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November 21, 2012
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Business Finance Today 
  • HP takes $8.8B write-down on Autonomy investment
    Hewlett-Packard said it discovered that it was the victim of "serious accounting improprieties" in its $11 billion acquisition of the British software firm Autonomy, and will take an $8.8 billion write-down on the investment. Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch rejected the accusation. Reuters (11/21), Bloomberg (11/20), The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Bernanke backs Fed's move to economic thresholds
    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he supports a proposal that the U.S. central bank announce numerical "thresholds" linking its monetary policies to unemployment and inflation. "It does have the advantage that it would help to distinguish between our anticipation for how the economy is going to evolve, and how we will react to those conditions," he said. Reuters (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Your Bottom Line 
  • Points to ponder before hiring more sales staff
    Hiring more sales staff doesn't automatically translate into top-line revenue growth, David Rosenbaum writes. Before a new sales rep is brought on board, make sure the current salespeople are meeting their quotas. Also, finance chiefs should examine the total cost of the new salesperson, including training and additional software licenses. "You need to look at the overall ecosystem before you add staff," says Kevin Akeroyd of Badgeville. (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
In the C-Suite 
  • Critical thinking isn't just for college professors
    Smart bosses teach workers to think critically about the challenges they face, writes Joel Garfinkle. That means encouraging them to ask the right questions, and to have confidence in their thought processes. "Continue to encourage employees to act independently ... and they will reward you and the company with sound decisions based on logic and common sense," Garfinkle writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Why bosses should find their "off button"
    Leaders shouldn't be afraid to turn off their smartphones and iPads, write Henry Mintzberg and Peter Todd, as digital distractions make it harder for bosses to relate to their workers effectively. "By giving managers the illusion of control, the rapid flow of information through new technologies threatens to rob them of real control," the pair write. Strategy+Business magazine (free registration) (Winter 2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • What are your hiring plans for 2013?
    Plan to maintain the size of our workforce  49.38%
    Plan to hire next year  21.60%
    Plan to lay off employees  19.75%
    Don't know  9.26%
  • Holding the line: About half of poll respondents indicated they plan to maintain the status quo. Plans to hire and plans to lay off were nearly even, at 22% and 20%. --Cindy Kraft, the CFO Coach
  • Can Congress do anything to prevent the "fiscal cliff"?
Yes, and I'm confident they will
No, and I'm very concerned
We can sure hope
Not sure

On the Move 
  • Marianne Lake has been named CFO at JPMorgan Chase. Lake has been CFO for the bank's retail branch systems since 2009. Chicago Tribune/Reuters (tiered subscription model) (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Darryl Button will be named CFO of Aegon. Button was head of finance at Aegon's U.S. operation. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Off the Charts 
  • One smell to combine them all?
    Scientists have discovered a new smell they are calling "olfactory white" because it is a mixture of many compounds, making it the olfactory equivalent of white noise, Stephanie Pappas writes. Olfactory white's scent is so bland it is difficult to describe. "The best way to appreciate the qualities of olfactory white is to smell it," according to the researchers. (11/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday and Friday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22 and 23. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
A lot of people forget what it takes to make the tenth salesperson you hire as successful as the first."
--Kevin Akeroyd of Badgeville, as quoted by
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