loader from loading.io

533: Grasping the Levers for Growth | Jeff Friedman, CFO, Savi Technology

CFO Thought Leader

Release Date: 09/22/2019

613: Helping Others Get the Big Picture | Anders Fohlin, CFO, Medius show art 613: Helping Others Get the Big Picture | Anders Fohlin, CFO, Medius

CFO Thought Leader

Early in his finance career, Anders Fohlin discovered that he could ratchet up his capacity to consume information and problem-solve simply by drawing pictures. However, what had originated more as a personal observation would eventually evolve to something more as he discovered that his visuals could serve others.   “I started to regularly draw processes on white boards and paper to make things very visual for everybody and help others to get the full picture,” explains Fohlin, whose knack for creating visuals and goal of making things more visible “for everybody” led him to...

info_outline
612:  The Rewards of Customer Insight  | David Wells, CFO, ENDRA Life Sciences show art 612: The Rewards of Customer Insight | David Wells, CFO, ENDRA Life Sciences

CFO Thought Leader

Back in the mid-1990s, David Wells was a financial analyst for a Bay Area supply chain management company that boasted an impressive list of Silicon Valley marquee customers. Counted among their clients was a large chip maker whose customer relationship upkeep had over time become Wells’s responsibility. Because this was a coveted customer, Wells always sought to be highly responsive to any of the chip maker’s requests for information, but he increasingly found his company’s pricing model out of step with the customer’s needs. “There was a lot of confusion and a lot frustration over...

info_outline
611:  An Acquisitive State of Mind  |  Jon Nguyen, CFO, Kyriba show art 611: An Acquisitive State of Mind | Jon Nguyen, CFO, Kyriba

CFO Thought Leader

Jon Nguyen got his first taste of M&A-related work in the early to mid-2000s when he served as the finance partner for the auto lending unit of HSBC. “In consumer lending, you end up doing a lot of portfolio purchases rather than equity ones, but I have become more involved in the execution of deals over the past 8 years,” says Nguyen, who, distinguishes the past 8 years as a standout chapter -one that has allowed him to certify his M&A credentials and enter the CFO office at Kyriba. Turn back the clock 8 years, and Nguyen is vice president of finance for Mitchell International, a...

info_outline
610:  Getting a Read on Economic Recovery | Michael Borreca, CFO, LYNX Franchising show art 610: Getting a Read on Economic Recovery | Michael Borreca, CFO, LYNX Franchising

CFO Thought Leader

Finance leaders who remain skeptical of the prospects for economic recovery inside the 2020 calendar year may want to consult LYNX Franchising CFO Michael Borreca. “I don’t think that it’s going to take us to 2021 to get back to March sales levels,” says Borreca, who doesn’t hesitate to credit three nontraditional metrics for influencing his current thinking on the subject. The first is the volume of disinfectant currently being purchased by franchisees of JAN-PRO—owned by LYNX—which boast of being  the largest commercial cleaning franchiser in the country, with over 8,000...

info_outline
609:  Minding Your Financial Ps and Qs | Matt Ellis, CFO, Verizon show art 609: Minding Your Financial Ps and Qs | Matt Ellis, CFO, Verizon

CFO Thought Leader

It’s a story that Verizon CFO Matt Ellis seems to enjoy telling and one that he has undoubtedly related more than once before.  One evening while in high school, Ellis was working at the fish counter of a local supermarket when he received some feedback from the store manager. Earlier in the day, the man had asked Ellis to clean a number of shelves beside the counter, but Ellis had soon become busy with fish patrons and hadn’t able to complete the task. More than 30 years later, Ellis easily retrieves the store manager’s words: “I’m not disappointed that you didn’t get it...

info_outline
608: Opening the Acquisition Chapter | Jody Cire, CFO, AllCloud show art 608: Opening the Acquisition Chapter | Jody Cire, CFO, AllCloud

CFO Thought Leader

When the Sarbanes–Oxley Act was enacted 18 years ago, it required the Securities and Exchange Commission to create regulations to define how companies should comply with it—a mandate that would end up impacting the careers of finance professionals well into the future. CFO Jody Cire was one such professional. Back in 2010, Cire found himself in Boulder, Colorado, after having been relocated from a role in Germany as KPMG’s lead audit manager for SAP AG. In light of his recent large enterprise experience, KPMG had been eager to assign Cire stateside in order to scratch the Sarbox...

