CEO / CFO Explanation

CEO CFO Explanation

“Modern CFOs are expected to be financial experts, strategic thinkers and representatives of their company at the same time,” explains Olivier Reynaud (Executive Director at Michael Page Austria) on the occasion of the new ” CFO & Financial Leadership Barometer ” study. To what extent do you cover CEO & CFO?


According to abbreviationfinder, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is now clearly responsible for corporate strategy and development. In perspective, the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) could even replace the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) as the most important management position. This is shown by the current worldwide study “CFO & Financial Leadership Barometer” by HR consultancy Michael Page. The CFO has become increasingly important in recent years. Today’s CFOs play a central role in change processes in the company and often act as close partners of the CEO. Her job profile also includes communicative tasks that were traditionally the responsibility of the CEO, such as appearances at shareholders’ meetings, public relations and investor relations. The areas of responsibility CEO-CFO are no longer clearly separated.

Cost-intensive innovations are subject to the CFO

The modern CFO is an all-rounder. In addition to in-depth financial expertise, his requirement profile today also includes knowledge in the areas of IT, law, human resources and purchasing as well as the ability to manage change processes. His area of ​​responsibility is correspondingly broad: in addition to implementing new guidelines, almost every second financial decision-maker will have to implement new IT systems in the next 12 months. And about every fourth financial decision-maker worldwide will promote the topic of shared service centers.

“Whereas the CFO post was generally seen as a stepping stone to the CEO position, today the CFO has gained a significantly higher degree of autonomy and personal responsibility,” says Reynaud. “It plays an important role that in the course of globalization the financial know-how of the CFO is becoming increasingly important in order to implement new business models.” Today, the CFO is increasingly involved in core processes of corporate strategy and development. After all, the decisions of the CFO are of great importance for the success or failure of a company.

CEO-CFO, what’s more attractive?

Hardly any CFO wants to become CEO

This increase in competence and importance is also reflected in career planning: for many young executives, the position of CFO is already an attractive career goal. “If you look at the overall picture of the changes, as presented in the current study, there is much to suggest that the CFO could even replace the CEO as the most important management position in the future,” says the Michael Page finance expert.

The current assessment of the CFOs also underpins this forecast: almost 70% of the CFOs surveyed see themselves in this position in the future, only just under 2% are aiming for the position of CEO. At the same time, 75% of finance decision-makers worldwide are satisfied with their job.

The all-rounders are looking for specialists

60% of the companies surveyed worldwide are currently looking for new employees for their finance departments. As their own role in the organization becomes more complex, CFOs want finance professionals to join their team. Specialists in controlling, accounting and financial analysis and planning are in demand. At the same time, the competition for qualified employees has increased noticeably: worldwide, two out of three companies surveyed are having difficulties filling their open positions. The study shows that employers are countering this trend by investing more in the further training of their own employees and in personnel development. And when it comes to filling key positions, companies continue to rely on recruiting services from personnel consultancies.

CEO CFO Explanation