Eugene Moorcroft wasn’t sure where to take his life when he emigrated to California from South Africa with his family as a 17-year-old high school graduate. He at first chose to work in operations instead of going to college. But his career options crystallized a few years later when a CFO noticed Moorcroft’s innate ability to understand how accounting decisions impacted the rest of the company.
That pivotal observation led Moorcroft to enroll in an accounting degree program that, in turn, sparked a 20-plus-year career encompassing accounting, strategy, FP&A, controllership, and compliance in the entertainment and facility maintenance industries.
After serving in executive-level accounting and finance positions at several high-profile entertainment companies, Moorcroft joined facilities maintenance company Servicon in late 2020 as controller. He was named CFO in December 2022.
- First CFO position: 2022
- Notable previous employers:
- Sonar Entertainment
- Glide Rite
- Amazon Video Direct Publishing
- 20th Century Fox
- KPMG LLP
- Ernst & Young LLP
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
SANDRA BECKWITH: What made you the right candidate for the CFO position at Servicon?
EUGENE MOORCROFT: I was hired as corporate controller two years earlier because I had the recent finance transformation experience the CFO was looking for. She wanted a partner with expertise in systems, processes, and controls who could continue professionalizing the finance processes and bring value to the business.
We had a productive partnership. I assessed what we had already, identified gaps, and put people and systems in place to support the company’s goals. Then, when the CFO took a year-long sabbatical, the ownership group and executive leadership team asked me to serve as interim CFO. I was appointed to that position permanently when my predecessor returned to a new role as our chief ESG (environmental, social, and governance) officer.
Why did you shift from a career in the entertainment industry to one in facilities management?
MOORCROFT: Timing had a lot to do with it. The global pandemic allowed me to think about where I wanted my career to go and the kind of organization I wanted to work for. I realized I wanted an employer with a heart and a purpose, a strong leadership vision, and a long-term outlook.
A role in a company that provided essential services was appealing, too, especially after we all saw how important that work was during the pandemic. Those criteria led me to Servicon and its purpose, which is to provide healthy environments for people to thrive. It was the best career decision I’ve ever made.
Looking back on your career, was there a pivotal moment?
MOORCROFT: It came early in my career when I faced an ethical dilemma. You learn about this in college, but when you're faced with it, deciding what to do is a lot more difficult. My situation, which was very stressful and uncomfortable, forced me to take a stand when everybody else was looking the other way.
It was one of the most difficult things I've had to do professionally, and I paid a price for it: I lost my job. But all you have is your reputation; I wouldn’t risk mine. In finance, we need to be beyond reproach. You always need to protect your integrity.
How does your professional background affect how you do the job, and how might it differ from someone who came to the CFO role with a different job history?
MOORCROFT: Having both accounting and finance experience makes a positive difference. Many organizations become siloed, with accounting and finance isolated from each other. Having had roles in both, I can bridge the differences and unify teams.
In addition, my five years of experience working in operations before college allows me to bring an operational perspective to the role. That early work history helped me as a student and again when I entered the field because I could understand an organization’s challenges from an operations perspective in ways that others without that experience couldn’t.
Was becoming CFO always the goal?
MOORCROFT: When I decided to get an accounting degree, I knew I wanted to be a CFO, so that goal influenced the jobs I pursued. To become as well-rounded as possible, I took on public accounting, auditing, compliance, and FP&A roles.
When I noticed that many CFOs had MBAs, I got one, too — and the knowledge I gained through that has been invaluable. I’m back at school again, working on my doctor of business administration degree.
Would you recommend your path to others in finance hoping to become a CFO?
MOORCROFT: I don't believe there's one true or correct path, but the lesson I took from mine was to be open to diverse career opportunities so you can stretch and grow. Without that, I would not have been exposed to so much that was critical to the growth I needed to become a CFO.