Trident University International
Principles of Finance
Module One: The Role of the Financial Manager
Date: 10 Dec 2014
Finance Departments and Future CEOs
The question posed is do I feel that the finance department of an organization is the best place to train a future Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. The CEO of a company can come from anywhere; there is no specific set of skills that will make a CEO successful; all must possess a deep arsenal of abilities. These skills should not be limited to the technical sets that are company specific. They must also include a strong leadership ability that can build various strong teams, the ability to delegate authority, strong inter-personal skills that allow for excellent communication to employees and shareholders and an ability to make decisions based upon intuition rather than solely upon facts. A successful CEO is dependent upon their personal skill just as much as the skills that are strictly business related.
If we changed the question to read, “Do I think the finance department is a good place to train future CEOs,” then we would have to look into the job comparisons between the CEO and the Chief Finance Officer (CFO).
The CEO is responsible for managing the financial, tax, risk and facilities of an organization and recommends the yearly budget for board approval. He/she manages the organization’s resources within the budget guidelines according to current laws and regulations. In these areas, the CFO is in an excellent stepping stone position for CEO, as they are responsible for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial activities for the company. Their work with all of the finance moves that occur within the company would put them well ahead in the job race towards the CEO position.
The CEO is also responsible for ensuring the organization’s mission, products and services are presented to the shareholders...