You are sitting in your office when you hear Marcus Svenson, the Finance Director, speaking on the telephone. You can hear only Marcusâ€™ side of the conversation:
"Hello, I would like to speak to Sally Walker please. It is Marcus Svenson here. (pause)
Hi Sally, you contacted me six months ago to discuss a job opportunity that you thought Iâ€™d be suitable for. I said that I didnâ€™t wish to pursue it at that time because I was committed to Wodd. Things have changed since then and I would like to be considered for a finance directorship in another company. (pause)
Yes, Iâ€™m still with Wodd. (pause)
Yes, I realise that there was an unfortunate story in the business press about the problems that the weak USD is causing us, but there was very little that I could do to prevent that. (pause)
I am sorry to hear that. I had hoped to move on." (sound of telephone hanging up and door opening)
Marcus discovers that you are sitting at your desk and realises that you would have heard his side of the call.
"Please donâ€™t tell anybody what you heard. Would you regard it as unethical to respect my privacy?
I suspect that the CEO knows that I am thinking of leaving. He commented on the need for Board members to be loyal to Wodd at the last Board meeting. But donâ€™t you agree that the shareholders can better protect themselves against currency fluctuations than the directors?
The crazy thing is that I suspect that the Chairman will dismiss me next month. If that happens, I get a yearâ€™s salary as a severance package. That will really annoy the shareholders. How can I justify accepting the severance package if I am effectively being dismissed for failing to manage Woddâ€™s finances properly?
I need to explain at the next Board meeting why it would have been difficult to evaluate the risk of the USD weakening. According to an article I read, it has been picked up as a serious problem for us. How would you advise me to explain that?"