Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Changing Times (and Executives) at HR Block

HR Block CEO and Chairman Mark Ernst has resigned in the wake of sizable losses from subprime mortgage operations. The ouster of Ernst was catalyzed by former SEC Chairman Richard Breeden, who successfully led a movement to replace HR Block directors earlier. Alan Bennett will be the interim chair as Breeden attempts to reemphasize tax activities and dispose of financial services subsidiaries.'

The moves at HR Block make sense from a business perspective and also an ethical perspective; the combination of financial services and tax preparation, particularly when tax anticipation loans become part of marketing tax services, seems to reek of conflict of interest. Congratulations to Breeden on returning the emphasis at HR Block to tax.


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