Kraft Heinz Reshuffling Shows Balancing Act CFOs Often Take at PE-Backed Firms

Finance chiefs at portfolio companies provide frequent updates to private-equity investors, while also managing day-to-day operations

The Wall Street Journal | August 27, 2019

The Wall Street Journal article, "Kraft Heinz Reshuffling Shows Balancing Act CFOs Often Take at PE-Backed Firms," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Jenna Fisher on the role that these CFOs play in communicating with investors. The article is excerpted below. 

The switch-up of chief financial officers at Kraft Heinz Co. demonstrates the close relationship private-equity firms often demand of finance chiefs at their portfolio companies.


The decision by Kraft Heinz Co. to replace its finance chief underscores the high-stakes balancing act performed by CFOs at companies with substantial private-equity backing.

CFOs must maintain open lines of communication with private-equity investors, who often demand constant, detailed updates on performance, while also managing day-to-day financial operations at companies that typically carry high levels of debt, recruiters said. Private-equity firms often replace CFOs and other senior-level executives soon after they acquire a company.

“There’s actually a lot of connectivity between the CFO and the sponsors,” said Jenna Fisher, global head of the CFO practice at leadership advisory and executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “Probably more than with the CEO at times.”

To read the full article, click here.