David Wallace (The Office)

David Wallace (The Office)
David Wallace
The Office character
David Wallace (The Office).jpg
First appearance "Valentine's Day"
Portrayed by Andy Buckley
Gender Male
Title Former Chief Financial Officer, Dunder Mifflin
Spouse(s) Rachel Wallace (wife)
Children a son, Teddy, and an unnamed daughter

David Wallace is a character in the American television show The Office and was the chief financial officer (CFO) of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, before being fired in late 2009 after the company was bought by Sabre. He is portrayed by Andy Buckley.


Character history

David Wallace was first introduced in "Valentine's Day". Wallace replaced Randall, the former CFO who resigned after sexual harassment charges were brought against him. Wallace's wife's name is Rachel, and they have a son as introduced in "Cocktails". Like Michael, he despises his office's HR representative, whose name is Kendall. But he seems to be quite affable and clearly likes the Scranton branch and has a good standing relationship with the employees, particularly Jim Halpert because of his professionalism and likability. Quite differently from the other corporate executives, he even seems to work well with Michael, understanding and perhaps even appreciating his untraditional management style. Being the CFO of the company he leads an opulent lifestyle. He told Dwight his home is 5,000 square feet.

Seasons 2–4

David's debut is in "Valentine's Day", where he attends a meeting with Jan, Michael, and Josh along with two other regional managers: Craig from the Albany branch and Dan Gore from the Buffalo branch. After Craig reveals that Michael and Jan hooked up, Wallace does not punish the two after hearing Michael's explanation, and laughs when Michael refers to the incompetent, classless Craig as a "tool".[1]

When it is announced in "Branch Closing" that the Scranton Branch would be closing, Michael and Dwight go the head Dunder-Mifflin executive to get him to change his mind. However, he is not home and the Scranton branch is later saved by reasons unrelated to their presence. In "Cocktails", Wallace invites the company to his home for cocktails. However, he finds the event boring and plays basketball with Jim, whom he asks about what's going on between Michael and Jan.

In "Beach Games", Wallace invites Michael to interview for a corporate position, which Jim and Karen apply for as well. During the interview in "The Job", he reveals that the corporate position is actually Jan's job, whom the company will fire once they hire her replacement. Michael reveals this to Jan, who in turn angrily barges into Wallace's office. Wallace claims the firing was due to Jan's mental state, the numerous personal days she had been taking, and the lack of work she had been completing.[2]

In "The Deposition", his testimony reveals that while he thinks Michael is a nice guy, he never considered Michael a serious contender for Jan's old Corporate job (which ended up going to Ryan Howard); Michael seems hurt by the truth but mollified by David's sincere-seeming "nice guy" comments, which lead to him siding with the company over Jan and dooming her lawsuit. After the deposition concludes, David makes a sincere apology to Michael for his behavior.[3]

Seasons 5–6

In "Crime Aid" it is revealed that Wallace owns a vacation home in Martha's Vineyard. In a deleted scene from "Weight Loss", David yells at Ryan for answering the phones at the Scranton branch, and calls him a worthless human being. Then, in the talking head, a visibly shaken Ryan says that Wallace "made the list" of people to get revenge on when he is successful again.

David is displeased when he learns that Michael is dating HR representative Holly Flax and transfers her back to Nashua, New Hampshire. He sends Michael on a business trip to Winnipeg, Manitoba in an attempt to cheer him up. But just as the trip ends and Michael talks to David on his phone about the sale he closed, Michael expresses his anger at the transfer by scolding David, aware of his boss's ploy. Throughout these seasons David drives a 2008 BMW 7-Series (namely a 750li). Though the car likely has Bluetooth technology, David chooses not to use it, as he gets pulled over in New York for talking on his cell phone with Michael.

In "New Boss", Wallace hires Charles Miner (Idris Elba) who replaces Ryan as Vice-President of North East Sales and oversees the branches, including Scranton. Initially, Michael and Charles seem to hit it off when meeting for the first time at the corporate headquarters, which changes when Charles visits the branch. Miner, who seems to possess no sense of humor, has a no-nonsense management style that clashes with Michael's laid back managerial style. In the first of many calls to David, Michael is told to try to get along with his new boss which proves unsuccessful. Tensions rise in the office as Miner often usurps Michael's authority because of his ideas. When Michael's plans with the Party Planning Committee involve his 15th Work Anniversary party during work hours, Charles cancels their planning and dissolves the committee. Infuriated, Michael drives to New York and confronts David to highlight his years of service and loyalty to the company, and Wallace cannot convincingly deny Michael's anguished claim that the new system will allow the CFO to avoid talking to Michael at all. David agrees to fund an anniversary party for Michael, and assures him that he will attend personally. This proves unsatisfactory to Michael, who resigns, leaving David stunned.

