Immediately is Half 5, and the finale, of our week-long series on what it takes to change into a CFO. We shared the ability units and tech instruments that fashionable CFOs will want, together with a peek into the profession journeys of present finance chiefs.

Final week, in CFO Each day, I requested finance chiefs to reply to the questions: What’s crucial factor you probably did earlier than touchdown your first CFO place? What made you able to tackle the function? And lots of of you took the time to reply!

CFOs in well being and monetary providers industries

After nearly 14 years in funding banking at JP Morgan, and transferring from affiliate to vice chairman to managing director, I knew that I needed to do one thing completely different. I used to be additionally the proud mom of dual 5-year-old boys on the time. I mustered the braveness to take a yearlong sabbatical. I actually had time to mirror on what I needed subsequent in my profession. On the finish of my sabbatical, with a little bit luck and good connections, I turned CFO for JP Morgan’s industrial banking enterprise. Karen Parkhill, EVP and CFO at Medtronic

The important thing to getting your first CFO job I’d say is persistence. There are loads of jobs on the market with the CFO title (and many headhunters calling about them) however they aren’t all equal. I discovered it essential to attend for a possibility that balanced the proper business, place profile that matched with my experiences, measurement, and finally, location. —David Phillipps, EVP and CFO, Equinox

I took my first CFO job after having been a banker. So I discovered every part from the bottom up. Whether or not you’re the CFO of a enterprise unit, a area, or an organization, you want to ensure your relationship with the CEO is one constructed on belief, widespread views, and imaginative and prescient. W. Dave Dowrich, senior govt vice chairman and CFO at TIAA

I’m retired now from over 40 years in medical gadgets. The essential issues to me through the years had been: understanding the merchandise and the operations aspect of the enterprise; growing belief in any respect ranges of the group; actually turning into a trusted accomplice of the CEO; setting a excessive bar for efficiency and integrity; and understanding the numbers. —Ron Stevenson, CFO, retired

CFOs within the tech business

I used to be very intentional in my profession in constructing a improvement path to change into the CFO of a public or pre-IPO firm. I made certain that I gained expertise main company FP&A and investor relations. Managing buyers and exterior key stakeholders in all its facets can also be key for a public firm CFO. —Tiziana Figliolia, CFO, Hootsuite

One of the essential issues I did earlier than turning into the CFO of Workday was a warmth expertise with my group’s product and know-how crew. A warmth expertise is a high-stakes, high-stress project that pushes you exterior your consolation zone and calls for you develop as a frontrunner. After almost 5 years as a frontrunner in company finance for Workday, I turned the overall supervisor of our monetary administration purposes group—a 600-member know-how group 10 instances the dimensions of my earlier finance crew. Up till that second, all my expertise was in additional conventional company finance and FP&A roles, however I leveraged this distinctive alternative to realize useful expertise. —Barbara Larson, CFO, Workday

One of the helpful pivots I made in my profession was stepping out of a core finance function for 3 and a half years in 2015 to steer the following evolution of IBM as SVP, transformation and operations. I had the chance to work on IBM’s transformation—redesigning IBM’s working mannequin to align with elementary market shifts and driving new, agile methods of working. However on the core of this function, I discovered extra concerning the significance of tradition, our individuals, expertise, expertise and processes. Tackling the tasks of the transformation function and driving worth by the group helped me take a look at every part with a brand new perspective, one which has carried by to my present function as CFO. —Jim Kavanaugh, SVP and CFO, IBM

Taking high-risk assignments. At one level in my profession, I recall my boss asking me to step out of a task I liked to construct a shared providers operation. I didn’t have a powerful background in accounting and was not thrilled with the project. Nevertheless, in hindsight, I drastically respect that rotation. Prashanth Mahendra-Rajah, EVP of finance and CFO, Analog Units

There’s a stereotype that finance groups spend all their time in spreadsheets, however constructing relationships was my most essential step in attending to the CFO’s workplace. —Jennifer Grunebaum, CFO, Devo

