April 13, 2022 – TurnkeyZRG has been retained by the San Francisco 49ers to lead its search for a new chief financial officer. The incoming executive will serve as a strategic partner to ownership, the president, and internal business units in the current administration and help further growth of the 49ers organization. The CFO will serve as a key member of the senior management team and will contribute broadly to developing the organization’s strategy as well as providing input and counsel in all areas of the business.
TurnkeyZRG said that the CFO will oversee all financial aspects of the operation of the 49ers consolidated entities (team, stadium company, stadium management entity, and all affiliated entities), including budgeting and forecasting, treasury management, accounting, payroll, financial planning and reporting to ownership, executive management and internal business partners, stadium and team lenders, the NFL and NFLPA, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA), and other stakeholders. The successful candidate will also be responsible for ensuring compliance with all NFL, debt- and audit-related financial requirements.
The 49ers are seeking candidates with 15-plus years of relevant work experience in progressive leadership roles overseeing the accounting/finance function of company with more than 100 full-time employees, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. They should have a minimum of seven years managing full-time professional accounting/finance staff. Demonstrated skill in building, motivating, and retaining high-performance teams is desired. Public accounting experience, preferably “Big 4” audit experience, and CPA certification is preferred as well as experience working with external auditors of financial statements.
Required Abilities and Skills
- Create a relationship of trust by delivering accessible, efficient, and reliable services and products for internal and external stakeholders.
- Create and implement change and plans while maximizing employee adoption and engagement.
- Encourage open communication and build consensus. Use tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information, and keep stakeholders informed of decisions and directives as appropriate.
- Conduct business with an understanding and respect for the differences in rules, customs, laws, regulations, and business operations among cultures.
- Recognize personal bias and others’ tendency toward bias, and takes measures to mitigate the influence of bias in business decisions.
- Motivate and empower staff and foster a collaborative approach across the department and organization.
- Empower all employees to report unethical behavior or conflicts of interest without fear of retaliation.
The San Francisco 49ers were the first major league professional sports franchise based in San Francisco. Originally part of the All-America Football Conference, the team joined the NFL in 1949. The team now competes at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, 45 miles southeast of San Francisco. Boasting five Super Bowl championships, six conference championships and 19 division championships, the 49ers are one of the most celebrated teams in NFL history.
In 2019, prior to its acquisition by ZRG, Turnkey placed Alex Chang as chief marketing officer of the San Francisco 49ers, following an extensive search. A veteran of almost two decades in major brand marketing, Mr. Chang served American Express, IMG, Wasserman, and Samsung Electronics America. Most recently, he served as the head of partnership marketing for Samsung.
Serving Sports, Media and Entertainment Organizations
Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, media and entertainment. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.
Collectively, the members of TurnkeyZRG have placed coaches and athletics directors at many PAC-12 universities, including Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Late last year, TurnkeyZRG helped the ACC hire its next commissioner, James J. Phillips, the Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern University. TurnkeyZRG spoke with stakeholders across the ACC in developing the job description, and assembled a diverse array of candidates across sports, education, business and government.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media