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How to Sustain Capital Campaign Momentum
Published by: Maya Imberg
Published on:

2024 Spotlight: CFOs in the US

Published by: Maya Imberg
Published on:
Learn about the evolving role of Chief Financial Officers and the strategies they employ to push their organizations forward.

The role of the chief financial officer has changed over the past few years. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent global economic downturn created a volatile, unpredictable operating environment for businesses. In response, the role of financial leaders has become more wide-ranging, complex and even more central to ongoing digital transformation.

Speaking in May 2023, Carolyn Burke, CFO at PG&E, illustrated this new, outward-looking attitude among US CFOs. She described the progress and vision of her business, not solely in terms of the traditional quarterly results and growth prospects but in a holistic sense of working towards a business culture that benefits the environment in which it operates, as well as the business itself. “[My PG&E coworkers] are absolutely committed and have embraced the triple bottom line: people, planet and prosperity.”

This concise report shares direct insights from CFOs as they grasp new responsibilities and grapple with the latest challenges. It uses Altrata’s unique, in-depth profiles of today’s executive leaders pulled from company statements, videos, interviews and other verifiable sources.

Top eight business priorities for current Fortune 500 CFOs

This report shares direct insights from CFOs as they grasp new responsibilities and grapple with the latest challenges. Using Altrata’s unique, in-depth profiles of today’s executive leaders from Boardroom Insiders, this study’s insights span more than 490 CFOs at Fortune 500 companies. It also draws on Altrata’s unique and proprietary Global Leadership Database from BoardEx.

Explore key findings.

  • The role of the CFO has become more wide-ranging and complex in recent years, and is central to organizations’ ongoing digital transformation. CFOs must draw on their business experience, strategic insight and technical knowledge to construct a business model that is resilient to unexpected challenges.
  • Cost management and the need to innovate were CFOs’ top priorities in early 2024. We found that 45% of these CFOs were focusing on overseeing sound financials and almost as many were looking to drive growth and development. A third were focusing on managing the inflation/pricing challenge and eyeing up acquisitions where possible.
  • Despite the role itself becoming ever more strategically diverse, previous senior roles outside of finance are rare among Fortune 500 CFOs, though 7% have previously been a CEO. The vast majority (96%) have senior buy- or sell-side M&A experience, and a tenth of leading CFOs will have taken a company to public launch. When it comes to their backgrounds, many CFOs are drawn from well-known financial and professional services firms.
  • The average age of a leading CFO is 55, and there is a significant gender imbalance, with only 17% of CFO positions held by women.

Learn more about today’s leading CFOs

Maya Imberg is the Head of Thought Leadership and Analytics at Altrata. She is responsible for spearheading the company’s thought leadership efforts and overseeing its analytics and predictive modeling services commissioned by clients. She joined Wealth-X in 2016 as Director of Custom Research responsible for secondary research, data analytics and branded content. Maya has over fifteen years of experience in research, spanning market research, macroeconomics and financial services. Prior to joining Wealth-X, Maya held a variety of consultant and economist roles at the Economist Intelligence Unit and spent a number of years working for Datamonitor’s Financial Services practice. Maya holds an undergraduate and MSc degree in economics and comparative politics from the University of Pennsylvania and London School of Economics respectively.