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Best jack sweeney speaks to cfos about driving change middle market media podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
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CFO Thought Leader
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CFO THOUGHT LEADER is a podcast featuring firsthand accounts of finance leaders who are driving change within their organizations. We share the career journey of our spotlighted CFO guest: What do they struggle with? How do they persevere? What makes them successful CFOs? CFO THOUGHT LEADER is all about inspiring finance professionals to take a leadership leap. We know that by hearing about the successes — (and yes, also the failures) — of others, today’s CFOs can more confidently chart thei ...
 
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While tours of duty at struggling companies are seldom viewed as enviable career chapters for most professionals, finance leaders are often apt to savor the lessons that such tours of duty bring forth and even draw attention to such early chapters. Such is the case with CFO Jason Lin, whose career journey includes chapters with a rapidly rising ...…
 
The mass migration of software developers from perpetual licensing to subscription licensing models has allowed quite a few CFOs to enrich their strategy credentials in recent years. It’s a movement that has allowed finance chiefs to rebrand themselves as champions of change, and one that has helped to dismiss the image of CFOs being the C-suit ...…
 
When Sharif Metwalli decided that the time was right to accept a CFO position with Vantage Data Centers, he was confident that he had found a company that allowed him to check all of the boxes when it came to his finance leader search criteria. Box #1: Know and respect the management team. Box #2: Know and respect the owner. Box #3: Know the in ...…
 
When asked about the experiences that prepared him for a finance leadership role, Brian Swartz, CFO of Cornerstone OnDemand, doesn’t hesitate to mention his tour of duty as controller for EaglePicher, a collection of businesses founded in 1842 that stubbornly has reinvented itself from one century to the next. However, as the small conglomerate ...…
 
As she approaches her 20th year with BSI Group, Sarah Murphy repeats the word “variety” when asked why she turned a blind eye to other opportunities outside the company known to many as an exemplar of business standards. “There was always something new to move on to,” says Murphy, who, having spent the past decade in the United States as CFO of ...…
 
When a company opts to recruit a finance leader from the “outside world,” it’s not uncommon these days for the future CFO to first serve in a provisional role—one that can provide a wide view of the business while allocating a little extra time for on-the-job learning. So it was for Constance Minc, a veteran investment banker who logged 12 mont ...…
 
CFOTL: What comes to mind when we ask for a finance strategic moment? Friedman: MCI itself, during the ’90s, was a great place. I was there for just a little bit more than nine years. The opportunity within that organization to have different roles and different responsibilities that were all progressive, or progressing, was really key for me. ...…
 
“A CFO role was something that I had not yet really envisioned for myself,” explains CFO Erik Ostrowski when asked about the investment banking chapter of his early finance career. Still, Ostrowski says that he always found the challenges facing smaller or high-growth firms more interesting than those encountered by large enterprises. “I had a ...…
 
The recent opening of a Chicago office of ANGI Homeservices is one that the firm would like to replicate, but not in terms of size (the site has a capacity for roughly 100 sales representatives) or even necessarily geographic location. Instead, the home services player plans to duplicate the approach that it used to determine whether a Chicago ...…
 
For most of us, the act of “throwing the book” at someone is just an expression meant to conjure up the image of a judge throwing a book of laws at a criminal as punishment. However, the visual that CFO John Orton summons in the opening minutes of our talk is the act of having a physical book thrown at him by a manager during the early days of ...…
 
CFOTL: What comes to mind when we ask for a finance strategic moment? Parikh: I think that I'd have to go back to the great financial crisis for a finance moment, the week after Lehman Brothers failed, when I actually pulled all of the top-line numbers for the hotel. For the first time in my life, I said to myself, "Well, something is just dras ...…
 
CFOTL: When we ask for a finance strategic moment what comes to mind? Yenaropulos: Maybe we can look at one of my experiences when I was living in Chile and I was the CFO of a company whose main business was to provide services to trade and eliminate industrial and hazardous waste. The revenue recognition process began with the reception of the ...…
 
Among all of what is remarkable about Andreas Schulmeyer’s finance career, the timing with which he enters and exits different career chapters is most worthy of some added attention. For instance, consider his timing at Pepsico, where in the late 1990s he arrived inside Pepsi’s corporate strategy group—the beverage behemoth’s performance-minded ...…
 
Ballbach: We found something really interesting on the go-to-market side that I believe will have a major impact on our top-line growth, and it came through the analysis that the finance team conducted. We looked at our sales model and at the number of customers that we have around the country. We looked at the run rate and the renewals and the ...…
 
