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.