strategy Officer" is more disconcerting than anything. Sounds like a place where dreams go to die.
 

BernardandBianca

Well-Known Member
Not necessarily. Managing finances sure, but not if their idea as a finance person is slicing more and more away from a product to enrich the people who don't give a crap about the company. Instead of smartly allotting money for building the company the proper way.
I will admit to a certain lack of knowledge about some of these matters, but isn't it the purpose of the finance people (CFO, accountants, etc.) to provide information and data to operating businesspeople, and it is these businesspeople who make the actual decisions as to what gets approved, or sliced or increased? I always thought that managers manage, and accountants count. (Which in my mind is why "bean counters" get a bad reputation: they just report the figures, they do not make the decisions.)
 
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MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
As I said in the spirited thread, the worry is less about her present position. It's more about the possibility of promoting a CFO to a higher position like CEO. It's not impossible, especially if Wall Street ends up liking their work. Until somewhat recently (within the past year I believe), former CFO Jay Rasulo was being groomed by Iger as his successor.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
As I said in the spirited thread, the worry is less about her present position. It's more about the possibility of promoting a CFO to a higher position like CEO. It's not impossible, especially if Wall Street ends up liking their work. Until somewhat recently (within the past year I believe), former CFO Jay Rasulo was being groomed by Iger as his successor.
Jay Rasulo was never being "groomed" per se. He and Staggs were always in a runoff of sorts. When Staggs was promoted to COO, it pretty much told the world "he's next," which is why Rasulo resigned.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Jay Rasulo was never being "groomed" per se. He and Staggs were always in a runoff of sorts. When Staggs was promoted to COO, it pretty much told the world "he's next," which is why Rasulo resigned.
According to WDW1974, as recently as last year Iger had been grooming Rasulo to succeed him and was giving him praise to the board of directors. Something happened within the past year (I believe 74 said what it was but I can't recall offhand) that soured their relationship and Staggs ended up as the frontrunner instead in Iger's eye.

However, according to 74, Staggs doesn't have much of a chance either. The board doesn't seem to have faith in anyone besides Iger.
 

PhotoDave219

Well-Known Member
The idea for a CSO is to promote corporate synergy and develop a corporate strategy going forward for multi year plans.



Yes. Accountants don't make the decisions, we tell you where to journalize them, and how that can be done legally. We also make sure your tax work is done properly.

Finance people take more of a strategy approaching, analyzing the numbers that accountants have booked. They forecast, provide data and direction, and overall determine things such as where we may want to spend more, and where we can hold steady. They provide suggestions, not decisions.

Accountants and finance both develop budgets, but for different purposes. Accountants use a budget to see where the money the management is spending should flow to, and how that effects the bottom line. Finance develops how much of cash flow can be budgeted where.

A CFO should be an accountant or finance person with plenty of background in various roles. Their job is not to say no or yes to big projects, but to use their people to show how projects are attainable, and what is affordable. When a CFO oversteps is when they are provided with more power than necessary (i.e. they veto something based on budget alone, without reworking the project or the budget). A CFO's main job is to ensure that the financials a CEO signs off on are true and correct. It is to manage the finance and accounting employees who pull together the massive amounts of data and make those statements.

CFO's who become CEO's are those that can work numbers and develop people at the same time. They can see the data as both concrete (for numbers being published, like a 10K) and flexible - for numbers being worked on, such as budgets for large scale projects. They can see where money should be spent and how to spend that money wisely, and also make cuts when necessary. They can do this while managing the folks who are developing and innovating - without taking away that development and innovation.
I blame Larry Murphy who created the strategic planning department in 1984 under CFO Larry Wilson who aimed for Disney to have a 20% growth in earnings and stock price every year.

Later under Eisner, through Peter Murphy (no relation to Larry) having the department known as the "Goon Squad" (Stewart, "Disneywar", 2005) or "the business prevention department" (LA Times, 2005) isn't exactly something you want, right?

Iger made it go away in 2005 and now its back? Then again, Staggs who grew up in the company as part of that "goon squad" seems to be bringing it back. This cant bode well.
 

PhotoDave219

Well-Known Member
According to WDW1974, as recently as last year Iger had been grooming Rasulo to succeed him and was giving him praise to the board of directors. Something happened within the past year (I believe 74 said what it was but I can't recall offhand) that soured their relationship and Staggs ended up as the frontrunner instead in Iger's eye.

However, according to 74, Staggs doesn't have much of a chance either. The board doesn't seem to have faith in anyone besides Iger.
Typical Disney/Eisnerian politics: Set two people up for the same job and let them fight it out. Whomever wins gets the job.

The upper-echelon of TWDC is much like Thunderdome: Two men enter, one man leaves.
 

Darth Sidious

Authentically Disney Distinctly Chinese
Premium Member
Original Poster
Strategic planning could be very positive if done by the right people. Strategic planning is essentially supposed to take issues handed down by a COO or CEO so that a dedicated team can think up strategic solutions to pitch to the CEO/COO. Similar to how WDI and Bob just pitched a few plans for WDW to the board this group should be problem solving. However, as we've heard and witnessed this could lead down a bad path.
 

PhotoDave219

Well-Known Member
Strategic planning could be very positive if done by the right people. Strategic planning is essentially supposed to take issues handed down by a COO or CEO so that a dedicated team can think up strategic solutions to pitch to the CEO/COO. Similar to how WDI and Bob just pitched a few plans for WDW to the board this group should be problem solving. However, as we've heard and witnessed this could lead down a bad path.

You're not familiar with the history of the strategic planning group at Disney, are you?

Everything that is wrong with this company came from the Strategic Planning Group and Peter Murphy.
 
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PhotoDave219

Well-Known Member
So the first time I tried to edit my post, it ate it. Dios Mio.....

Strategic Planning... first of its kind from 1985, created by CFO Larry Wilson, Ran by Larry Murphy, later ran by Peter Murphy (no relation). Its where Tommy Staggs and Jay Rasulo got their start.

Strategic Planning: The business prevention department. The department that shot down deals and proposals from company executives. Murphy got a $1M bonus in the middle of the Go.Com and Family Channel disasters. Murphy was Eisner's "enforcer," alienating Miramax & the Weinsteins. They alienated Roy Disney and Marty Sklar. They were known as "The Goon Squad"

Mayer was part of that madness in the 90s. Now he's back and so is strategic planning. Same people, same corporate heads. Same business-minded people who have looked down on creatives while selling out to the almighty dollar. Same people who are largely responsible for the parks being in the state they are today - neglect didnt just start 10 years ago.

This is a very very bad thing for the Company.
 
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