CSA loses another Chief Executive Officer

February 21st, 2016

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) just lost another President and CEO.  Only three months into his tenure, David Weinstein is leaving the CSA.  Here’s the new position profile (posted Feb 20) and on LinkedIn (posted Feb 18).

So why do you think David’s leaving?

In our letter of welcome to him we expressed “concerns that your internal briefings on matters of CSA liability may not be diligently considered or free from conflict of interest.” 

We warned David that his “new employer isn’t short of liabilities and I’m not short of evidence” and that “the decisions you take in the next few days will make you a complicit participant or an agent for change.”

Then we returned to the question of internal counsel, reiterating that “you would do well to be mindful of the solidity of the internal counsel being given you.”

Most new CEO’s spend their first months assessing the corporate internals, gauging the capabilities and integrity of their direct reports, and reviewing the extent of their corporate liabilities.  Then they present their plans to the Board for reorganizing executive leadership and either revitalizing or proposing changes to the corporate trajectory. 

So what happened that David felt that he couldn’t remain as CEO?

When he sought to verify the contents of the RestoreCSA site, what do you suppose he found in CSA’s internal files? 

What changes do you think he proposed to the Board?  What changes in personnel perhaps?  In business units?  In legal structure?

In the event of a power struggle at CSA, with David on one end, who are the power brokers opposing him?

Who do you think dominates decisionmaking on CSA’s Board of Directors?

In our November 11th welcome letter we wrote that “‘renovations at CSA are long overdue, and a new renovator is an opportunity for recovery. […]  Should the new CEO undertake this difficult work, he or she will have our full support.’  And you will.”

And he did.  But whose support did he lack?  And why would that be?

David, my friend, you now know more than you did, and more now of what I knew then.  Yet your time is quickly gone, and from what we both know well.

To paraphrase an old Irish song;

“Where are those legs with which you run
When you went to shoulder the gun?
Indeed your dancing days are done.
Oh David, we hardly knew you!”