Job Hunting

Best of 2009: Careers

Finance chiefs had to confront a bevy of new challenges in 2009.
CFO StaffDecember 28, 2009

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It was the year of the CFO in more ways than one, as the finance chief’s role expanded by necessity at many companies. All of the standard challenges were still there, such as leading the finance organization. But as CFO noted, plenty of new challenges emerged in 2009, such as maintaining liquidity and risk management.

We also looked at the ups and downs of the job search — a process, unfortunately, that many finance executives in the latter part of their careers were forced to undertake. Throughout the year, CFO chronicled how individual CFOs were coping with the stress of hard times, burnishing their résumés and inspiring others. Here are some of our readers’ favorites:

Wanted: Strategic CFOs. Again.

The skills companies value in finance leaders continue to shift with the times, with strategic acumen now edging past capital-markets experience, headhunters tell the crowd at CFO Rising.

Are You “Strategic”?

CFOs have long aspired to that lofty moniker. Is the time at hand when many can lay claim to it?

How to Talk about Layoffs

Most CFOs say that making job cuts is the single most difficult part of their jobs, but there are ways to manage this painful process more effectively.

The Human Side of IFRS

Learning international accounting standards early on could provide a career boost like no other.

Memo to CFOs: Don’t Trust HR

A professor says most human resources professionals are ill-equipped to carry out value-added workforce planning and transformation.

CFOs Still Fighting to Retain Skilled Staff

Beyond offering extra bucks, finance chiefs are finding that reshaping jobs, providing community-service and fitness opportunities, and supplying ad hoc vacation days are good tools to use to hang on to skilled finance staff.

Advise and Shine

Your office door may be closed for a good reason, but there are many better reasons to open it — and walk through it.

The Key to Bankers’ Hearts

Dazzling them with your finance knowledge can help keep the capital flowing, recession notwithstanding, according to private-company CFO Ron Box.

Liquidity, Crime Woes Shake Up Chief Risk Officers

Top risk cops are taking a fresh look at corporate exposures in the wake of the financial crisis.

How to Use Headhunters and Find Finance Jobs

Don’t cold-call recruiters, but return their cold calls and feed them information. Package your experience as a compelling story and build a big network of references.

The Pros and Cons of Interim Finance Gigs

Finance executives who fill temporary roles like the diversity of experiences and the resulting expansion of their skills.

Over 50, Out of Work, Open to Change

More and more finance executives fit that description in these days of recession and downsizing. The best cure: constant effort and a positive outlook.

Inside the Mind of a Strategic CFO

Using his background in corporate planning, Rich Fearon has helped Eaton Corp. cut its auto-industry exposure and boost its involvement in the electrical-efficiency business.

Doing What Needs Doing: A CFO as Sales Boss

A software firm’s finance and operations chief puts himself on the front lines of customer interaction. His other passion: carefully nurturing the company’s ESOP.

How One CFO Left Links, Took Helm in Crisis

Michael Mancuso’s cost-cutting moves since coming out of retirement to lead finance at Computer Sciences Corp. have included freezing the company’s pension fund and ditching executive car perks.

CFO Brings Big Ideas to a Small Company

A former Tyco finance executive finds wide latitude to use his cost-cutting and other business-process skills.

“This Is What You’ve Trained For All Your Life”

The recession may not be all kicks, but it’s not short of challenges for a CFO. Here’s a view of the ups, downs, and demands through the eyes of the finance chief at software company Informatica.

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