Market Overview

What's Up With All The Vacant CFO Positions?

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What's Up With All The Vacant CFO Positions?

If you are a financial executive with experience at the C-level, the following companies may want your services: Kohl's Corporation (NYSE: KSS), Coach Inc (NYSE: COH), Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN), Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) and privately-owned Neiman Marcus.

According to Gadfly's Shelly Banjo, the list of vacant chief financial officer positions merely adds to the roughly one-fifth of U.S. retailers that appointed a new chief financial officer in 2015 — 5 percentage points higher than all the other industries.

Throughout 2016, the CFO turnover rate for retailers was 17.4 percent — 2 percentage points higher than 15.4 percent for all other industries.

Banjo suggested this trend is merely a sign of the "rapidly changing retail industry" due to changing consumer behavior, which demands new strategies from executives.

What's In A Name?

Consider that two decades ago the job of a retail CFO was to:

    1. Build new stores.
    2. Watch the company's stock price.
    3. Boost sales at new stores.
    4. Watch the stock rise some more.
    5. Repeat.

These days, a retail CFO is expected to:

    1. Boost e-commerce sales.
    2. Close stores.
    3. Help plan a turnaround.
    4. Slim down corporate structures.
    5. Still keep up with the old tasks.

Finally, Banjo also highlighted another key trend: Retailers are looking outside the retail sector for their main finance gurus. For example, Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF)'s CFO Mark Erceg is a railroad veteran and Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE: RL)'s CFO Jane Nielsen spent more than a decade at a food and beverage company.

 

Related Articles (COH + JWN)

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Posted-In: Gadfly Jane Nielsen Mark Erceg Neiman MarcusNews Management Media General Best of Benzinga

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