The CFO of the Future – Part One

COO_chart_v4A replacement was not hired when Tim Cook moved up from Chief Operating Officer to CEO of Apple in 2011, or when COO Ali Rowghani resigned from Twitter in 2014. Kodak eliminated the same position when it streamlined its management structure in 2012. These are just a few of a long list of companies that no longer hire Chief Operating Officers.

In fact, many of America’s top companies have eliminated the COO position, according to tracking analysis conducted by Chicago recruiting firm Chris Kolder Associates. Only 35% of the 668 Fortune 500 and S&P 500 participants had Chief Operating Officers in 2013.

The shift is partly due to technology, which makes running a business easier today; however, it’s more about the overlapping or related functions that impinge on financial performance.

COO_quoteContemporary Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are more than capable of leveraging their existing knowledge, experience, and core competencies to oversee both finance and the day-to-day operations of an organization.

The Chief Future Officer drives strategy, leadership and innovation, preparing a company for the future.

In our next issue, The CFO of the Future Part Two, we’ll further explore this rapidly evolving role.


The CFO Connection is a diverse team of Chief Financial Officers who have served as CEOs, COOs and CFOs in a variety of industries. Our combined experience makes us uniquely qualified to guide and empower company management to make informed, timely decisions that drive the financial health and performance of the organization. How can we help your business?