After an impressive year raising $38 million, DNS provider Dyn is aggressively pursuing growth with the help of its first Chief Financial Officer, Tim O’Toole. Within the last year, Dyn has boosted its team by a hundred people and is in the process of developing new business offerings, including email services and improved web performance. O’Toole was a prime candidate for Dyn after he helped Rapid7 negotiate multiple acquisitions and nurtured a $50 million Series C round.
Since DNS is in the middle of the pack when it comes to consumer internet access, Dyn is aiming to broaden its services to cast the widest net possible. O’Toole is expected to play a major role in the company’s expansion strategy and execution. O’Toole is joining the company at an interesting moment, not as a first-time CFO, but as the company’s first-ever CFO.
Finding Identity and Purpose as the First CFO
In recent years, the CFO’s job description has evolved into something more complex than simply a finance executive. New responsibilities, accountability, and oversight from the CFO contribute directly to corporate performance. Like Tim O’Toole, however, there are many finance executives stepping into a role that has never been filled before. So how can CFOs set the tone and find identity as the first financial executive in their company?
- Discover and pursue early priorities. New CFOs are eager to leave their mark. They should focus instead on short-term priorities to balance their role before embarking on transformational initiatives. These priorities might include conducting a value creation audit, strengthening the finance department, and developing the performance actively.
- Evaluating drivers of business performance. Before any decisions about expansion and growth can be made, CFOs must first understand the factors that drive success. A competitive market analysis will also help provide clarity when it comes to strategic decision-making.
- Maximizing the use of technology. Recent advancements in technology, particularly concerning Cloud, have enhanced internal workflow processes. Timely reporting makes it easier to make major financial decisions while deterring fraud.
Being appointed as the first CFO of a company is unique to each situation, but there are many basic things that can be done to ensure short-term success and set the foundation for future work.
What new tools is your CFO using to improve business performance?