After two decades at the helm, Chief Financial Officer David DeVoe has announced that he will be retiring from News Corp. Since joining as a senior financial executive in 1983, DeVoe has played a prominent role in shaping News Corp. to become a global leader in journalism. Now, as the company divides into two separate entities to free its television assets from the struggling newspaper industry, DeVoe is planning his exit.
Still, DeVoe intends on staying active as a board member and remaining as a senior adviser. Currently, he’s working with his finance and leadership departments to prepare the company for long-term value and growth after he leaves. DeVoe is working to help John Nallen transition into the role effective on July 1. Nallen will bring a focus on capital markets and M&A transactions to the table as he takes the helm later next year.
Expectations: CFOs Preparing Next Generation of Finance Leaders
Aside from their duties dealing with numbers and analytics as CFOs, finance leaders are increasingly responsible for preparing the next generation of accountants and finance leaders. In fact, the International Federation of Accountants reports that CFOs are now critical influencers and leaders in well-governed and managed organizations.
The reality is that CFOs play a role in the education, training, and development of professional accountants within their organization. By investing in their teams now, CFOs are able to help grow their departments so that shifts and leadership changes are more seamless. This results in better long-term growth, as the internal chain of players remains as undisrupted as possible.
So what exactly are the expectations of CFOs?
- To be a key organizational leader and effective member of executive management. In other words, aside from dealing with the numbers that help keep the company moving, CFOs must provide shared visions of leadership to the organization. This involves strategic thinking and analytical problem solving.
- To balance stewardship with business partnership. The CFO role is increasingly complex, as they must deal with accounting and regulatory demands on one hand and must consider statutory duties on the other.
- To serve as an integrator and navigator. To pursue growth, the CFO must navigate through strategic management and integrate it into existing workflow processes for maximum effect.
By leveraging their varied skillsets, CFOs can ensure that they prepare their company for long-term growth, even after they must retire and prepare for their successor.