What Do CEOs Want From Their CFOs



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.”

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Source: Forbes

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