A series of surveys conducted in the past decade suggests that CFOs may be staying in their jobs longer.

When 1,400 executives were asked recently what they thought was the average tenure for a CFO, the mean response was 12 years. This compares to nine years and eight years in surveys conducted in 2006 and 2000, respectively, by staffing company Robert Half Management Resources.

Five percent of CFOs in the latest survey said they estimated the average tenure of a company's top financial executive to be four years or less, compared to 17 percent whose responses fell into the category in 2000. Nineteen percent of executives interviewed for the new survey thought CFOs were likely to stay on the job 16 years or longer.

However, the historical survey results reflect CFO responses over a 10-year period in which economic conditions fluctuated significantly. At the time the survey was released in 2000, for example, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, and CFOs were more apt to receive and consider competitive offers.

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