It is odd not having a CFO report directly to a CEO, but this is exactly what Luxury brands group Richemont has put in place. Newly appointed CEO Jérôme Lambert does not have CFO Burkhart Grund report to him. Instead, like Lambert, Grund reports directly to the Johann Rupert-chaired board.

Besides not having Grund report to the CEO, the CEOs of two of its most notable subsidiaries, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are also reporting directly to the board. On a recent conference call, Grund defended these moves. He said the management of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels could give the board some considerable insights, as they were “ahead of the curve” when it came to figuring out what the market wanted. As for why the CFO should report to the board, rather than the CEO, Grund said it was to provide “checks and balances”. This move by Richemont ties into an ongoing debate about governance and reporting structures in the corporate world when it comes to who should report to whom. The...

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