Magazine for Senior Financial Executives: Judgment Calls

Judgment Calls

ANYONE WHO HAS WORKED FOR A COMPANY covered by the press knows that rarely does the reporter get more than a fraction of the full story. A company’s inner workings, like a family’s, are protected by the people whose lives to some degree depend on it. Most often the full story is too complex to bundle into the tidy package of a magazine article.

We present the story of AlliedSignal and Douglas Boe recognizing that we don’t have the full story, despite contributing editor Stephen Barr’s best efforts to sort out the truth in a case that goes to trial this month (see “Shadow of a Doubt,” page 56). Do Boe’s allegations that he was fired because he blew the whistle on accounting improprieties have any basis in fact, as he insists? Or are they simply the product of an angry man with an acknowledged mental disability?

We offer you this story because, with all its ambiguities, it sheds light on two of the most vexatious and complicated topics in corporate life–the gray areas of accounting practice and human management. We don’t claim to know the answers here, nor do we take sides. But we think many of you will recognize in this story echoes of situations and people you may have met in your own working lives.

Those of you who chose not to ditch your traditional working lives for the excitement of a dot-com are probably congratulating yourselves right about now. But the five men and women profiled in our cover story, “The E-files” (page 48), battered survivors all, say they wouldn’t have traded what they learned for the world.

JULIA HOMER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

COPYRIGHT 2001 CFO Publishing Corp.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group