Mentoring the Technology and Cyber Leader in a Public Company Pre-Acquisition

Client Situation:

A $250 million publicly reported food and beverage company suffered the loss of their technology and risk leader just as the company was planning an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation, was waiting word on potential acquisition by a major shareholder, and was working to deliver strong compliance results in financial process verification and improvements to their cyber risk footprint. The company CFO, responsible for the technology and security function, felt that the number two leader in the technology organization might have the necessary skills to take over. But since the CFO was also planning his own departure, he quickly realized there would be no one in the company to help coach and mentor the organization’s future leader in maintaining crisp communications and ensuring success in these areas key to the company’s future.

Solution:

The CFO had previously met with E78 resources in an informal setting, and realized that the skills needed to coach and mentor the proposed technology and risk leader after the CFO’s departure were readily available. The CFO secured E78 technology and risk partners in an advisory engagement to rapidly assess the proposed technology leader, understand the barriers to success in all of the key initiatives, and provide the support necessary to ensure the new leader’s success in the organization. The engagement was set to last six months.

Results:

The ERP implementation plan was approved and initiated six months after the CFO’s departure, just as the advisory engagement was ending. The E78 advisor and the new technology leader rapidly implemented plans of communication internally with the technology and security functions, and externally with business partners to ensure proper alignment and prioritization of activities. As a part of the financial audit at the end of the year, one full quarter after the advisory engagement was completed, the auditors pointed out only two minor technology issues that were rapidly addressed and gave the company a clean result in their audit report. The shareholder fully completed acquisition of the company nine months after the end of the advisory engagement. Every facet of the presenting challenges was answered in a completely satisfactory and positive way. The new technology leader is recognized for his ability and skill in managing the business of technology, reducing risk, and partnering strongly throughout the organization on all business automation initiatives.

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