The sudden resignation of SAB Miller's Chief Financial Officer Jamie Wilson has got a lot of people thinking. First of all, many people are wondering if his departure is linked to the rumoured bid the world's largest beer brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev apparently wants to make for SAB Miller, the global number 2. Second of all, and this one is particularly relevant for the CFO Community, is that is clear that CFO appointments and departures set tongues wagging these days.
Wilson (55) worked at SAB Miller for over 10 years and has been its CFO since July 2011. He has left his position due to "personal reasons", foregoing a massive amount of unvested share options and share awards. In the Business Times, analysts have speculating if Wilson has had a falling our with Alan Clark. Chris Gilmour of Absa Wealth and Investment Management suspects secret overtures of AB InBev might have something to do with the development. In the paper he asks: "Did he oppose the bid, or was he an overly enthusiastic supporter of it?"
The Scottish CFO will be replaced by Strategy Director Domenic De Lorenzo, while a successor is being sought. With analysts tumbling over each other to read the tea leaves, it is more apparent than ever how crucial modern CFOs are for their organisations. While most finance leaders have moved away from the 'number cruncher' misnomer years ago, the outside world clearly also values the strategic role of CFOs and FDs more than ever.
- As far back as 2011, we chatted to Garth Saunders, CFO of SAB about leading by example. Read it here.
- Saunders was nominated for the 2014 CFO Awards. Check who is nominated in 2015
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