Over the past year and a half, I’ve penned a couple of posts (CFOs as CEOs and Decade of CFOs) on the trend of CFOs moving into the CEO seat. In a new article for CFO Zone, Christopher Langhoff, who conducts financial officer assignments for Russell Reynolds, chimes in on what he is seeing.
Here are a couple of snippets … but if you’re a CFO aspiring to be a CEO, at some point you might want to read the entire, albeit brief, article:
"We have more and more clients that are coming to us asking for a world class CFO that will likely be ready to be CEO in two to three years … When Sox was in full gear there was a need for a CFO who was a CPA. Now, companies are looking for a strategic CFO, a business partner. There could be a big shift."
In order to be world class, the people who need to know about you must know about you! Is your light shining beyond your corner office? If not, it will make it extremely difficult for your “world class” brand to be known.
Langhoff touched on something else I think is extremely important …
The first quarter also showed a continued, robust turnover of CFOs in the middle market. "The lifespan of a CFO can be shorter than an NFL career," says Langhoff. As for the rest of the year, Langhoff predicts more turnover. Over the past four months, Russell Reynolds reported a dramatic increase in search activity in the United States, Europe and Asia that spans industries.
That means two things:
1) Your position is NOT safe; and
2) There ARE new opportunities for “world-class” talent!