CFOs Retiring Younger for Board Seats


Agenda | September 23, 2016

The Agenda article, “CFOs Retiring Younger for Board Seats,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates' Jenna Fisher about why CFOs are retiring at younger ages. She also spoke about the frustrations of CFOs and the importance of CFO succession planning. The article is excerpted below.

Boards who are looking to bring on former CFOs are looking for people who can completely focus their talent on that board and who do not already serve on multiple boards, says Jenna Fisher, global corporate sector leader at executive search and consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates. 

“It used to be, several years ago, that the board wanted only people who already sat on public company boards, but that’s no longer the case because there is a lot more work to be done [on boards],” Fisher says. “It’s rare to find a client who looks at someone that sits on three boards, because that is considered too much.”


Meanwhile, Fisher says an increasing focus on compliance has brought many CFOs frustration.

“Some of the [CFO] job isn’t as fun as it used to be because there’s so much focus on compliance and risk,” Fisher says. “They think maybe there are opportunities to get involved with private equity or other investment advisory type groups on a part-time basis.”

“Fisher also notes that members of this generation of retiring CFOs tend to want to spend time with spouses, children and grandchildren.”


“Many savvy companies have gotten religious about CFO succession planning. It’s not as ubiquitous as CEO succession planning, and I wouldn’t say the majority of the Fortune 500 are doing it, but a more meaningful percentage,” Fisher says. “Every year [Russell Reynolds] has more requests from clients to do mapping documents in the event that a CFO decides to retire or move somewhere else.”

To read the full article, click here.

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CFOs Retiring Younger for Board Seats