“That has to be the coolest story header image we’ve ever had.”
The rest of the table agreed.
When you’ve been around for as long as CFO has — closing in on four decades — there are going to be some contenders. Most of them have featured smart, intelligent finance chiefs holding a perfect power stance, ready to face what might come. But this one had to be in the running for sure.
In case you missed it, this is Lamborghini’s CFO, Paolo Poma. And behind him, slightly out of focus as if in a dream state, is a model Revuelto.
While I’m sure many executives enjoy owning such an automobile, Poma has the privilege of being able to claim he sets the financial stage for them to be imagined and then manufactured, possessing with it the ability to help the future owner re-imagine who they want to become in life.
The vehicle claims legendary status in the history of automotives, and is a co-star in some of Hollywood’s most memorable films, including “Cannonball Run” and “The Italian Job.” So why then would its next big push be toward the electric vehicle market? As Poma told reporter Adam Zaki, it is because of sustainability.
“We are in a good position because most of our customers are about or below 40 years old, and they are more sensitive to sustainability ... By the beginning of 2025, we will be the first player in our market to be fully hybridized.”
“Expectations are that cool electric cars will show up in the second part of the decade, so our customers are looking forward to having sustainable products.”
But, sustainability means something else as well: “We have a unique opportunity if we talk about the possibility of electrification further increasing our profitability,” Poma said. A combination of the right product positioning to serve the right market for long-term, sustainable growth. To prevent Lamborghini from becoming a fossil, a relic like the Austin Healey or the 30’s gangster ride, the Cord 812.
In a closer part of the world, CFO Candice Holcomb also has sustainability on her mind. But in her case, it isn’t only sustaining CO2 levels or profitability, but people. Leading a nonprofit called Generation West Virginia, she is responsible for retaining the state’s best home-grown talent, instead of watching them leave for futures in other states’ universities and businesses.
“When I was growing up, I thought if you wanted to be successful, you had to leave,” Holcomb told Zaki. And she is working to combat that talent drain.
“You have to be very mindful and respectful of our history ... There are so many people whose families go back generations that were able to sustain themselves on the energy resources we have here.”
Holcomb, like Poma, has a two-fold responsibility. They both must pay homage to the history and rich legacy of their organizations while also plotting a course for the future that recognizes the changing world around us.
“Do what you say and say what you do,” Poma said. And by both he and Holcomb practicing this mantra, albeit in different ways, they are carving out a sustainable path for their organizations’ futures.