Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s decision to divvy up the role of interim finance chief and allocate it to existing executives could be an example of how companies plan to navigate CFO vacancies during the coronavirus pandemic, recruiters said.
The company said Thursday that Patrick “PJ” Guido, who joined the Vancouver, British Columbia-based activewear maker as CFO in April 2018, would leave on May 8. Meghan Frank, Lululemon’s senior vice president for financial planning and analysis, and Alex Grieve, vice president and controller, were chosen to lead the finance team until a successor is appointed, the company said.
Usually, companies have a succession plan in place to cover unexpected vacancies and replace key executives with individual interim candidates while they search for a permanent successor.
“Typically these interim roles have been allocated to a single individual,” said Rose Mistri Somers, a consultant in the CFO practice of Russell Reynolds Associates, a recruitment firm.
But with the pandemic roiling all kinds of businesses, and with many potential CFO candidates delaying possible career moves, companies are expected to rely more on temporary workarounds and to share responsibilities between several executives, recruiters said.
“It makes sense in an environment like this,” Ms. Mistri Somers said, adding that those temporary solutions can help companies mitigate risk until they find a permanent replacement.