Three Steps to Take You From CFO to CEO


CFO Publishing | September 15, 2015

The article, “Three Steps to Take You from CFO to CEO,” cites Russell Reynolds Associates' “Inside the Mind of the CFO” research. The following is an excerpt of the article.

In a recent study conducted by global recruiter Russell Reynolds Associates, Inside the Mind of the CFO, finance leaders scored from 11-13% higher than CEOs when it came to being more cautious, acting more conventionally, and following rules. Such inclinations are hardly the attributes boards are seeking out in a fast-moving economy, where staying competitive demands fast, decisive and creative-thinking leaders. In fact, when it comes to leadership, the study found that CFOs lag CEOs in such key areas as enjoying selling or appreciating being the center of attention.

The rise of former CFO Dennis Arriola, however, doesn’t contradict the study’s findings. Arriola, who serves as CEO of SoCalGas, the nation’s largest natural gas distributor, contends that CFOs who aspire to be the boss need to view their careers in that context. “It becomes part of your career journey to collect the different tools you’ll need,” he says. “I picked up what I needed to know—manufacturing, customers, regulation, international and employees—here and there. I had broader experience than closing the books.”

To read the full article, click here.

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Three Steps to Take You From CFO to CEO