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542: Now See This: One CFO's Data Visualization Mantra | Tim Zue, CFO, Boston Red Sox

CFO Thought Leader

Release Date: 10/23/2019

564: Synchrony Steps Beyond the Shadow of its Historic Roots  | Brian Wenzel, CFO, Synchrony show art 564: Synchrony Steps Beyond the Shadow of its Historic Roots | Brian Wenzel, CFO, Synchrony

CFO Thought Leader

CFOTL: Having splitout from GE- we would imagine there were certain business processes already in place at Synchrony, while others processes had to be reestablished or developed. Wenzel: The processes that have been developed are probably the core part of our business. We had to build everything from scratch. Even the processes for things like very mundane benefits in HR, and paying people, and for some of the regulatory reporting–we had to build all that up. But we did take a process from GE that was a very good process in the credit risk world, a very traditional process. You go out...

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563:  Energizing Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set | Stephen Grist, CFO, Bohemia Interactive Simulations show art 563: Energizing Your Entrepreneurial Mind-set | Stephen Grist, CFO, Bohemia Interactive Simulations

CFO Thought Leader

It was back in 2002, Stephen Grist says, when he first punched through a surface of rigid assumptions to grasp the innovative levers that would propel him into the ranks of strategic CFOs. At the time, Grist was the CFO of Viatel, a technology company whose management and sales teams were eagerly seeking to reestablish the company’s footing along a growth path after having recently emerged from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With its bankruptcy in the rearview mirror, the company emerged with an unbridled appetite for growth—but one that was perhaps lacking in long-term vision. Says Grist:...

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562:  A Window Into the Future | Anna Brunelle, CFO, Kinestral Technologies show art 562: A Window Into the Future | Anna Brunelle, CFO, Kinestral Technologies

CFO Thought Leader

Asked to reflect on those experiences that she feels prepared her for a finance leadership role, a cash flow statement quickly comes to mind for Anna Brunelle, CFO of Kinestral Technologies. Only months into her first industry finance job, Brunelle was tasked with preparing her company’s cash flow statement, and she didn’t like some of what she discovered about the business. “I realized that there were a couple of businesses that the company had acquired a few years earlier that had some elements that were kind of dragging down our profitability,” explains Brunelle, who after digging a...

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561: Identifying the Levers for  Efficient Growth |  John Evarts, CFO, Mediafly show art 561: Identifying the Levers for Efficient Growth | John Evarts, CFO, Mediafly

CFO Thought Leader

Ten years or so ago, the expression “never waste a downturn” became a popular maxim among business leaders who viewed the economy’s downward spiral as an opportunity to trim waste and restructure portions of their businesses. The expression also summed up the mind-set of a unique class of executives who, despite a bleak hiring environment, viewed the period as being potentially transformational for their careers. Such was the case with CFO John Evarts, who entered the downturn as a CFO for a not-for-profit and exited as CFO of Mediafly—a small content asset management company that in...

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560: When Your Tactic Becomes Your Strategy | Raman Kapur, CFO, Moogsoft show art 560: When Your Tactic Becomes Your Strategy | Raman Kapur, CFO, Moogsoft

CFO Thought Leader

Years from now, if Silicon Valley’s glitterati were ever to gather to celebrate the opening of a National Cloud Computing Museum, CFO Raman Kapur would make an excellent tour guide for the facility’s finance wing. In fact, he could just chart the trajectory of his career from the dot-com bubble forward to help the world at large to better grasp how the cloud opportunity has grown and reshaped the finance business function. Our tour could begin at Intuit, the accounting software developer that Kapur joined in 2001 while seeking shelter from the dot-com bubble burst, where he quickly found...

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559: Establishing  Your Work Ethos | Bea Ordonez, CFO, OTC Markets Group, Inc. show art 559: Establishing Your Work Ethos | Bea Ordonez, CFO, OTC Markets Group, Inc.

CFO Thought Leader

Perhaps, unlike most of her professional peers, when Bea Ordonez first interviewed for a CFO role, she got the job. At the time, perhaps no one was more surprised than Ordonez, whose finance resume—while impressive for a 26-year-old—still lacked a number of C-suite prerequisites. Twenty years later, she still resides in the C-Suite, having filled a number of consecutive CFO and COO roles over the years. Nonetheless, she credits her first CFO tour of duty with having opened the door for everything that has followed. “On paper, at least, I was woefully underqualified for the job. I...

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Holiday Bonus | Family, Discipline & the Roots of Leadership | Charmaine Spence Rochester, CFO, Chester County Hospital show art Holiday Bonus | Family, Discipline & the Roots of Leadership | Charmaine Spence Rochester, CFO, Chester County Hospital

CFO Thought Leader

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Holiday Bonus | A Career In Step with the World |Andreas Schulmeyer, CFO, Better Choice Company show art Holiday Bonus | A Career In Step with the World |Andreas Schulmeyer, CFO, Better Choice Company

CFO Thought Leader

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558:  Achieving Ongoing Customer  Value | David Ertel, CFO, Vizient show art 558: Achieving Ongoing Customer Value | David Ertel, CFO, Vizient

CFO Thought Leader

CFOTL: What metrics are top of mind for you? ERTEL: Largely defined, most of Vizient's revenue is—I'm going to put it in air quotes—"subscription-oriented." Some of it is literal subscriptions, whether SaaS or other offerings, but much of it is driven by multiyear contracts that operate as subscription services, such as for clinical data or for a group purchasing organization. While on the one hand this provides great visibility on future revenue, the challenge with these types of organizations is to not just sit back and rest on your laurels. What offerings enhancements do you put forward...

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557: Sharpening  Your Finance Team's Growth Mind-Set | Bill Ruckelshaus, CFO, Extrahop show art 557: Sharpening Your Finance Team's Growth Mind-Set | Bill Ruckelshaus, CFO, Extrahop

CFO Thought Leader

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More Episodes

­­­When it comes to guessing a person’s email address, most of us would agree that the best way to optimize your odds of success is to first assume that the person was using their actual name as part of the address. From there, your next decision arguably is whether to spell out the individual’s first name or use an initial for it.

For Tim Zue, the calculation behind one guess was a bit more nuanced because although the first name of the person he was emailing was Lawrence, the man was widely known as Larry. With little to lose, Zue addressed the email to LLucchino@redsox.com.

Sixteen years later, Zue is CFO of the Boston Red Sox, and his “initial decision” sticks with him perhaps as a reminder that every carefully built career contains serendipitous moments.

Still, the email that Boston Red Sox then-CEO Larry Lucchino received from Zue did not come from a career-minded controller or accountant, and it was not a job inquiry. At the time, Zue was teaching 8th-grade math in the Boston public school system, and with a summer break quickly approaching, he had a thought: “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to work for the Boston Red Sox as an unpaid intern?”

Such a thought is not unlike one widely shared today by Zue’s CFO peers, but in this case, there’s one necessary modification: “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to be CFO of the Boston Red Sox?”

Meanwhile, not wanting to overstate the rewards of a correctly addressed email, it’s probably worth mentioning here that Lucchino’s unpaid intern was an MIT graduate with a prior tour of duty at Bain & Company as a management consultant. –Jack Sweeney

 

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