The pursuit to become a CFO can be a long, uncertain process. Few people will eventually reach this role in their companies, but a group of CFO panelists at the CFO Live virtual event Tuesday provided insights and key pieces of advice. For those who eventually make the cut, the first 30 to 90 days in the CFO role are most critical.
“There are so many people watching how you perform at this time, including board members, your team, and maybe even outside shareholders,” Mark Noffke, CFO of airline caterer Flying Food Group, said. “You need to make sure, whatever you’re doing, you act, you listen, and you take care of the business.”
Anna Gomez, CFO of advertising agency Leo Burnett Group, agreed, adding that acclimating to the CFO role was the toughest part of being promoted. “The first 30 days are critical in understanding who your team is, and what the corporation is about,” she said. “The most important thing is building those relationships across the company, and learning about the people you’re working with and for.”
“The key is establishing early relationships, finding out what everyone’s needs are, and identifying any gaps within your department that you need to fill,”Steven Bourne, CFO of Clarus Therapeutics, said in describing his first few weeks at his PE-backed company. “Work together with your team to plan how this will all get up and running. Then, the final part is setting up the deliverables.”
Source: CFO Dive