Michael leaves to form his own company, Michael Scott Paper Company, while Charles takes over as Regional Manager of Scranton. Michael, with his wit, begins to take clients from Dunder Mifflin, which drives Wallace and Miner to try to buy out the company in "Broke". With Michael in the conference room, David offers him up to $60,000, before he heeds to Michael's demands. He gives Michael his own job back, reduces Miner's authority (he won't be fired, but he'll no longer have any purview over Scranton), gives them health care including dental, reluctantly rehires Ryan (who had previously been hired by Michael), and promotes Pam Halpert to saleswoman. Wallace notes that the deal amounts to a multi-million dollar buyout.

In "Company Picnic", Michael and Holly reveal the closing of the Buffalo branch as part of their sketch comedy show at the company picnic. This quickly ends the show and throws the Buffalo branch employees into disarray. A clearly unhappy David chastises Michael and Holly over their revelation of that sensitive news that he disclosed to Michael in confidence.[4]

In the episode "The Meeting," Wallace has a private meeting with Jim. Michael thinks Jim is trying to get his job, and shows Wallace Jim's file with reports of him slacking off with Dwight and spending excessive time at Reception. Wallace reveals that Jim's idea involved a promotion for both Jim and Michael. Later, Wallace offers to Michael and Jim to make both of them co-managers of the branch.[5] In "Murder", Wallace lets Jim know that the company is almost out of cash, leaving Jim horrified. And in "Scott's Tots", Wallace is angry at Jim for the first time on the show, after Dwight's sabotage and faked phone calls lead Wallace to believe Jim rigged the Employee of the Month process to benefit himself and Pam. After wondering if they need to talk about Jim's future, Wallace switches gears, apologizes to Jim for losing his cool in the wake of the company's catastrophic situation, and says their weekend dinner plans are intact (this produces a scream of outrage from Dwight, who is listening on his surveillance tape as his plan to take down Jim fails again).

In "Secret Santa," David mentions to Michael that the company has a potential buyer, and that he (as well as other executives) may lose their jobs. David assures Michael that he and the other employees will still have their positions if this were to happen. In the episode The Banker, it is indirectly revealed that David Wallace is gone, since Michael "is now the highest ranking employee of Dunder Mifflin", as stated by Pam in an interview.[6]

In "Sabre", Michael visits David Wallace at his house to seek advice on dealing with the difficult merger. Michael discovers that, no longer a successful CFO, David has been reduced to a shambling, unfocused homebody following the collapse of Dunder Mifflin. He does, however, speak of his plans to spearhead the production of a device to pick up children's clutter called Suck It. He offers Michael a piece of the action, but Michael is noncommittal. In a talking head (located in David's bathroom), Michael says that "there are very few things that would make [him] not want to team up with David Wallace, and Suck It is one of them".[7] As he drives away, he comments that whoever this wreck of a person is, it is not David Wallace.

In "Whistleblower", David, one of the five whistleblowers in the story, reveals to the documentary crew that he helped spread the story of the Sabre printer fires after several old clients complained to him. He is shown wearing a "Suck It" hooded sweatshirt; when he tries to do his spiel for Suck It, the documentary crew abruptly cuts him off mid-sentence.

Season 7

David (along with Karen, Roy, and Jan) was announced to appear in an upcoming episode by playing a role in Michael's screenplay, "Threat Level Midnight". However, he did not appear in the episode when it aired; B.J. Novak revealed in a post-airing interview that Andy Buckley did film a talking head interview for the episode, but that it was cut for time. It is possible the deleted scene shows up on the Season 7 DVD.[8] While there has been some speculation that Wallace's comment about passing on the Goldenface role "because it wouldn't look good at Corporate" means he has found a new job, the timing of Michael's filming schedule makes it clear that David turned down the role during his CFO days, before the company collapsed and he was fired.

David did not appear in the televised version, but appears in a producer's cut of "Goodbye, Michael", engaging in a webcam conversation with Michael. Judging from his attitude he is still bitter over the tragedy that has befallen upon him, and when he realizes that Michael chose to resign and did not get fired much like himself, he urges Michael to change his mind about moving to Colorado, claiming it a terrible decision. Just as David begins to speak badly of Colorado (according to David, women in Colorado do not shave their underarms), a frustrated Michael exits the webcam chat. This leaves Michael in a state of doubt, and he almost breaks down wondering if he should not leave Dunder Mifflin. [9]


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