Why Would Company Execs Want Their GC to Report to the CFO?

, The Recorder


The GC reporting structure is one of the most talked about topics among in-house lawyers today. And there is no shortage of opinions on the matter.

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What's being said

  • Attorney

    Please do not use exclusively male language to refer to CEOs and CFOs.

  • junnrreymonnde

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  • Ellen

    If I went in house, I would NOT mind reporteing to the CFO, rather then the CEO, if the CFO was someone that I respected.

  • Leo

    I think the term "hard-liner", while technically accurate, is a bit misleading as it suggests a degree of unreasonableness. The reasons for a GC to report to a CFO as outlined in this article are all individually (and even collectively) inadequate. Frankly, most of these reasons are by themselves good reason to pass on the job. Outside of the CFO, the CEO has no more important and critical direct report than the General Counsel, and if the CEO has "too many" other direct reports that speaks poorly of the CEO‘s own management skills and priorities. You can‘t handle another direct report? Fine, then have marketing or whatever other administrative function of your choosing report the CFO and replace them with them with the GC. I‘ve had it both ways (reporting to the CFO and reporting to the CEO), and will never under any circumstances take a position that reports to the CFO. Such a structure devalues the legal function in the eyes of the CEO, the CFO and throughout the organization. Call me a hard-liner if you must, but I have seen this bad practice up close and personal and will not be entertaining it ever again.

  • rcdown

    Silliness indeed. No lawyer worth her salt would take a spot reporting to the CFO. No company worth joining would ask her to do so. This is controversy for controversy‘s sake. Find something important and relevant to discuss.

  • SEN

    This is just silliness unless you are the CFO. BTW, corporate governance does not happen with out the GC. I could easily rationalize it the other way around. Why not have the CFO report to the GC? Along with the heard of HR and Communications, Marketing, etc.

  • Susan McWilliams

    Interesting article .... I think your ending is appropriate I am seeing alot more JD/CPA‘s...

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