Thursday, 18 September 2014

Why did CSC VP & Controller Colan leave so suddenly?




Which “personal reasons” led Controller and Chief Accounting Officer Thomas Colan to leave CSC so suddenly?

Mr Colan’s departure was announced today in typical CSC fashion, with an ambiguous statement about personal reasons and a denial that it had anything to do with the SEC investigation into accounting irregularities at CSC. 

The denial regarding the SEC investigation seems reasonable as the irregularities under investigation occurred before Mr Colan joined CSC, but the mystery surrounding the lack of specific reason for his departure is not good enough for a NYSE quoted company.

The Controller is the guardian of accounting ethics in a company. He or she is the person investors expect to ensure the integrity of the financial statements; and they expect him or her to resign rather than compromise on questions of financial integrity.

There are many valid “personal reasons” which can lead people to leave top jobs. These include health issues, family and lifestyle issues, differences of opinion with other top executives, offers of a better job, impending termination for poor performance and so on. But it is curious that Mr Colan leaves after only 2 years, especially as it seems he had been specifically head-hunted by CSC when he joined from Discovery.

 More transparency and openness is needed from CSC to prevent investors, customers, and employees wondering if there is anything behind the sudden departure of the VP and Controller which they need to be concerned about.





28 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Maybe he refused to wash at lunchtime the Mike Lawrie growing estate of vintage cars...

Anonymous said...

maybe he simply made his money and left...
2yrs working for CSC, and especially in accounting must be like a life sentence. All of the Lawrie appointments are on big bucks and huge incentives.

Anonymous said...

I hope Colan's departure does not mean the current days of CSC are looking like the last days of Enron

Anonymous said...

He stayed 2 years and 1 month with CSC. Did his "golden hello" stock options all vest last month? Perhaps he cashed in and now is moving on to the next "golden hello" with someone else.

These things happen when you hire a bunch of mercenaries as Mikey has done.

Anonymous said...

This is a disturbing sign, along with Colan, the VP of corporate governance/employment and secretary has left; see below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2014/09/executive-departures-at-computer-sciences-corp.html

Anonymous said...

In the vague hope that some CSC leadership reads this blog I would like to draw their attention to this:-
How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader
by David Brendel |

The goal of most executive coaching and leadership development is behavior change—help the individual identify and change the behaviors that are getting in the way of, and reinforce the behaviors associated with, effective leadership. But what about the beliefs and values that drive behavior?

The benefits of introspection and reflection on one’s own character and beliefs receive less attention in a typical coaching session than the benefits of behavior change. Perhaps this is not surprising in our fast-paced and technology-driven business world, where there is little time to stop and think, and where people want (and are paying for) immediate outcomes. Despite growing recognition of the benefits of “mindfulness” activities (such as yoga and meditation) and an introverted style, self-reflection on philosophical issues—such as values, character virtues, and wisdom—is relatively neglected. Executive coaching and leadership development programs rarely include much, if anything, about the power of clarifying one’s philosophical world-view. But there is mounting evidence that they should.

Neuroscience research on self-reflection supports this notion. A recent study reported in BMC Neuroscience revealed that a critical brain region—the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) —was activated during self-reflection tasks. The ACC is essential because, as the researchers noted, it can “detect discrepancies between the actual and the desired state,” “mediate integration and evaluation of emotional, motivational, and cognitive information,” and “modulate attention.” Activating the ACC via self-reflection, in other words, can promote business success by helping leaders to identify their values and strategic goals, synthesize information to attain those goals, and implement strong action plans.

Clearly, most self-reflection doesn’t occur in laboratory settings—it must be adapted to the C-suite and other work situations. An exciting way to do this in a focused and intensive manner is via “philosophical counseling.” A growing international movement, philosophical counseling has been called “therapy for the sane” because it helps rational, mentally healthy individuals to clarify their world-views and goals in the face of challenges and transitions. Philosophical counselors and their clients engage in structured conversations that incorporate self-reflection on values and goals. Drawing on ancient philosophers of Eastern and Western traditions (from Socrates to Confucius), as well as contemporary philosophers, it supports people’s development of their own personal philosophies and empowers them to reach their highest human aspirations and ideals.

Consider a CEO who demeans his colleagues by rolling his eyes at them, interrupting them, and otherwise devaluing their roles. He now faces a thorny ethical challenge for the company, one that could damage its financial position and reputation. The CEO has nowhere to turn to discuss the dilemma, because he has alienated his executive team. Philosophical counseling could help him to curtail his obnoxious behaviors and improve his “positivity ratio” by facilitating self-reflection on his character and values. A CEO client in this situation found that contemplating the writings of an ancient philosopher (Socrates) and a 20th century philosopher (Habermas) empowered him to implement an enhanced process of dialogue, consensus building, and “communicative rationality” with his leadership team. Philosophical reasoning, coupled with positive behavior changes, positioned him to lead the firm through a treacherous time.


http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/09/how-philosophy-makes-you-a-better-leader/

Anonymous said...

