Lynn Russo Whylly

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Key Trends Among the Top 1,000 CEOs

CEOs of the 1,000 largest companies (by revenue) vary by many factors. Here are six of the top key trends.

2017 Best & Worst States for Business: Complete Rankings

Looking to relocate or expand your business? Review these rankings to evaluate taxes, workforce quality, quality of life, and even see what other CEOs are saying about their state.

March 2017: CEO Confidence in Future Business Conditions Soars 6%

After taking a slight step backward in February, CEO confidence ratings surged in March, to 7.41, up 6.0% from 6.99 in February, and up 4.8% from 7.07 in January.

6 Steps to Develop a Strategic CFO

Just as a ship captain needs a co-captain to help keep the ship on a steady path, the CEO also needs a co-captain to help navigate the murky waters of business and spot the opportunities and risks ahead. Often, the CEO relies on the CFO to be his or her right hand, but many CEOs feel their CFOs are not strategic enough. According to a new report from Chief Executive Network entitled “6 Steps to Develop a Strategic CFO”, there are several specific actions CFOs can take to better serve their CEOs. To download a complimentary copy of this report, click here. “Finance often is up to its ears in manual repetitive tasks that bog down the function,” says Sandy Cockrell, global leader and U.S. national managing partner of Deloitte’s CFO Program.
“I WORK CLOSELY WITH THE CEO ON WHERE WE WANT THE BUSINESS TO BE THREE, FIVE AND 10 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE.”
These often urgent tasks can leave little room for the thinking and reflection necessary for a CFO to provide genuine business insights that drive positive organizational change. While most financial analysis is primarily confined to that which has already happened, to help the CEO, the CFO should be more forward thinking.
  • Among other areas, your CFO should:
  • Analyze profit trends and product line & customer profitability
  • Help determine which businesses to invest in, harvest or exit
  • Analyze which activities to outsource or bring in-house
  • Assess the pros and cons of alternative distribution channels and models
  • Provide data, analysis and recommendations on other strategic decisions
“I’m extremely involved in how we grow the business, working closely with the CEO on where we want the business to be three, five and 10 years into the future,” says Mike DeDona, vice president and CFO at S.R. Smith, a manufacturer of commercial and residential pool deck equipment. “It’s a big part of what I do.” In becoming a strategic CFO, DeDona, who started his career at S.R. Smith 18 years ago as a controller and became CFO in 2006, says he endeavored to understand all aspects of the company’s business. “I was definitely a numbers-cruncher in the beginning and very tactical,” he explains. “But I was eager to learn all I could about the business.” In working with hundreds of CEOs and studying best practices at top-performing organizations, Chief Executive Network (CEN) has identified six imperatives—with specific action items—that can help transform your CFO into a forward-thinking strategic partner. Review these action items and more information on how to get your CFO thinking more strategically, by downloading this complimentary white paper. For more information about CEN’s peer network for CEOs, or the Senior Executive Network’s CFO peer network, please visit www.ChiefExecutiveNetwork.com.
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New Poll: CEOs Find Challenges In Using Customer Data To Drive Innovation

Ability to harness and sort through data for meaningful insights remains a hurdle, many say. “The key is...finding what is actually relevant.”

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CEO CONFIDENCE INDEX

CEO Confidence Falls To Decade Low, But Few Predict Recession

Chief Executive’s June survey of 278 U.S. CEOs shows leading confidence indicator now at 5.5/10, the lowest reading in nearly a decade. Majority forecasts worsening conditions in the year ahead, though not a recession.