Egon Zehnder Recruits CFO for the NFL

March 23, 2023 – After an intensive executive search, leadership advisory firm Egon Zehnder recently assisted in the recruitment of Christine Dorfler as the new chief financial officer of the National Football League. She replaces 31-year league veteran Joe Siclare, who served 11 years as CFO before taking on a more senior title in 2022.

Ms. Dorfler joins the NFL as league and team finances are reaching new heights due to media rights revenue increases, despite continuing concerns over economic headwinds in the tech and media sectors. Mr. Siclare will be expected to guide Ms. Dorfler, commissioner Roger Goodell wrote. According to sources, the NFL will “continue to benefit” from Mr. Siclare’s “extensive institutional knowledge and experience as he continues to play a critical role in providing support and guidance to Christine and the clubs for the foreseeable future.”

A U.S. Army veteran, Ms. Dorfler has spent more than 20 years with NBCUniversal, including a long stint as CFO of NBC/Telemundo-owned stations before being hired by NBC Sports Group in May 2019. As part of NBC Sports chair Pete Bevacqua’s senior leadership team, she advised on overall strategy and structured new rights deals with the PGA Tour and others.

The NFL is America’s most popular sports league. Founded in 1920, the NFL developed the model for the successful modern sports league, including extensive revenue sharing, competitive excellence, strong franchises and national distribution. Headquartered in New York City, it has offices across the globe, including the NFL media office based in Culver City, CA, and the NFL Films office based in Mount Laurel, NJ, as well as offices in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago, the U.K., China, Mexico, and Canada.

Related: Egon Zehnder Recruits CEO for Intelsat 

Egon Zehnder currently ranks as a Top 5 global executive search firm, according to Hunt Scanlon Media. With more than 500 consultants in 68 offices and 40 countries around the globe, Egon Zehnder works with public and private corporations, family-owned enterprises, and non-profit and government agencies to provide board advisory services, CEO and leadership succession planning, executive search and assessment, and leadership development solutions. Since 1964, the firm has been at the forefront of defining top leadership in the face of changing economic conditions as well as major transitions in the executive search field.

The Market for CFOs

The market for senior finance executives remains candidate-centric and brisk, according to Andy Miller, CEO of BrainWorks. “While public discussion of macroeconomic conditions continues to hint at inflation and recession, finance professionals remain fully employed and heavily engaged,” he said. “Among the finance executives, CFOs and business unit financial officers remain in high demand, both to provide oversight for portfolio companies in the PE space and to engage newly created business units by expanding public companies. Tax talent has been in demand for many years and is increasingly scarce. Global and complex tax guidance and leadership, including managers, directors, and analysts remain essential in the proliferation of business strategies. Also engaged at high volume over the last 12 months are controllers, analysts, and FP&A professionals.”

The Evolving Role of the CFO
Given the speed at which market conditions, business strategies, and operational structures have changed in recent years, businesses are more aware than ever of the crucial role the chief financial officer plays in shaping and driving a company’s strategic direction. A just-released report by BoardEx of “The Role of the CFO 2022” examines more than 1,400 CFOs who lead major publicly traded companies across 16 countries around the world. Let’s take a closer look.

At the sector level, geopolitical uncertainty, legislative uncertainty, and uncertainty regarding interest rates, inflation, and the potential for recession create sector-level challenges. While forecasting is fraught with uncertainty, BrainWorks believes that inflation has peaked and that recession is largely a lagging story at this point. “Given the degree of uncertainty in the world, any assessment of what financial services will face in the future is at best educated guessing,” said Mr. Miller. “That said, the challenge of securing top talent, the sufficiency of talent in the marketplace, the rate of change between currencies, tax implications of selected business strategies and the proper filing of documents in support of such strategies, accurate forecasting, analytics, and planning will all remain needful in the sector.”

Related: Societe Generale Turns to Egon Zehnder to Find Next CEO

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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