April 23, 2019 – Irvine, CA-based executive search firm ClearPath Solutions has placed former BJ’s Restaurant executive Shea Bodet as the new CFO of restaurant chain Café Rio Mexican Grill. Recruiters Amy Wilson, Jessica Dyer and Jack Wilson led the assignment.
“Shea is the perfect match for Cafe Rio,” said Ms. Dyer. “She brings a unique combination of technical expertise, leadership, partnership and a track record of guiding growth in corporate strategic finance and accounting. She was the perfect fit for a thriving growth-brand like Cafe Rio. We look forward to celebrating her many successes at Cafe Rio and all they will accomplish together.”
Ms. Bodet is an energetic and value-add financial planning and analysis executive in the restaurant/hospitality industry with over 18 years of experience in both accounting and corporate strategic finance functions. She a proven track record of guiding growth and facilitating change through data-driven analysis and recommendations. At BJ’s Restaurants, where Ms. Bodet spent the past 16 years, she served as senior vice president, financial planning and analysis.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Café Rio Mexican Grill has branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The company specializes in Mexican cuisine.
Boutique Search Firm
ClearPath Solutions, a boutique search firm founded in 2010, focuses on restaurants and retail. The firm said it prides itself on assigning a full team to every search, as opposed to just one recruiter. Its specialties include: executive search, recruitment, coaching and training, and human resource consulting.
After 15 years in corporate HR, Helen Lao had a vision for a better way to find talent and balance being a mom. So in 2010, she founded ClearPath, an executive recruitment firm that reimagined the way organizations find next-level talent.
ClearPath’s first hires were all stay-at-home-moms who were professionals in their pasts, and looking for ways to contribute.
Over the past six years, Ms. Lao and her team have reinvented the recruitment model as they see it and leveraged technology to find better candidates faster, and to empower women to “have it all.”
Today, ClearPath has 20 team members in the U.S. from coast to coast. “We’ve worked with hundreds of the nation’s top retailers, restaurants, and franchises,” she said. “And we continue to innovate on how to make executive recruiting more efficient and effective for companies of all sizes and stages.”
Ms. Wilson joined ClearPath Solutions in 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Ottawa University. Ms. Dyer came to the firm four years ago. In addition to her VP of talent role, she was previously talent acquisition partner for ClearPath Solutions. She has also worked as a leader in job matching for eMatchPhysicians, talent acquisition specialist for Paul’s TV, executive team leader for human resources at Target and senior search consultant for Carson Kolb Healthcare Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing management, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Mr. Wilson, who joined ClearPath in 2012, has also served as corporate talent acquisition partner for HNTB and senior corporate recruiter for Quest Diagnostics. He has a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Park University.
CFO Confidence Crisis
At most companies, few roles are as important as chief financial officer. But the CFOs today who are thinking about tomorrow are growing nervous about a key talent issue: They worry that no one else in the company can assume their role.
According to one Korn Ferry report, 81 percent of CFOs surveyed say they want to groom the next CFO internally, but don’t believe that there’s a viable candidate in-house. Today, about half of new roles are filled internally.
“The current CFO is the one charged with identifying and developing that talent, and since they know best the skills required to meet what’s coming, they are realizing the internal bench isn’t fully prepared,” said Bryan Proctor, senior client partner and global financial officers practice lead at Korn Ferry.
The lack of confidence is partly because CFOs feel that their firms’ leadership development programs have failed to keep up with the rapidly changing role of the CFO, Korn Ferry said. Core functions such as finance and accounting are increasingly being combined under one role, with CFOs citing a lack of resources or skills and career development opportunities as reasons for the merging. Korn Ferry surveyed more than 700 CFOs worldwide, asking them about their own internal talent pipelines. The top two abilities CFOs feel their direct reports need to develop are “leadership skills and executive presence” and “strategic thinking.”
As CFOs Gain in Stature, Succession Plans to Replace Them Falter
As with all things in the business world, the role of a CFO has evolved over the past 10 years. Gone are the days of the CFO being the top accountant focused on the timely and accurate recording of transactions to generate a set of financial…
“The tapestry of skills and experiences CFOs of today and tomorrow need are vastly different than what was needed in the past,” said John Petzold, senior client partner and CXO optimization lead at Korn Ferry. “The reason subfunctions are merging is because the focus is less on a role or person and more about the capabilities that need to be covered by a set of individuals.”
In essence, the CFO function is being deconstructed for optimization, according to Korn Ferry. Leaders are breaking down necessary functions based on their organization’s strategy and identifying people with a combination of those skills and piecing them together to get the right set of talent to execute against that plan. Core financial functions such as taxes, capital allocation and M&A still need to be done accurately and in compliance with regulations, of course. But experts say the CFO role is becoming more about adapting and deploying talent in the most efficient manner possible.
“The leadership profile of the future CFO is less about tactical, direct experience, and more about learning agility, adaptability, and big-picture global perspective,” said Mr. Proctor. “That kind of nimbleness and ability to pivot isn’t naturally ingrained in the typical CPA.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media