CFOTL: Help us to understand what sets Sage and its offerings apart? Iguchi: In eight years we’ve developed a company that’s at about nine and a half billion dollars in market cap. We are really well positioned from a cash perspective, and we’ve grown to over 650 people strong. Let me tell you a little bit about the history here. We are focused ...…
 
When Ben Luety first arrived inside the CFO office at the Seattle Indian Health Board, he would frequently rely on his smartphone’s roaming service to search the Web rather than depend on the organization’s Internet connection. “The Internet for the entire organization had less bandwidth than I did,” explains Luety, who describes the IT infrast ...…
 
When Judy Bjornaas first arrived at ManTech International eight years ago, the company relied on a variety of processes and policies that were widely accepted across its various parts—not because they were efficient or cost-effective, but because they were widely accepted. Not unlike many companies that have enjoyed a steady diet of success, Ma ...…
 
iTunes DownloadSpotify There are finance leaders that boast of having always been entrepreneurs in their hearts, who can quickly serve up a story or two about a startup they at one time became involved with, and then there’s CFO Marty Meyer. Of the ten startups where Meyer has served as CFO six of the companies achieved positive exits – an envi ...…
 
Marc Schegerin’s arrival inside the CFO office at ArQule is either a fortunate accident or a feat of singular career building precision. For there is little question that ArQule has entered a unique place in time along the arc of its existence and it’s this place in time that Schegerin has been seeking to reach for more than two decades. It’s a ...…
 
Up until about three years ago Kevin Lind would likely have been identified as yet another gifted private equity executive – capable of issuing business remedies from the tip of his tongue. At least in the minds of his CFO peers, who are accustomed to listening to PE pundits routinely hand down such remedies for ailing businesses. For Lind the ...…
 
“You want to be a CFO.” The second the words reached his ears, Bernard Huger experienced a moment of clarity that ultimately lifted a stubborn fog from the future path of his finance career. While this was not the first occasion when such a thought had entered his head, this time the words were delivered by a professionally accomplished friend, ...…
 
Pete Tantillo recalls being somewhat surprised when he discovered that his career path could be leading to the CFO office. “I’m sort of an accidental CFO,” explains Tantillo, who first arrived inside the finance function in the mid-1990s, when his employer tasked him with making a promising new ERP application meet the needs of finance. The suc ...…
 
When Pete D’Arrigo is asked to identify the business growth milestones that punctuate his 13-year CFO tenure at Envestnet, he pays passing homage to the company’s 2010 IPO–before drawing our attention to a convertible debt offering made in late 2014: “This was an offering that put us in a different swim lane. It was the first time that we issue ...…
 
“It’s the economics, the finance,” says CFO Usama Malik, who quickly adds the words “and the accounting” to his short list of finance leader action items. Malik begins where most CFOs end–with the economics behind the business model. Everything else follows, he explains. “This role is about applying a broader lens to an entire industry and figu ...…
 
A little more than 13 years ago, when Nathan Feather joined PrimeRevenue–an upstart supplier of supply chain financial services–the 20-member enterprise was just signing up its first direct customers. “We were a complete finance function spanning a person and a half,” explains Feather, who says that despite its sparse resources, finance was fro ...…
 
As CFO Perry Wiggins recounts the different door-opening opportunities that allowed him to advance to the CFO office, APQC’s finance leader doesn’t hesitate to expose the seldom-mentioned sensation that frequently accompanies new responsibility–the feeling of being overwhelmed. According to Wiggins, the sense of being overwhelmed by new respons ...…
 
A little more than 18 months ago, when CFO Kelly Steckelberg joined Zoom Video Communications, there were a number of key hires that needed to be made if the company was going to achieve its goal of selling shares to the public in the not-too-distant future. Three months after Zoom’s IPO and one month after its first earnings call, those hires ...…
 
As Ronen Faier recalls the career-building ups-and-downs of being entrepreneurial CFO, few memories appear to be more vivid than a meeting with Guy Sella, a seasoned Israeli entrepreneur, who invites Faier to lead the finance team of his solar startup. Not yet a midsize firm, SolarEdge Technologies was only about $9 million in annual sales with ...…
 
Back in the early 1990s, while a senior manager at Ernst & Young, Elizabeth Salomon was selected to be an “Accounting Fellow” at the OCC – the nation’s primary regulator of banks. Nominated by E&Y for the prestigious post, Salomon moved to Washington DC and was soon writing policy statements that would provide guidance to bank examiners across ...…
 
If CFO Joe Aho’s career DNA were uploaded to Ancestry.com, he would likely discover a family tree populated with no less than five financial planning analysts and 17 senior sales representatives. Needless to say, his career roots are multifunctional, with numerous titles and different tours of duty inside both finance and sales operations. Havi ...…
 
