Eventbrite recently announced that they hired a CFO to expand their top executive ranks. While the move was monumental because of the expansion of leadership, it was also noticeable because if was the first major hire from outside the company. Instead of promoting someone internally as the chief financial operator, Evenbrite added financial executive Mark Rubash to the team. Rubash, who served top financial positions at eBay and Yahoo, is expected to grid the company’s management as Eventbrite expands.
Since its founding 5 years ago, Eventbrite has sold $1.5 billion in gross ticket sales. As the hyper-growth continued, strengthened management was required. For smaller companies looking to hire a CFO for the first time to larger corporations replacing an existing CFO, Eventbrite’s example of hiring Mark Rubash is classic.
Qualifications to Consider
While looking for a CFO, companies should value leadership skills alongside financial skills. As a top executive, the CFO will be interacting with other management positions while leading teams internally. The lack of leadership abilities could potentially undermine a CFO’s value to the company. Furthermore, consider the CFO’s experience relative to your industry. Some experiences will be relevant to your industry. For instance, a healthcare firm would benefit from hiring a CFO with experience in the medical industry versus a CFO of a music label.
Aside from leadership and financial abilities, also consider communication skills. CFOs are often responsible for presentations to investors, the board of directors, and business partners. A CFO must have the skill to convey complex information simply and effectively to boost trust and faith in the company.
What You Should Do
As in the case with Eventbrite, looking for a qualified CFO isn’t enough. The role must also be clearly defined with set expectations. Before searching for a CFO, companies should determine exactly what they want the CFO to accomplish and what his or her “end goal” should be.
Are you looking to reduce excessive spending? Increase cash flow? Build strategic resources for high-level management? By determining exactly what your company wants, you’re more likely to get a better fit for the position. This also encourages more qualified and tailored applicants while turning way those that would be best elsewhere. By setting realistic expectations like Eventbrite, you’ll be setting yourself up for a happier and more productive relationship with your next CFO.