A January 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal focused on the expanded role of Finance Chiefs. I don’t think anyone finds this surprising … CFOs have been expanding beyond finance for several years.
Most of the roles they listed are pretty common: IT, HR, Strategy / Business Development, Ops, Risk, Procurement, Supply Chain. No big surprise. What was interesting from my perspective was Customer Service (37%) and Marketing / Sales (33%) …. probably two areas that are the greatest stretch for Finance Leaders.
Typically, finance chiefs spent the bulk of their time on accounting, investor relations, financial planning and analysis. Now a different skill set is in demand, says Jeremy Hanson, a partner at recruiter Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. “There’s a distinct need today for strategic CFOs because of the uncertainty of the economy,” he says. Increasingly, Mr. Hanson conducts searches for chief financial officers who have run business units and had broader roles outside of finance. [emphasis added]
Will the ever-widening scope of responsibilities falling under the CFO make it the likely path for future CEOs? What do you think?