December 2, 2020 – According to recruiters, the pressure on chief financial officers during the pandemic has been significant: Rewriting corporate budgets seemingly daily; bargaining with banks over broken loan covenants; answering constant calls from investors and board directors; and, in extreme cases, figuring out how to make payroll. All while working with no colleagues around.
New York-based specialty athletic retailer Foot Locker Inc. recently selected executive recruiting firm Crist|Kolder Associates to lead its search for a new CFO. Current CFO Lauren B. Peters is retiring in April. “On behalf of the entire board of directors and the management team, we thank Lauren for her many contributions and wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement,” said Richard Johnson, chairman and CEO of Foot Locker. “We are pleased to be able to benefit from her ongoing leadership as we conduct our CFO search and execute a seamless transition next year.” The company expects to consider both internal and external candidates for the position.
Foot Locker has about 3,000 retail stores in 27 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as websites and mobile apps. The company has fared well during the COVID-19 pandemic reporting third quarter 2020 net income of $265 million, or $2.52 per share, compared to net income of $125 million, or $1.16 per share in the corresponding prior-year period. Third quarter comparable-store sales increased by 7.7 percent. Total third quarter sales increased 9.0 percent, to $2,106 million, compared to sales of $1,932 million for the year before.
Crist|Kolder Associates focuses on CEO, CFO, COO, board of director and succession search for a broad range of industries. The firm has filled line management and board positions for more than 100 clients relying on what it calls “the intellectual capital” of its senior partners and professional team. The firm has worked with clients such as Eastman Kodak Company, CVS Corp., Ecolab Inc., Whirlpool Corp., the St. Paul Companies, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., among others.
New Pressures on CFOs
Immediate concerns around cash flow, liquidity and the bottom line are taking precedence at many companies due to continued fallout from the pandemic. But there are high-value lessons emerging from the current health and economic crisis that chief financial officers should bear in mind, according to recruiters specializing in finding talent for finance functional roles.
Hunt Scanlon Media has just released our latest special issue of ESR. This time around we take an in-depth look at the challenges financial services firms are facing in their hunt for new talent.
We cover it all: How CFOs are confronting new layers of risk in the pandemic era; the rapid and dramatic change coming at the CFO; using people analytics to acquire top talent, predict performance & reduce turnover; and why banks are turning to search firms. We even provide our latest “Financial Fifty Recruiters” ranking of financial services search firms! In this special issue of ESR, Hunt Scanlon editors take an extraordinary inside look at recruiting during these unprecedented times. Click here and enjoy.
This COVID-19 crisis has thrust CFOs into the spotlight as never before, they report, while the pandemic itself has also created a business environment in which CFOs are uniquely positioned to drive business value during the recovery phase, which is expected to come in 2021 and 2022.
All too many companies today are desperate to get as much cash on their balance sheets as possible in order to ride out the storm of COVID-19, say recruiters. Bottom-line pressures are forcing many businesses to shift their forecasting strategies, explore new products and services — or even expand into alternative sales and delivery channels. The best CFOs are spearheading that effort.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media