For new CFOs, these are critical steps to take in the first six months


By the end of 2022, the CFO turnover increased. That means more executives are stepping into new chief finance roles this year. But it may take longer than the usual 90 days to get your foot. It could be six months, according to one expert who has worked with thousands of executives.

“You’re not hired to deliver the status quo,” Ajit Kambil, global research director for Deloitte’s CFO program, told me. “You were actually hired to provide a change.”

There are three key resources you need to manage properly from the start—time, talent, and relationships, says Kambil. And that will take 180 days to get it right, he said.

Kambil is the creator and a leader of Deloitte’s Executive Transition Labs and Transition Accelerators that offer a personalized one-day workshop for executives in new roles, from a first-time CFO to a scholar, for example. The program has been running for over a decade, with Kambil and his team working with over 4,000 US C-suite executives who have participated. “And I even personally did it for over 300 CFOs,” said Kambil.

In his new book, The Leadership Accelerator: The Playbook for Transitioning into Your New Executive Role, he details key findings from years of research and provides actionable tasks for executives. He even talked to me about what would happen in the first 180 days.

1) Prioritize and manage time, says Kambil. That includes executives taking care of themselves, he said. “When they start, they usually work 70-80 hours per week,” explained Kambil. “I asked them about their work week, Monday to Friday. When do you get up? When do you go to the office? When are you coming home? How much time is spent on emails after dinner? The goal is to get them to 50 to 60 hours of work per week because that is sustainable.

I asked him for an example of an exec struggling with work-life balance.

“There are situations where someone suddenly realizes that their child’s wedding is planned for a date in the next six months,” said Kambil. “They look at all the different editions of the work plan, and they’re like, ‘Wait a minute, I have to change this.’”

2) Talent is critical, he says. “If you don’t get your talent, I think it’s like giving up 20% of your time. Let’s say you have five years to run the role, the opportunity cost of having the wrong team goes up and longer the longer you keep things.

A few questions to ask yourself: “How do I evaluate the diversity of talent available?” Kambil said. “How do I make FP&A capability visible in the next six months? How do I free up people’s time to do important things? How do I create a continuous learning organization?”

3) To implement key agendas with least resistance, manage relationships to build social capital and influence other members of the C-suite, says Kambil. Another tip: “Make sure you connect with the audit chair early and create a regular rhythm of informal and formal conversations,” he says. “Because they want to help you.”

I asked him what CFOs are should not do in their first year.

– “Don’t jump to conclusions,” said Kambil. “Take the time to really connect with different stakeholders, and listen to them and learn the business.”

– Don’t make assumptions. For example, “When you get promoted, don’t assume that the team around you is up to the challenge.”

I asked Kambil what his personal takeaways were from his years coaching CFOs. “They taught me to be a better leader,” he said. And they helped him dig deeper into “the ways in which you can unlock value in a company, but also how you need to organize to really drive big change,” he said. “A lot of CFOs today aren’t just focused on finance.”


See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

Quick note: In recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. On Monday, January 16, the next CFO Daily will be in your inbox on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Have a good week. Be careful.

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Great thing

“New Technologies Changing the Future of Work” new report released by WorkTech, a market analyst and advisory firm, found that companies still plan to spend on hiring this year. A survey of more than 1,000 global HR and talent acquisition leaders in the US and Europe found that companies plan to increase the market for hiring technology or “work tech” budgets by about 47%, with 94% expecting head counts to increase. The workplace tech category includes workplace tools that help employees collaborate and collaborate more effectively in different areas of focus. The report, underwritten by Greenhouse, a hiring software company, estimates that the total addressable market (TAM) for hiring technology jobs is expected to reach $244 billion by 2026.

Courtesy of WorkTech

deepened

Here are some weekend reads:

Bill Gates dismisses inflation and economic doom and gloom to insist now is ‘amazing’ the best time to be alivesaid Tristan Bove

The ax falls on Goldman Sachs as layoffs wind up the companysaid Luisa Beltran

The millennial founder who sold his fintech to JPMorgan for $175M is now being sued for allegedly inventing 4 million customers” said Christiaan Hetzner

Hustle culture is a dangerous myth, says burnout expert. Here are 6 ways to overcome itsaid Alexa Mikhail

LeaderBoard-

Here’s a list of some of this week’s notable moves:

Jamie Miller named global CFO of EY and CFO of the proposed new public entity. The selection of Miller is another step in EY’s process to separate the organization’s audit and consulting businesses, with its consulting arm to be listed on the stock market. EY is “making strong progress on the path to partner votes,” according to the company. Miller joined Cargill in June 2021 as corporate SVP and CFO. He was named head of corporate strategy in April 2022. Prior to joining Cargill, Miller served as SVP and CFO for GE. He began his tenure at GE in 2008 as VP, controller and chief accounting officer, and became GE’s chief information officer. Miller also served as president and CEO of GE Transportation. Before joining GE, he was SVP and controller at WellPoint (now Anthem). Miller is also a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

John Hu named EVP and CFO of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(Nasdaq: AMD), a semiconductor company, effective January 23. Devinder Kumar, currently CFO and treasurer, is retiring from the company. Kumar will remain with AMD until April 2023 for a transition period. Hu joins AMD from Marvell, where he served as CFO since 2016. He has more than 20 years of experience in financial leadership roles at semiconductor companies, including Qlogic and Conexant.

Michael McLaughlin named EVP and CFO of Informatica (NYSE: INFA), an enterprise cloud data management company, effective January 16. McLaughlin succeeds Eric Brown, who stepped down to pursue other opportunities. McLaughlin joins Informatica from FICO, where he served as EVP and CFO since August 2019.

Angela Floyd named CFO of DPR Construction, effective Jan. 1. DPR is a general contractor and construction manager specializing in projects for advanced technology, life sciences, health care, higher education, and commercial markets. Floyd joined DPR in 2017 and has worked closely with Michele Leiva, who has served as DPR’s CFO since 2010 and plans to retire in Q1 2023. A tenured industry professional, Floyd has held business roles in Balfour Beatty Construction, including VP of business development and director, before joining DPR.

Jason MeggsCFO of Syneos Health (Nasdaq: SYNH), a biopharmaceutical solutions organization, will resign from his position to pursue other career opportunities, effective March 31. Meggs has agreed to serve as a consultant and support the ongoing transformation that company initiatives until the end of 2023. Syneos Health Retains an executive search firm and begins the search for the next CFO.

Heard

“When we think about crypto, the aspects of that speculative market and investment have not yet proven themselves. So our investment philosophy says that crypto is more likely to disappoint clients than to delight them.”

—Penny Pennington, managing partner at brokerage firm Edward Jones, spoke luck about the recent meltdown in crypto and long-standing focus of the company of proven investments.



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