] CFO Pete Nachtwey
has managed to maintain his executive position in the mutual fund giant under Joseph Sullivan
's relatively fledgling reign as chief executive, and he divulges how he's kept his top finance job intact under new leadership when a large percentage of finance chiefs are put on the chopping block early on.
's Maxwell Murphy notes in a recent article
that the chances are roughly one in four that finance chiefs get the boot within a year of a CEO shake-up. Sullivan's one-year tenure is fast approaching (he became interim CEO on Oct. 1 last year, and has been the company's permanent chief as of February) and Nachtwey thinks communication and assessing his boss' strengths and weaknesses have played a large part in maintaining employment at Legg.
"It's better to err on the side of over-communication," he said. "There's so much they need to learn."
Furthermore, he describes the CFO job as "more a consigliere role," saying "assessing key knowledge and experience gaps" to cover a CEO's "blind spots" is key.
Nachtwey and Sullivan are "the sole survivors of the prior executive leadership" at Legg, after the ouster
of former chairman and CEO Mark Fetting
. As Nachtwey tells the WSJ writer, it helps that, because Sullivan was an internal hire, he and Nachtwey already had a "good working relationship."
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