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It is never easy to step in as CFO at a company undertaking a financial restatement, but if you add to it three material weaknesses in the company’s Sarbanes-Oxley 404 audit and a ferocious growth spurt in business, then the situation quickly becomes potentially perilous. That’s the triple threat that confronted 38-year-old Kenneth H. Hannah in 2006, when he took over as CFO of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., a $2 billion global leader in the production and sale of semiconductor and solar wafers based in St. Peters, Mo.

Hannah came to MEMC with an impressive resume: senior vice president of operations for the $90.8 billion retailer, The Home Depot Inc., and several senior finance stints at Home Depot, Boeing and General Electric. But those were big companies, with large finance organizations to match. In contrast, MEMC’s finance department was lean, and much of the internal audit work and tax functions–where one of the material weaknesses was found–were, for the most part, being outsourced.

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