It was the type of introduction that finance executives will invest decades of thoughtful career-building to receive. After dwelling nearly 20 years inside the capital markets and investment research corridors that scrutinize and energize the activities of publicly held real estate companies, Michael Knott was perhaps better prepared than most ...…
 
Like many CFOs, one company more than others dominates James Denena’s finance career building years. Denena spent more than ten years at Applied Materials of Santa Clara, California where an executive development program encouraged him to move around inside the chip maker’s sprawling finance organization. While Denena filled traditional FP&A an ...…
 
Asked to supply us with a finance Strategic moment, CFO Sean Sobers recalls an acquisition completed during an earlier chapter of his career. Convinced the the acquired company was only capable of yielding a meager profit, Sobers and the finance team set out to expose the company’s shortcomings only to discover the opposite. “It was probably th ...…
 
The young man’s smile is broad and welcoming. It’s the type of photo that colleges and universities frequently use to attract young applicants. However, when featured on the home page for Tri-County Mental Health Services, Inc., the image’s message seems less manufactured and perhaps more ambitious as it seeks to signal hope to families seeking ...…
 
Inside the middle market today, it’s not uncommon to find a seasoned private equity executive serving as CFO of one his or her firm’s portfolio companies. Such an arrangement provides the business leader with a coveted split-screen view that buffers the investor’s demands with real-world operational insights. CFO Steve Coughran, who last year e ...…
 
A number of years after he first joined the lodging and hospitality industry, Ryan Hymel recalls being confronted by a fork in the road. Having labored deep inside his company’s M&A growth engine, he realized that his native tongue would curtail his career opportunities as the company’s appetite for growth became increasingly focused on Mexico ...…
 
Twenty four months ago CFO Mark Guerin had a pretty clear notion of what he wanted Onconova’s financial footing to look like during the second half of 2019. However, the question that lingered was whether the plan Guerin and his team were putting in motion had the vigor to overcome the obstacles along the way. Beginning with a strongly worded M ...…
 
Many CFOs have told us that storytelling is a big part of being a successful CFO today. However, quite a few finance leaders have told us that this did not come naturally to them and that in fact it was only by virtue of an “A-ha!” moment that they did finally lock on to the notion that as a CFO they had better be able to tell the story in a co ...…
 
Years from now when Katherine Edenbach looks back on her CFO career, 2019 might be remembered as a pendulum year – or a year when her priorities as finance leader swung from growth to profitability. “Smaller companies are much more focused on revenue and revenue growth, which is very important, but we need to drive a lot more reporting around o ...…
 
When asked what his priorities are as a finance leader over the next 12 months, CFO Nadeem Moiz supplies an answer that uses the phrase “shareholder value” not once, but three times. Needless to say, shareholder value appears to be top-of-mind at Select Interior Concepts, a diversified building products and services company. Explains Moiz: “In ...…
 
Asked to reflect on his path to the CFO office, Dan Fletcher characterizes his years in private equity as being more operationally focused than transaction focused. Or at least, he recalls being drawn more to the challenges facing CFOs and other senior members of management teams, rather than the deal making mechanics of the banking side. As CF ...…
 
Three years ago, Tim Adams probably never imagined that today he would be taking spin classes in Geneva, Switzerland. At the time, the seasoned finance leader could be found queueing up at Logan Airport to board yet another flight to San Francisco. Of course, one could argue that a certain Logan departure gate ultimately helped to put Geneva sp ...…
 
A career stint inside the corporate development realm at Visa – quickly came to mind for CFO Adam Meister when asked about those experiences he believed shaped his CFO mindset. Characterizing his time at Visa as more “a detour” rather than a straight line along his career- building trajectory, Meister recalls the career chapter as one where he ...…
 
Thanks to an entrepreneurial itch, Bal Bhullar will never be a conventional CFO. In fact, her CFO resume may be the only one ever to include three-wheel electric cars alongside vitamin supplements. However, when it comes to finance milestones such as the $12 million in new financing on which Electra Meccanica closed last March, Bhullar is clear ...…
 
One of Brett White’s first assignments as a CFO was also one of his toughest. Back in 2001, with 10 years of career-building at Oracle Corp. behind him, White recalls eagerly stepping into his first CFO role–only to be handed a less than exhilarating task. During a meeting in his first week on the job, White was welcomed by the CEO, who then as ...…
 
At times, it must seem to Vijay Kumar that his 12-year tenure as a CFO has been spent not at one company but three. This must be a sense that most C-suite members at Sify Technologies likely experience in light of the company’s appetite for continuous reinvention. Back in 2007, when Kumar arrived at the information and communications technology ...…
 
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