FORTUNE: First-Time CFO at Meati Foods Became CEO within 2 Weeks. Expert Explains ‘Very Unusual Timing’ of the Move

      Less well known are cases like Graves’ in which a new hire so quickly ascends to the top spot. It’s “very unusual timing,” Shawn Cole, president and founding partner of Cowen Partners, a C-suite-focused executive search firm, told me. “I think the better question is: Why was he hired as CFO in the first place? He’s not a CFO.”

      Cole suggested that giving Graves the CFO title may have been a good way to get him in the door, perhaps with the idea of ultimately making him CEO, but “something else is at play here.”

      CFOs are regularly considered among potential CEO successors, said Cole, adding: “I can’t say that any CFO I have ever placed has been specifically hired to be the future CEO, as it is a more natural progression of timing, earning trust, and building credibility. And while this can be done quickly, it takes more than a month.”

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      CFO Turnover at Fortune 1000 Companies Spikes 30% - CFO Recruiters

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      About Shawn Cole

      Shawn Cole is President and Co-Founder of Cowen Partners Executive Search. A serial entrepreneur and executive leader with over 20 years’ experience founding and running successful companies. Shawn’s business career has been centered on value creation for both turnarounds and startups with extensive experience in M&A, consolidations, and integrations. Shawn is frequently quoted in Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and many more publications.

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. Cowen Partners gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.

      Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.

      With our proven processes and guaranteed results, we have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, and private equity.

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