info_outline
607: Exercising Discipline to Expose Trend Lines | Angiras Koorapaty, CFO, Reversing Labs show art 607: Exercising Discipline to Expose Trend Lines | Angiras Koorapaty, CFO, Reversing Labs

CFO Thought Leader

When a new CEO is recruited to lead a company, it’s not uncommon for the incumbent CFO to be replaced. However, there are certain network-savvy CFOs who are able to muster enough influence with their boards to easily discourage incoming CEOs from implementing their displacement as part of sweeping the C-suite clean. Angiras Koorapaty was not one of these well-connected CFOs. Or at least he wasn’t about 20 years ago, when he found himself forfeiting a finance leadership position to a newly arrived CEO’s CFO pick. “This was a pivotal moment for me at the time, and it led me to do some...

info_outline
606: Leveraging the Value of Culture | Will Costolnick, CFO, Hire Dynamics show art 606: Leveraging the Value of Culture | Will Costolnick, CFO, Hire Dynamics

CFO Thought Leader

Years from now, when Will Costolnick thinks back to the start of his CFO career, he will likely count the 12 months that preceded his appointment as CFO of Hire Dynamics as part of the same chapter, for—not unlike many of his CFO peers—Costolnick first found his footing at his new employer by slipping into a vice president of finance role for a year or two. In Costolnick’s case, the interim role lasted 12 months, or just long enough for Hire Dynamics to reformulate its management ranks and expand its C-suite. Still, Costolnick hit the ground running by using his interim credentials to...

info_outline
605: When Finance Sings a New Tune |  John Cappadona, CFO, School of Rock show art 605: When Finance Sings a New Tune | John Cappadona, CFO, School of Rock

CFO Thought Leader

Unlike the music artists and instructors recruited by School of Rock to provide music lessons at its 270 locations around the globe, John Cappadona was first hired by the firm to provide a crash course in accounting. “The day I joined, my controller and I walked through the door together not knowing anything,” explains Cappadona, who stepped into the CFO role at School of Rock shortly after its CEO, Rob Price, moved the music lesson provider’s headquarters to the Boston area. Says Cappadona: “For the first couple of months, it took us almost 25 days to close the books—and we needed...

info_outline
604: When It's Time for a Fire Drill | Gordon Stuart, CFO, Unit4 show art 604: When It's Time for a Fire Drill | Gordon Stuart, CFO, Unit4

CFO Thought Leader

In the late 1980s, when Gordon Stuart exited a 4-year stint as an auditor with Price Waterhouse, he bid accounting farewell—or at least he did until he stepped into a CFO role roughly a dozen years later. Ever since, he has occupied multiple CFO roles, helping to remove any doubt about his finance and accounting orientation. Still, Stuart’s appetite for broader business experiences during the early part of his career set him apart from many of his finance leader peers. During the 1990s, as a senior engagement manager for strategy consulting firm McKinsey & Company, he found job...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

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. When I had my first real corporate finance job at MCI, I literally was a direct report to the CFO. While I wasn’t going to show up on an org chart, it was kind of heavy for somebody who’ was in his late 20s at the time—to be able to have one-on-one conversations and have a real impact on decisions that were made and, toward the end of my tenure there, the direction that the company was taking.

I recall a time when I was working with the internal wireless strategy group. We went to Wall Street to talk to analysts about their views on the emerging wireless market. Keep in mind that this was 1997-ish, right? For CDMA, there were still five or six different providers. T-Mobile hadn’t come around yet. Nextel was still a viable player. Everybody had their projections for the adoption of wireless communications in terms of revenue, and all looked like reasonable growth curves—25%, 30% a year for the next X number of years. And then we met one analyst who said, “You know, they’re all wrong. This thing is going to explode. Every kid in the country is going to have one of these things. You’re going to be talking to your grandmother while you’re standing in line at Starbucks.” This one person had a different insight and a different view that proved to be correct. For me, this was the moment when I gained the realization that conventional wisdom can be stood on its head—that just because there’s a herd mentality around what the right answer is, you don’t necessarily have to go with it. That’s something that has stuck with me every day.