CFOs won’t stop until they become CEO, survey says

The survey was produced by recruitment agency Robert Half UK and found 86 per cent of UK CFOs are driven to reach the role of CEO in their current organisation.
Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and worked her way to the CFO role in 2001, before being named CEO five years later. Fabrice Coffrini /  AFP
Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and worked her way to the CFO role in 2001, before being named CEO five years later. Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

Chief executives wondering who may be after their job should look no further than their chief financial officer. According to a new survey released on Monday, the majority of CFOs in the UK want to take on the top job.

The survey was produced by recruitment agency Robert Half UK and found 86 per cent of UK CFOs are driven to reach the role of chief executive in their current organisation. Two hundred CFOs were interviewed online for the study.

The survey also revealed that 23 per cent of the CFOs surveyed saw the company’s marketing director as their biggest rival for the top job, while 22 per cent saw the chief information and technology officers as the greatest competition.

According to the survey results CFOs reckoned they would be ideal candidates for the role due to their knowledge in investor stakeholder management, their economic and business awareness and finance and data-driven business decisions.

The results of the survey support a previous study by Robert Half, which found that 55 per cent of current FTSE100 chief executives have a background in finance, indicating CFOs have an advantage over others.

“As chief executives continue to be challenged with improving the financial position of the organisation and delivering increased shareholder value, hiring an individual with a strong financial background is often key,” said Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK, UAE and South America, in a press release.

“As new challenges can impact the wider business, companies should regularly review their succession planning strategies to ensure they can fully utilise the range of talent available and develop potential leaders as early as possible.”

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Published: September 19, 2016 04:00 AM

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