The laid back culture at many tech companies might not seem like a world the traditional CFO really fits into. The suited and booted accountant obsessing over the balance sheet doesn’t seem to fit in with the tie-less daydreamers trying to think up the next way the web can change the world, and adapting to the culture is a new challenge for many. Here, we’ve looked at 5 CFOs who have managed it the most successfully.
Anthony Noto, Twitter
The best paid CFO in the world in 2014 with a total compensation package totaling $72.8 million, Twitter CFO Anthony Noto has taken over at a strange time for the social network. Q3 financials were on target, with a profit of 10 cents a share on $569 million in revenue for the period - an increase of more than 58% year-on-year - but stalling user numbers have many worried. Noto has had to take on the task of helping drive marketing efforts, and faces a challenging period as they launch a push to get more tweeters signing up.
Noto does, however, have a wealth of experience behind him that should mean he’s more than up to the task. Formerly managing director at Goldman Sachs and CFO of the National Football League, Noto was reportedly on the shortlist to become the next commissioner at one stage.
Ruth Porat, Alphabet (Google)
Ruth Porat is one of the most famous CFOs on the list, and her infamy is well deserved. After helping steer Morgan Stanley through the financial crisis, she was lured from Wall Street to Silicon Valley in April 2015 with a hiring deal that includes financial incentives that will reportedly amount to $70 million by 2016.
This appears to be money well spent. Since Porat arrived at the tech behemoth, Google’s market value has jumped by $126 billion, while Morgan Stanley seems to have suffered in her absence, with revenues falling in Q3 this year.
Porat’s work ethic is notorious, with an attitude that there’s no such thing as a work life balance. According to The New York Times, when Porat was giving birth to her first son in 1992, she was even making calls to clients from inside the delivery room.
Safra Ada Catz, Oracle
Worth an estimated $525 million, Safra Ada Catz is technically co-CEO of Oracle with Mark Hurd, but she retains many of the duties of the position that she used to hold. As CFO at Oracle, Ms. Catz played a role in closing over 85 acquisitions over five years to help cement Oracle's position at the top of enterprise technology. She was promoted when longtime leader Larry Ellison stepped down, but no-one was brought in to fill the CFO role so finance still reports to her.
Ken Goldman, Yahoo
On October 20, Yahoo Inc. reported an 8.4% drop on its quarterly revenue, in another setback for CEO Marissa Mayer's efforts to improve the company. This despite CFO Ken Goldman noting in his statement that they had ‘reduced spending in areas such as workforce, facilities and discretionary expenses, and in our ongoing efforts to control expenses, we'll continue to focus our headcount on growth initiatives’.
Yahoo may not be the force it once was, but they could still afford to pay CFO Goldman a total compensation package of $13,045,056 in 2014. Goldman joined the firm in October 2012, and is a technology-industry veteran with three decades of experience in software and Internet companies, most recently as CFO of network-security provider Fortinet Inc.
Luca Maestri, Apple
Apple, the world’s most profitable company, needs a CFO who’s widely admired, and they have that in Luca Maestri, who has over 25 years of global experience in senior financial management. Maestri won nearly 25% of votes among top Fortune 500 CFO’s of the world in Model N’s annual rankings to win the mantel of Most Admired CFO in the world, having only been named to the position in June 2014. He worked his way up at the firm from corporate controller, having taken a step down in positions from his last role as CFO of Xerox to join Apple. His total compensation package in 2014 was $14,002,801.