Todd Williams: Finance in the Middle (a)

10 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2010

See all articles by Gerry Yemen

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Martin N. Davidson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

A finance manager at a large pharmaceutical company is on loan to a new subsidiary, leading to ambiguity in his reporting obligations. When an executive three levels above him wants information his other supervisor has deemed confidential, his career appears to hang on what he does next. Developed for use in an MBA organizational behavior course, this case would work well in an executive education class on organizational design, career development, or leadership. While the events and people are real, the names of participants and the company are fictional.

Excerpt

UVA-OB-0980

November 27, 2009

TODD WILLIAMS: FINANCE IN THE MIDDLE (A)

The within/without organizational structure under which Todd Williams was operating made him nervous. Finance manager at Service de Santé (Santé), a large pharmaceutical company, Williams usually worked for Santé Research and Development (SRD) in Dublin, Ireland, but he was on loan at the moment, determining the financial outlook of a new biotherapeutic group (CBB) based in Antwerp, Belgium.

On November 10, 2008, the vice-president for finance at SRD, Brenda Richardson, called for the budget numbers. She was an executive three levels above him and two levels below the CEO. Under ordinary circumstances, she would be entitled to know everything Williams did, but his other supervisor in Belgium had specifically said, “I want the CEO to see the numbers before anyone else does.”

Williams was in Paris for a couple of days that week, busy with meetings. As the lead finance person on the CBB team, he had all the numbers. Not responding to the head of his division would be a bad thing; leaking the model numbers he generated for his other boss—one rank below the CEO—was not good either. What he did next would have a huge impact on his career. No matter what he did, someone was going to be miffed.

. . .

Keywords: Advancement, assessment, boss, career track, collaboration, decision making, design, execution, management, power, relationships, retention, talent, and teams.

Suggested Citation

Yemen, Gerry and Davidson, Martin N., Todd Williams: Finance in the Middle (a). Darden Case No. UVA-OB-0980. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1585651

Gerry Yemen (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Martin N. Davidson

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4483 (Phone)
434-243-5020 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/Davidson.htm

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