Emerging Best Practice: Promoting CFOs from Within  

23 February 2017:

Don’t hold the presses: The average age of CFOs at large companies is 53, and they’ve held that post with their current employers for an average of 5.1 years.
They’re significantly younger and less-tenured than the average CEO, who is 58 years old and has been in his or her existing job for 8.0 years. But CFOs have been serving longer than chief human resources officers (5.0 years), chief information officers (4.3 years), and chief marketing officers (4.1 years).

All right, none of that information — provided courtesy of Korn Ferry, which studied the C-suites of the 1,000 largest U.S. companies by revenue — is quite earth-shattering. Bryan Proctor, senior client partner for Korn Ferry’s CFO practice, acknowledges as much.

But in an interview with CFO, Proctor touches on some related topics that could be of interest to finance chiefs of a mind to test the employment waters — and to those in line to succeed them if they do move on.

In calendar years 2015 and 2016, 59% of the CFOs appointed by the 1,000 companies were promoted from within. That was up from 51% in the four prior years. And long as the economy continues to steer clear of a recession, even more CFO roles are likely to be filled internally, according to Proctor. “The CFO job market is stabilizing,” he says. “That could change if there’s a big recession that sends companies from growth mode to restructuring mode. But I think we’re going to see more internal promotions.”

Typically, a succession plan for a CFO or CEO takes a few years to reach fruition, says Proctor. So there may be a pent-up well of executive promotions to be made as the economic recovery lengthens.

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Source: CFO

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