If I needed to decide one phrase that was crucial factor I did to arrange me for at this time, that will be “change.” I truly regarded for adjustments at every step that allowed me to have extra affect on the companies that I used to be part of. When the chance to affix Purple Hat as SVP and CFO got here up, I used to be excited as a result of it was a ‘two-for’—a brand new community to use my expertise and in addition a distinct stage firm to drive development and worth.Robert Leibrock, CFO, Purple Hat 

It’s a provided that it’s best to have a excessive diploma of enterprise acumen, however the significance of networking, constructing relationships and dealing collaboratively with enterprise leaders in your business can’t be overstated as important steps in the direction of turning into a profitable CFO. Kirsty Godfrey-Billy, CFO, Xero

One of the important adjustments I witnessed over this time is the growing prominence of knowledge analytics as finance know-how has grown in sophistication. Seeing this shift, I prioritized integrating knowledge into my decision-making as my profession progressed. Jeremy Klaperman, CFO of Rho

I do suppose my funding banking function was useful in studying vital pondering, and having publicity to a number of management types, due diligence processes and industries. Additionally, having a various set of experiences throughout technique roles, finance roles and management roles. — Katie Rooney, CFO, Alight Options

Earlier than touchdown my first place, I labored in monetary planning and evaluation, accounting, gross sales, and investor operations—for each private and non-private firms, together with Google, Apple, Adobe, and Looker. I developed cross-functional enterprise information and useful management expertise. Razzak Jallow, CFO of FloQast

Going into investor relations at Microsoft was among the finest profession selections I made previous to moving into the CFO function elsewhere. It gave me perception into investor expectations and the right way to higher talk enterprise efficiency past a spreadsheet. —Invoice Koefoed, CFO, OneStream Software program

I began my profession as an auditor at KPMG and labored over 10 years on a number of massive public firms. I used to be lucky to leap to VP finance of a publicly-traded radio broadcast firm and led over two dozen M&A transactions. This fast-paced setting supplied the expertise and confidence for me to take the following step as CFO. Omar Choucair, CFO, Trintech

There are three key issues that ready me most to change into CFO: growing a deep understanding of how a SaaS enterprise works; growing govt presence; and setting up a monetary narrative concerning the enterprise that we might try to execute on constantly over time. —Tony Tiscornia, CFO, Coupa Software program

Earlier than I turned a CFO, I purposefully spent 4 years of my profession exterior of finance as the overall supervisor of three completely different enterprise models for my final firm. In that function, I used to be tasked with managing groups in gross sales, advertising, and even product and engineering. Investing the time to essentially perceive the purposeful areas exterior of finance was the only most essential factor I did earlier than touchdown my first CFO place.Chirag Shah, CFO, Kong Inc.

Earlier than turning into a CFO, I used to be lucky sufficient to journey world wide with my CRO. This allowed me to know how gross sales, product and engineering all got here collectively, and among the challenges they confronted. —Brian Robins, CFO, GitLab 

Creating a powerful background in varied operations roles is essential and finally positioned me ready to succeed as a CFO. Chris Jodoin, CFO and COO, EverestLabs

Two issues helped me put together for my function as CFO: mentorship and stepping exterior of my consolation zone. Kevin Rubin, CFO, Alteryx

Taking new and difficult roles to diversify my ability set has been instrumental for me all through my present place as CFO. —Libby Merrill, CFO, ThreatX 

My willingness to talk up and lift my hand for a venture or function ready me to be a CFO, even once I was afraid I didn’t have all of the wanted expertise. Angela Pierce, president, CFO, Anaconda, Inc.

You possibly can view all of this week’s stories here. Need to study extra? Ship me a word about what you’d like to learn concerning the path to turning into a CFO.

Have a superb weekend. See you on Monday.