None of them will read it-they have neither desire nor need to do so. See: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2014/06/heres-what-csc-ceo-mike-lawrie-raked-in-for-the.html

Anonymous said...

With Colan, Visner and many more leaving we are now at second string players. Just waiting to see what Happens with AT&T. I suspect by the end of the year CSC will be history. Mikey has so many backdoor deals going the investors will be in for many surprises.

Anonymous said...

Grab a lifeboat before they're all gone.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sad if Visner was first string. He could barely stay awake during meetings.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mikey, it looks like Tesco might be letting go of some finance guys shortly, they sound like they can deliver on your revenue growth strategy ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29306444

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

If more employees in the past were aware of the following link perhaps; if there really was wrong doing, they could have blown the whistle before federal and SEC investigations got serious.
http://m.journalofaccountancy.com/News/Article/201410983.jofa

Anonymous said...

The last paragraph of the article sums is all up nicely.

Anonymous said...

Know they are now taking liberties with their EACs in NPS.

Anonymous said...

And you are surprised. End of Quarter !!! Gotta make the numbers.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people will be very surprised to read this, but here goes....

CSC discusses its Transformation programme with its clients, Yes you may this BS or WTF, but it does.
The AGM's have a responsibility to relay certain fact about how things are progressing. Clients also use business reviews to review the impact to their business.

Bottom line and dont let anybody fool you otherwise, clients are in favour of this programme, as long as it doesnt affect their core business. A lot of you will be saying but 'Yes' it does affect business, the answer to that is yes it may affect you at a local level, but the bottom line is $$$ matter. as long as CSC delivers savings in line with the contract, and the clients see's these savings, the rest is history.

In business we have minimum service levels (cant remember the business term), the whole idea is in an IT contract you are allowed to mitigate failings against your successes. One regional mega deal where last year CSC was in the dumps, escalations left, right and centre, and today the client is saying they have never had it better. Its actually being used as a success story. Thats even though there has been huge cut backs on the account.

CSC have KPI's that they have internally, some of these are related to the clients perception of CSC, and guess what.... CSC are in favourable numbers there. I have seen the feedback. It even goes as far as would they recommend CSC, how far would they go to get CSC new business.

We might think CSC is doing crap, but in actual fact they are doing just fine at corporate level. Yes business is dry, but dont loose sight of the fact that the pipeline is stable. CSC's main objective this year is simply to keep the accounts we have. Loose the accounts we dont make money on.

One guy once told me, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, these IT clients want the cheapest deals in the market, they expect there to be some turbulence along the way. They are not paying for 100% service levels. Whilst Jim who sits in Dept Y, quadrant B might feel that CSC has gone backwards. Its not him that matters. Its keeping the books in order.

Finally all you guys saying that disgruntled employees are leaving CSC and when they join their new clients they will never give CSC a deal. Yes that true to a certain extent. But look at what happened at Allianz deal. CSC had it in the bag, bet CSC even had a few celebratory drinks out of it... Last minute IBM somehow pulled it out of the bag. It wasnt the overall package on that deal, it was the numbers. If IBM were that good CSC would never have got that far, the fact is they did, and IBM still managed to pull that deal through considering they have a poor record with Allianz.

Anonymous said...

An interesting if not blunt overview of the current machinations underway at CSC with an underscore on the bottom line (profitability) driving the train. Some,maybe many, will opine that these efforts are merely expedients and the long-term consequences will be quite damaging. My site has lost a lot of talented staff through resignations. Loss of intellectual resources is not something about which to trifle. Administrative heads focus on schemes to spike the shares, although the stock in recent days has continued a downward trend. The risk is that the veneer appears encouraging but not too far below are the indications of a destabilizing workforce.

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg reporting Bain and Blackstone looking at leveraged buyout

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg: CSC exploring leveraged buyout

http://seekingalpha.com/news/2005445-bloomberg-csc-exploring-leveraged-buyout?uprof=82

Anonymous said...

Re the buyout:

"•Talks are said to be at an early stage, with CEO Mike Lawrie reportedly trying to convince would-be suitors CSC's turnaround is half-finished. "

Maybe that is why the controller jumped ship - maybe he couldn't agree with that statement....

I also wonder whether PE is a less or worse boss than Wall Street. One thing is for sure, a new broom would certainly sweep clean - the senior management would all be toast, probably along with a lot of the workforce too.

Anonymous said...

May be these news are just games to increase the stock price. What have any of the major holders to gain? http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=CSC+Major+Holders

Anonymous said...

Buyout is Lawrie's endgame after all potential IT company suitors have passed on CSC. There is no way I would buy CSC. I would rather wait and pick up the scraps after it nosedives.

Anonymous said...

There are other reasons why CSC lost Allianz. Price was not the main reason.

Anonymous said...

Those quarterly earnings calls are becoming increasingly difficult. Need to go private.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Got mine and see ya! It wasn't always this way...

Anonymous said...

Game Over Man....Game Over!