The CFO, the natural replacement of the CEO and a key role in times of crisis


El Cronista | September 2, 2019

The El Cronista article, "The CFO, the natural replacement of the CEO and a key role in times of crisis," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Edgar Medinaceli on the pivotal role CFOs play. A translated excerpt of the article is below.

In contexts like the current one, the CFO of a company becomes a key component of its organizational chart that must have a clear vision of the entire business. Sitting on a hot seat, the company’s survival may depend on the decisions of this individual.

Changing profiles, restructuring, renegotiating - words which we have been hearing more and more often these days among the general public, but which are part of the usual lexicon of any Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who has to deal with periods of economic uncertainty, like the current one. Their main mission is to ensure the sustainability of the company.


Edgar Medinaceli, Consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, adds that while the CFO is important in any country, in Argentina its relevance is even higher.

“While the Chief Commercial Officer or the Chief Marketing Officer are always important, in situations such as today the CFO becomes a “primus inter pares”, the person that may have the larger responsibility for the key decisions. The CFO must decide on stock, financing, but also on the business strategy. That is not as true almost anywhere else in the world as it is here,” he says.


“It is often said that Argentineans are overrepresented in regional executive roles. The truth is that they are not more talented or better educated than executives from other nationalities. They simply are used to tolerating situations of high risk and uncertainty, that prepare them well for managing complex issues in a fast-moving environment. If you have the necessary talent, the experience of having lived in this country makes you more resilient, with faster reactions,” concludes Medinaceli.

To read the full article in its original Spanish, click here.

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The CFO, the natural replacement of the CEO and a key role in times of crisis