What Do CEOs Want From Their CFOs?

“In virtually every company we look at, the CFO is becoming the second most important C-suite executive. An effective leadership team depends on the CEO and CFO being a great double act.”
~David Axson, Accenture Strategy and CFO and Enterprise Value, UKI

Jack is a Senior Contributor to Forbes CFO Network.  An excerpt below.

There is no doubt that the visibility of chief financial officers continues to increase, and the partnership between the CEO and CFO has become the critical relationship among executive teams. But what do CEOs really want from their finance chiefs? Not surprisingly, this is determined by the circumstances, such as company size, industry, stage, and of course the personal preferences of the CEO.

To answer this question, I interviewed five CEOs from a broad spectrum of businesses that include a small public company, a venture-backed startup, a third-generation family-owned business, a PE-backed company that has recently been acquired, and a non-profit focused on family services. The expectations of CFOs were surprisingly consistent despite the different backgrounds of the CEOs.

CEOs expect their CFOs to be skillful communicators.

 “I did not know how much I needed my CFO to be a great communicator until I hired my current one. She’s masterful dealing with investors on earnings calls and beyond,” said the public company CEO. “I can’t be having my finance chief speak to Wall Street about debits and credits, though that is part of it. Having somebody who articulates our value and vision to the investor community in a credible manner is invaluable.”

Read more….

About Jack McCullough

Jack McCullough is a recognized thought leader in the field of financial leadership, with a career that has included CFO positions at 26 companies. He founded the CFO Leadership Council, a global organization dedicated to empowering senior financial executives through innovative professional development programs and peer networking. His other accomplishments include chairing the MIT Sloan CFO Summit, and creating the vision behind CFO Week, a one-of-a-kind learning and networking experience jointly executed by the CFO Leadership Council and MIT Sloan. He is a contributor to Forbes.com, where he writes for the CFO Network on challenges and opportunities facing financial leaders.  He is an entertaining and insightful public speaker, and has spoken to thousands of CFOs, and is frequently contacted by members of the media who appreciate his candor, insight and wit.

Engage with Jack McCullough further at https://cfoleadershipcouncil.com/about-our-founder/



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About The CFO Leadership Council

About The CFO Leadership Council

The CFO Leadership Council offers both live & online programs that feature expert panels and interactive sessions that drive meaningful conversation and leadership development among our membership. Our collection of leadership development resources similar to this article contain pragmatic insights and advice sourced directly from our members and industry experts.  Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. To learn about membership options and CFO Week, visit www.cfolc.com.


The CFO Leadership Conference “CFO Masterclass” May 11-12, 2020

The CFO Leadership Council’s 10th annual national conference “CFO Masterclass” is being held May 11-12, 2020 and is designed to be all about the CFO.  It will explore what you need to be a Masterclass CFO in today’s fast-paced disruptive world.  This year includes two full days of programming – roundtable discussions, inspiring keynotes, and expert-led interactive panels crafted to dig deep into key leadership areas.  Sessions include Mastering The New Executive Leader, Mastering Finance’s New Model, Mastering Delivery Of Company Strategy & more.  Network and learn alongside 400+ of your peers across North America. NASBA Certified CPE Offered.  Best discounted prices available now until January 31st.  Reserve your seat today. www.cfolcconference.com


​MIT CFO Accelerating Growth Through Leadership Executive Program, May 13-15, 2020

CFO Week continues with a three-day “CFO Accelerator” program custom-designed by MIT Sloan for the CFO Leadership Council community.  This advanced learning is ideal for high growth company CFOs looking to enhance your ability to lead your rapidly evolving company.  It will be lead by MIT faculty and other experts on May 13-15 2020 and held right on the MIT campus.  Seats are extremely limited as the classroom is kept small (48 seats).  This promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience for the greater CFO community.


You can select to attend one event or both.  Speakers and agenda are being updated weekly.  To learn more or reserve your seat, visit www.cfolcconference.com.

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