Sheryl Estrada
[email protected]

Massive deal

There have been 53 U.S. company chapter filings in January, up from 50 in December, in line with S&P International Market Intelligence. The month-to-month complete is the best since March 2021. This improve comes after a traditionally sluggish 12 months in 2022 and forward of a broadly anticipated recession in 2023, according to the report. Sectors like well being care are seeing extra indicators of misery than others, S&P International Market Intelligence discovered.

Courtesy of S&P International Market Intelligence

Going deeper

Listed below are just a few weekend reads:

“Cathie Wood says that robots could outnumber humans as Amazon workers within 7 years” by Prarthana Prakash

“Fintech Moov just raised $45 million in a ‘very difficult’ environment. Here’s how” by Luisa Beltran 

“Why a Stripe down round would be a ‘good lesson’ for startups, according to one VC” by Anne Sraders 

“Waking up at 5 a.m. every day could improve your life—here’s how to make it work for you” by Alexa Mikhail


This is a listing of some notable strikes this week:

Dhivya Suryadevara, CFO at Stripe, a funds firm, will step away from her function. “I will likely be taking a while off to take care of household issues,” Suryadevara wrote in a LinkedIn post. “I joined Stripe two and a half years in the past to assist the corporate speed up its development trajectory and proceed its mission to extend the GDP of the web. Given every part occurring on the firm, I’ll be working intently with the crew till April to make sure a clean transition.” Along with finance, she leads operations, danger, and international partnerships groups. 

Sabra Purtill was named interim CFO at American International Group (NYSE: AIG). Mark Lyons was terminated from his place of AIG’s interim CFO and EVP, international chief actuary, and head of portfolio administration after the corporate turned conscious that he violated his confidentiality/non-disclosure obligations. Purtill beforehand served as chief funding officer of Corebridge Monetary. Earlier than that, she was AIG’s EVP and chief danger officer, and deputy CFO. 

 John Garratt, president and CFO at Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG), introduced he’s retiring, efficient June 2. Considering its succession plans, Greenback Common will consider choices for its subsequent CFO and isn’t at present conducting an exterior search. Garratt joined Greenback Common in 2014 as SVP of finance and technique and was named EVP and CFO in December 2015.

Cheryl Wynne was named CFO at Bsquare Corporation (Nasdaq: BSQR), an IT options supplier, efficient Feb. 16. Wynne will succeed Chris Wheaton who’s stepping down as CFO and COO. Wynne has served as the company controller and senior director of finance at Bsquare since becoming a member of the corporate in November 2020. 

Joydeep Goswami was named CFO of Illumina, Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN), a know-how firm, efficient instantly. Goswami beforehand served as Illumina’s chief technique and company improvement officer and interim CFO. Earlier than becoming a member of Illumina, he was president of scientific next-generation sequencing and oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific. 

Justin Goldstein was named SVP and CFO at Brightmark, a world waste options firm. Goldstein joins Brightmark after an in depth profession in sustainable finance at Goldman Sachs, the place he lately served as VP of the general public sector and infrastructure banking group of its funding banking division. 

Jonathan I. Lieber was named CFO at Rallybio Corporation (Nasdaq: RLYB), a clinical-stage biotechnology firm, efficient Feb. 1. Lieber succeeds Jeffrey Fryer, Rallybio’s co-founder and CFO. Following a transition interval, Fryer will depart the corporate on Feb. 15. Most lately, Lieber served because the CFO of Utilized Genetic Applied sciences Company. 



—Michael Burry, the hedge fund supervisor greatest recognized for predicting and benefiting from the collapse of the housing market in 2007 and 2008, wrote in a one-word, since-deleted tweet on Tuesday, Fortune reported. The tweet got here simply hours forward of the Federal Reserve’s announcement of its newest rate of interest choice. Burry is predicting a darkish flip to the inventory market’s red-hot begin to the 12 months, with the S&P 500 hovering over 6% in January. 

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