Just three weeks after Microsoft announced that it had canned its CIO Stuart Scott for "violating company policies," Scott appears to have risen like a phoenix from the ashes of controversy. Today he started a new job, as a COO no less, with Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. The privately held mortgage lender announced before the American Thanksgiving holiday last week that it had hired Scott as its new COO. Scott has not relocated from his home in Bellevue, Washington, to Ocala, Florida, where Taylor, Bean & Whitaker is based.
Scott has rapidly rebounded after his very public ouster at Microsoft. Three executive recruiters CIO.com interviewed for our article on recovering from high-profile terminations said they believed Scott would land on his feet after the Microsoft controversy. They just didn't think it would happen so quickly.
"This had to be in play before [Scott left Microsoft]," says Reynold Lewke, a recruiter with executive search firm Egon Zehnder International. "A search takes a minimum of six to nine weeks if it goes perfectly."
Though Lewke doesn't have firsthand knowledge of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker's recruitment of Scott, he is familiar with such processes and their duration. "I think it would have been in process before then, and [Taylor, Bean executives] felt comfortable continuing with the process [after Scott was terminated]," he adds. "Whoever was making the decisions didn't feel that the announcement from Microsoft was enough to dissuade them [from hiring him]."
Executives at Taylor, Bean & Whitaker could not be reached for comment, but Lee Farkas, the chairman of the company who noted Scott's "impressive" credentials in the press release announcing the new COO's hire, is clearly excited to have a brand-name executive on board: "Having someone of his calibre join us further solidifies our ability to deliver innovative technology solutions."
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