The former president of Americanas, Sérgio Rial, who led the chain for just nine days, until the disclosure of a billionaire gap in its balance sheets, made a comment about his meteoric passage through the company in a post on his LinkedIn this Tuesday ( 17).
The executive says that he arrived at the discovery of accounting errors after conversations with company directors upon his arrival – in a subtle response to speculation that he already knew about the problem or that he had been called to correct it.
“It fell to me, as the lead executive, to first interview the remaining executives, question and understand any concerns and new perspectives,” he wrote.
“In these conversations, information and doubts were shared and with the natural deepening to understand them and give them directions together with the new CFO, Andre Covre, we arrived at the material fact with transparency and reliability! Any speculations or theories other than this are frivolous. I would never compromise with my biography.”
Rial left the presidency of Banco Santander, which he had headed for seven years, to take over Americanas on January 2 of this year.
On the 11th, he announced his resignation, in the same statement released to the market, signed by him, informing of the discovery of an error in entries in the company’s balance sheets, for years, in the order of R$ 20 billion.
Chief Financial Officer Andre Covre, who joined the company on the same day as Rial, also signs and announces his resignation in the same statement.
Americanas was sought by the CNN for comment and has not yet responded to the story.
Rial also stated that he understood the moment as “an urgent need to correct the course” and said that he decided to leave due to “the understanding of the need to make room for the company to restructure itself from a completely different starting point than I expected to find”.
Read the full text below:
I have made several reflections on my brief passage through the leadership of Americanas, some of which I share with you.
The leadership of Americanas projected several challenges inherent to a retail company approaching its 100 years. On the agenda of objectives was a growth project where consumer, technology, marketing, among other skills were intertwined. That was my purpose, my motivation for accepting the position that the shareholders entrusted me with: to add my professional experience and re-oxygenate the legacy in favor of the company’s development.
In these brief nine days as president, the challenges and teachings, however, were different, but extremely important.
It fell to me, as lead executive, to first interview the remaining executives, question and understand any concerns and new perspectives. In these conversations, information and doubts were shared and with the natural deepening to understand them and give them directions together with the new CFO, Andre Covre, we arrived at the material fact with transparency and reliability! Any speculations or theories other than this are frivolous. I would never compromise with my biography.
Therefore, with the conclusion of the initial diagnosis, the urgent need for course correction arose. And this correction came from the transparency and unconditional support I received from the Board of Directors and the reference shareholders. Here, my second reflection: being a leader is not being brave, but being responsible and ethical; it’s not about being a hero or heroine, but having the resilience to stand up for the truth and do what’s right.
As for my departure, it stems from the understanding of the need to make room for the company to restructure itself from a starting point totally different from what I expected to find. It is necessary to know when to position oneself within a new context that presents itself. That’s what I did, without compromising myself in helping in whatever way I could. This is my third reflection. I will therefore, at this moment, continue to contribute with my skills, experience, seriousness and transparency, always following the premises that have guided my entire professional and personal trajectory.
These are profound lessons in governance, authenticity and coherence that these nine days have written in my history.
Source: CNN Brasil
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