As The Pandemic Roars, CFOs Reveal Their Economic Scar Tissue

By: Jack Sweeney.

In many ways, the economic ups and downs of the past two decades have played something of a supporting role in the careers of chief financial officers, who frequently enter office with at least 20 years of career-building behind them.

In fact, many of today’s CFOs are able to bookend their careers with the dot-com collapse of the early 2000s and the ongoing pandemic of the 2020s. 

“I happen to have been right smack-dab in the middle of all three macroeconomic world events over the past 20 years,” says Jon Nguyen, CFO of cloud technology firm Kyriba. Nguyen’s comment is more than conjecture. Turn back the clock to 2008’s mortgage crisis, and you see Nguyen as a vice president for banking firm HSBC; go back to the dot com collapse, and you find him as a technology consultant for IBM Corp. So far, Nguyen observes, the cross-industry reach of the pandemic’s economic consequences are being felt more broadly than the effects of previous financial jolts.

Says Nguyen: “Right now, the pandemic is affecting everybody. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. One way or another, you’re getting impacted.”

Not unlike that of Nguyen, the finance career of Dave Jones, CFO of online car seller Vroom, has been shaped and influenced by economic crises of the past two decades. Last month, as the initial shock of the coronavirus waned and the stock market rallied back, Vroom moved quickly to go public.

Source: Forbes (2020)

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