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February 6, 2023

KPMG Auditors Working From Home During a Pandemic Was a Major Inconvenience For One CEO

From the Wall Street Journal:

[Emerson Electric CEO David Farr] had just gotten off the phone with KPMG LLC, Emerson’s auditors since 1938, and he was steaming. The problem: It was June and they were still working from home.

“Look. I make s—, and you can’t tell me how I’m making s— when you’re sitting in your goddamn living room,” Mr. Farr recalled yelling days after the interaction. “Get your a— out to my factories, look at my people on the line, and tell me if they’re telling me the truth or lying. That’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s why I pay you $25 million a year.”

Mr. Farr felt remote work was bad in the long-term, so much so that he had advised his son to get back on the road for his job as a field marketing manager for Caterpillar Inc. in Atlanta before the company began bringing people back.

Travel, pay for it yourself, ask for forgiveness later, Mr. Farr barked at his son.

The Covid Crisis Taught David Farr the Power and Limits of Leadership [Wall Street Journal]

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