Back in early 2020, Gina Mastantuono had only recently stepped into the CFO role at ServiceNow when the subject of intangible assets surfaced during a company board meeting. For months, growing numbers of the company’s investors had been signaling their advocacy for the company to amplify its collective conscientiousness when it came to social and environmental concerns.
Traditionally, the company had relied on its marketing and communications teams to project its corporate mind-set when it came to such issues, but a number of events during the previous 12 months had led investors and board members—as well as company CEO Bill McDermott—to conclude that a more codified approach had now become necessary.Read More
“This was a pretty significant change for both me and the organization,” explains Mastantuono, who notes that her list of priorities for her first 12 months as CFO suddenly began to shift in real time as the magnitude of adopting ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles became increasingly evident.
“It enabled me to make necessary changes not only within finance but also across the enterprise and externally,” comments Mastantuono, who relates that the impact that she could have as a leader became clear to her when the company’s vice president of treasury pitched to her the idea of ServiceNow forming a racial equity fund to help underserved communities.
Recalls Mastantuono: “I was really able to drive this throughout the organization, and now we have put a $100 million fund that was fully funded into the communities that need it most.”
However, what’s perhaps more revealing when it comes to Mastantuono’s finance leadership has been the addition of an outward-facing pitch that she regularly makes to ServiceNow customers—and particularly to those attracted to similar ESG-oriented opportunities.
“Our products can help our customers in their ESG journeys in a way that those of many other companies just can’t. We have the ability to differentiate from a product perspective and from an ecosystem,” says Mastantuono, who seldom ignores an opening to amplify ESG’s growing influence.
“It is just this incredible opportunity that has allowed us to really punch quite a bit above our weight class,” adds Mastantuono, who leaves us wondering whether she’s speaking on behalf of the company or for CFOs at large. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about ServiceNow … what sets this company apart today?
Mastantuono: Behind every business outcome is a process that drives experiences. ServiceNow digitizes these siloed processes, connecting and automating them, so that work flows throughout an organization. In doing so, we dramatically add value and improve experiences for our customers and their stakeholders. At the end of the day, how I talk about it is to say that we optimize processes so that people can do their best work every day, connect silos for these seamless experiences, and create new value. I like to think about it as creating a consumer-like, frictionless experience at work that really helps to drive these incredible employee and customer experiences.Read More
From a value and competition perspective, we’re a platform company first and foremost. The benefit of being a platform company is that we have no one competitor that can provide the end-to-end functionality that we do across the enterprise. Whether it’s your IT organization, your HR organization, or your customer service organization that needs help, we’re the only cross-functional platform that can sit on top of any systems of record to really enable workflows across the enterprise. If you think about it, you realize that we’re a system of actions that make employees more productive and really help to improve both the employee and the customer experiences across the enterprise.
First and foremost, we are a high-growth company. When people ask me about my priorities, I tell them that it’s all about growth and profitability. We are unique not only in the fact that we’ve gotten to $5.5 billion in annual revenue—and now in 2022 will get to $7 billion—all organically but also in that we’ve done this with really strong free cash flow and profitability margins. For me, it’s all about growth and profitability as priority #1.
Second, it’s about talent and people. I’m looking to make sure that ServiceNow’s finance organization is a premier unit to which people can come to live their best lives and build inspiring careers by dreaming bigger than ever. It’s all about talent development. I spend a lot of time really focused on how can we make ServiceNow the absolute best place to work.
Third, I’ll go back to ESG. My other top priority from both a personal and professional standpoint is ESG. I’m so proud of the fact that we’ve really been able to embed environmental, social, and governance initiatives into the DNA of our organization. As CFO, I get the greatest lift from seeing this in action. I would say that these are probably three of my top priorities.
“I like to ask the question: ‘How can we be better? How can I really evolve this finance organization and bring the best new ideas into the organization, while developing the people who’ve been here for a while?’ That’s when you hit the sweet spot and you have people who can help each other and teach each other and develop together.” – Gina Mastantuono, CFO, ServiceNow
ServiceNow | www.servicenow.com | Santa Clara, CA