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One of FinancialForce CFO Gordy Brooks’ most valuable early career-building experiences began by butting heads with his CEO. The chief executive insisted on issuing sales commissions on a weekly basis – an ask that would have most finance chiefs pulling their hair out. After the CEO stuck to his guns in the face of counterarguments, Brooks spent two weeks carefully unpacking the problem behind his CEO’s requested outcome. He discovered that the root cause of the request involved ineffective operational processes (sales territory assignments and compensation plan design) and inefficient comp and payroll processes. When Brooks presented those findings with a significant process improvement proposal, the CEO embraced his systemic solution. “The CFO role is not only about metrics and business models,” Brooks notes. “It’s also about the human touch.” Brooks – who possesses two decades of finance executive experience with VMWare, BEA Systems, Citrix, Microsoft and other notables – shares his takes on current comp challenges, the importance of early public-company experience, and the high career returns on international assignments.
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