643: The Rise of People-Centric Finance | Katie Rooney, CFO, Alight Solutions

Back in 2015, Katie Rooney was only 7 months into her first industry CFO role at Aon when her boss asked her to exit the office. “He came into my office on November 1 and said, ‘I’m retiring, and I want you to take on my role. I’m leaving in 8 weeks,’” recalls Rooney, who…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:29:49)

642: The Virtues of Top Line Growth | Sachin Patel, CFO, Apixio

It’s not uncommon for career-building executives inside the finance realm to obtain an MBA in order to pivot their careers in a new direction. Such was the case for Sachin Patel, who after finding some early success as a systems engineer at IBM Corp. began to study the path before him more closely. “One of…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:30:58)

641: The IPO Playbook & Creating Opportunity for Others | Steve Cakebread, CFO, Yext

“It’s not cheap to go public,” concedes CFO Steve Cakebread, echoing the oft-repeated refrain that founders and CFOs confront when considering the prospect of selling shares in their companies to the public. Concessions aside, it will come as little surprise to Wall Street and private investors alike that Cakebread—a seasoned finance leader who has taken…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:31:03)

640: Communicating Your Strategic Plan | James Samuels, CFO, EXUMA Biotech

Jamie Samuels still recalls some of the raised eyebrows that he saw after having completed in short order both the verbal and written portions of an exam that his future employer administered to job applicants. Not unlike many of his fellow applicants, Samuels had been invited to take the exam after responding to a newspaper…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:40:03)

639: Thriving in the Deep End | Catherine Birkett, CFO, GoCardless

Back in the early 2000s, Catherine Birkett found herself being pulled into confidential meetings where her company’s senior management was discussing restructuring plans with the company’s largest investor. The company—a fiber optics telecom firm known as Interoute—was not yet 6 years old, but its days appeared to be numbered as the company sought to weather…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:38:46)

638: The Path to Being Cost Smart | Jim Gray, CFO, Ingredion

It’s the type of business restructuring capable of striking envy in the hearts of many a company board member—and particularly those known to favor one oft-repeated bit of business wisdom: Never waste a recession. At food ingredient maker Ingredion, where the recession’s bite is directly linked to the eating habits of consumers, a 2-year-old restructuring strategy…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:47:04)

637: Experiencing the Market Economy Spirit | Tom Fencl, CFO, Pricefx

The son of two doctors, Tom Fencl recalls that while growing up in communist Czechoslovakia, to him a free market economy was more “an intellectual curiosity” than a possible career destination. “When the Berlin Wall came down, I was midway through high school—it was a very formative experience,” remembers Fencl, who says that the historic…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:46:04)

636: Being Part of the Team | Marsha Smith, CFO, Siemens USA

Members of Siemens USA’s finance team would probably not be surprised to learn that when their CFO, Marsha Smith, is asked to reveal the experiences that prepared her for a finance leadership role, the ones that she relates most often originate from being part of a team. Such was the case in 2004, when she…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:51:32)

635: Finding Your Finance Team’s North Star | Markus Harder, CFO, Contentful

The Berlin headquarters of software developer Contentful occupies an old brick warehouse with heavy metal doors and broad functional corridors and spaces native to its industrial past. Standing six stories high, the structure once accommodated its worker population with a miniature kitchen on every floor, a favorite employee perk perhaps first introduced by a coffee-loving…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:48:28)

634: Milestones for M&A Success | Steve Young, CFO, Duke Energy

It was a little over 40 years ago when Steve Young first joined what would become Duke Energy, the giant electric power holding company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Not only has it been a long tenure, but also it is the only post-college job that I’ve ever had,” says Young, who first roamed the…
Listen to the Episode Below (00:49:57)

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