As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q3 2016 Issue
THE WINNERS OF THE 2016 CFO INNOVATION AWARDS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Innovators are men and women who make a difference in their chosen endeavors. Through their energy, leadership, identification of opportunities and risks, big thinking, unwavering dedication, and farsightedness, the 12 CFOs being honored this year are bettering 12 companies or tax-exempt organizations. Their bold actions have brought increased resources and/or respect to their employers. We asked each of the winners what they would say about CFOs as innovators. Several spoke about creating or carrying forward the company’s strategy. Others mentioned getting the most from their team. What these CFOs do every day is not unique, but it is highly successful because they have clear goals, leadership agility, and a plan for dealing with risk.
CFO INNOVATOR AWARD
The CFO who has successfully applied creative and innovative solutions to significant organizational challenges, whether internal or external. The judges looked for “that person who has successfully applied creativity and maybe dealt with a situation that was unique or the solution itself was novel,” says Tim Anglim, lead judge.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, VONAGE
“A CFO Innovator is somebody who brings change to their company using the company’s existing strengths. In Vonage’s case, we had a highly developed consumer operation and the network to support it, a very solid balance sheet, high cash flows, and strong management, but operated in a challenging market. For us, change meant looking at an acquisition strategy, which is something the company had not pursued before, and looking at playing in a different market. …We identified a new, growing market to go into — cloud communications services for businesses. Having an M&A background, I felt it was the right thing to do to acquire so as to quickly establish a platform in this market, but I really had to think about how to get the idea accepted because I had only been at Vonage a few months and, hence, had not had the opportunity to build much goodwill. I very carefully sought to build consensus among and sponsorship from our key senior managers, and then present it to the board. We then developed a very detailed story for investors as to why this was a logical move and the right first asset to acquire, as it was adjacent to our current business, leveraged off of our existing strengths, and positioned us to be a leader in a growth market.”
FINALISTS FOR CFO INNOVATOR AWARD
Michael Bickel, Chief Financial Officer, Schindler Elevator Corporation
David Chambers, Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Jaguar Land Rover North America
Michael Colangelo, Chief Financial Officer, Maersk
Claude Draillard, Vice President Finance, Dassault Falcon Jet
Andy Hoy, Chief Financial Officer, Lonza America, Inc.
Ronald Kasner, Chief Financial Officer, iCIMS