Brandon Lane sat back in his chair and closed his eyes before speaking.
"Sally, it is a great report. I wouldn't say it outside of this room because I have a great department all round, but your computer audit team rocks."
Sally smiled. She'd worked with Brandon too long as her CIA to know that there wasn't a 'but' coming along the rail road track towards her with the head light on and the brakes screeching.
"But how can I sell this to the board?"
He smiled at her, and waited. They both knew he had asked the question knowing she had already thought about the answer. She waited a few seconds before answering
"I know. It is only a week since the gateway review gave the CoproLITE project the OK, and the CFO is on the steering committee."
He opened his eyes and moved forward, resting his chin on his hands. He didn't say anything, but his body language made it clear he expected her to continue.
"So how can we publish an audit report that says the project looks doomed to fail? Maybe we can still make it work. It isn't like Dimitri doesn't know what we've said in it. My team have tried to keep him on board from day one."
Dimitri was the Head of Development. Neither Sally nor Brandon under estimated him. He was a clever guy. Rather, as Brandon would put it when he knew it would never get back to Dimitri, he was a clever guy surrounded by idiots, but he wouldn't admit it. That is Dimitri wouldn't admit he was surrounded by idiots. He was very good at telling people how clever he was.
"I know, and for once I don't blame him. Everyone is to blame. If only Jacques had knocked a few heads together..."
Sally finished the sentence for him.
"...but that isn't Jaques' style."
Brandon sighed, as an auditor it was something he did a lot of.
"How did he get to be CIO? What does he actually do? Was it you who told me that in the mornings he sneaks in to his office trying to avoid anyone talking to him? I like the guy, but..."
Brandon's phone rang. He went very quiet and very serious before saying
"That was the top floor. I'll be right back. Don't go away."
As he left his corner office and walked through his team's space he couldn't help feeling a glow of pride. In four years he had turned the Internal Audit department around. Now it was staffed by professionally trained auditors whose audits reports were driven by business imperatives. The jewel in his crown was Sally's computer audit team.
Taking the elevator up to the 11th floor he was expecting the other Cs, the "Real Cs" as Ysabelle, his wife called them, to have got wind of the CoproLITE report. It didn't make for pretty reading, and it didn't take any prisoners. Despite his regard for Sally he was still thinking about how he could water it down to make it acceptable.
Brandon and Hans, the CEO, had history. It wasn't good. It was the sort of history Harold and William the Conqueror had. It is fair to say they didn't see eye to eye.
So it wasn't a surprise when Hans threw the Coprolite report at him as he walked through the door. Fortunately Brandon had instinctively ducked.
What was a surprise was Hans telling him that Jaques had been escorted from the building ten minutes earlier, and they now had a new CIO.
Back in his office on the 7th floor Brandon broke the news to Sally.
"Can I be the first to congratulate the new, and I hope, in the nicest possible way, acting, Chief Internal Auditor on her new appointment?"
Sally's jaw dropped.
"They haven't sacked you have they?"
"No, it is much worse than that.
They've made me CIO."
....to be continued.