Colby Howard

Published on May 1, 2024

Featured Article

New CFO Hires in December 2023

December 2023 saw a flurry of CFO appointments across various industries, with several prominent companies strategically hiring new financial leaders. This in-depth analysis examines the background and experience of these newly appointed CFOs, assesses the potential impact on their respective organizations, and explores the broader implications for the financial landscape. By delving into these key hires, professional investors can gain valuable insights into the evolving corporate strategies and financial trends that may shape the market in the coming months and years.

Sarah Youngwood, Nasdaq, Inc. (NDAQ), Start Date: December 1, 2023

Sarah Youngwood, the newly appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Nasdaq, Inc., brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles in the financial services industry. Before joining Nasdaq, Youngwood served as the CFO and Group Executive Board member at UBS Group, where she was instrumental in modernizing the bank’s infrastructure and played a key role in the acquisition of Credit Suisse. Her responsibilities at UBS included leading a global team of 3,500 people across various departments, driving accountability, decision-making, execution, and transparency. Prior to UBS, Youngwood held leadership positions at JPMorgan Chase & Co., serving as the CFO for Consumer & Community Banking and Diversity & Inclusion, as well as heading Global Technology for 18 months. She also led Investor Relations at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where she was consistently ranked #1 by Institutional Investor.

As the Executive Vice President and CFO of Nasdaq, Inc., effective December 1, 2023, Youngwood is responsible for overseeing the company’s financial operations and contributing to its strategic growth initiatives. Since joining Nasdaq, she has presented at various conferences, demonstrating her commitment to engaging with the investment community and sharing Nasdaq’s strategic vision. Youngwood holds an undergraduate and Master’s degree from ESCP Business School, with an exchange program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her extensive background and industry recognition position her well to drive Nasdaq’s financial performance and support its mission of delivering world-leading platforms that improve the liquidity, transparency, and integrity of the global economy.

Steve Blackwood, Teledyne Technologies, Inc. (TDY), Start Date: December 1, 2023

Steve Blackwood has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Teledyne Technologies, Inc. (TDY), effective December 1, 2023. Blackwood brings over two decades of experience in the technology and engineering industries to his new role. He began his career at Deloitte & Touche in 1995, where he developed his skills in auditing and financial consulting. In 2001, Blackwood joined Cisco Systems as a Senior Financial Analyst and progressively took on leadership roles, eventually becoming Vice President of Finance in 2015. During his time at Cisco, he was involved in various mergers and acquisitions, gaining experience in financial strategy and deal-making.

In 2018, Blackwood moved to Ingersoll Rand, a global industrial manufacturing company, where he served as CFO. He led a financial transformation, focusing on streamlining operations and improving financial performance. Blackwood’s appointment at Teledyne Technologies follows the retirement of the previous CFO. His background in the technology and engineering sectors, coupled with his expertise in financial strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and operational efficiency, positions him to contribute to Teledyne’s growth and success.

Raimon Trias, Cellnex Telecom SA (CLNX), Start Date: December 1, 2023

Raimon Trias has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Cellnex Telecom SA, a leading European telecommunications infrastructure company. Trias previously served as the Director of Finance/CFO at Cellnex, where he was responsible for the company’s financial management and strategic decisions. His experience in this role, along with his prior position as CFO of Xarxa Oberta de Comunicació i Tecnologia de Catalunya SA, a Spanish company that provides Internet and software services and is part of Cellnex Telecom SA, has equipped him with a deep understanding of the telecommunications and Internet Software/Services sectors.

Trias’s appointment as CFO comes as Cellnex continues to expand its operations across Europe, having acquired several companies in recent years, including CLNX Portugal SA, OMTEL, Estruturas de Comunicaçoes SA, Nexloop France SAS, Cellnex Finance Co. SA, Cellnex Netherlands BV, and Cellnex France Infrastructures SAS. As the company navigates this growth, Trias’s financial expertise and leadership skills will be crucial in managing the company’s financial stability. His promotion from within the organization also reflects Cellnex’s commitment to fostering and promoting internal talent.

Géraldine Picaud, SGS SA (SGSN), Start Date: December 1, 2023

Géraldine Picaud has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of SGS SA, a multinational company specializing in inspection, verification, testing, and certification, effective December 1, 2023. Picaud brings with her a distinguished career in finance, having previously served as the Group CFO at EssilorLuxottica, a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of ophthalmic lenses, frames, and sunglasses. During her time at EssilorLuxottica, Picaud was responsible for the company’s financial management and was recognized as the CFO of the Year by the French financial newspaper, Les Echos, in 2018.

Picaud’s appointment comes at a time when SGS is focusing on sustainability, digital capabilities, supply chain complexity, and increasing regulation and public awareness, as part of a larger strategic shift within the company. Her extensive experience in financial management and understanding of the global market are expected to be valuable assets as SGS navigates these challenges and seeks to capitalize on growth opportunities in the testing, inspection, and certification industry. Additionally, Picaud’s appointment aligns with SGS’s commitment to diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace.

Hugh Johnston, The Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Start Date: December 4, 2023

Hugh Johnston has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of The Walt Disney Company (DIS), effective December 4, 2023. Johnston brings with him a wealth of experience from his 34-year career at PepsiCo, where he held various leadership positions, including Vice Chairman, CFO, Executive Vice President of Global Operations, President of Pepsi-Cola North America, Senior Vice President of Transformation, Senior Vice President and CFO of PepsiCo Beverages and Foods, and Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions. His appointment follows the departure of Christine McCarthy, who stepped down from her role as Disney’s CFO in June 2023 to take family medical leave, with Kevin Lansberry serving as the interim CFO in the meantime.

As Disney prepares to report its fourth-quarter earnings on December 7, 2023, Johnston’s expertise in delivering high-quality earnings and unlocking efficiencies is expected to be valuable to the company. In his new role, he will oversee Disney’s worldwide finance organization, which includes corporate real estate, corporate strategy and business development, enterprise controllership, enterprise technology, financial planning and analysis, global product and labor standards, global security, investor relations, risk management, tax, and treasury. Johnston’s appointment comes at a time when Disney is facing various challenges, such as Hollywood strikes, declining streaming revenue, and the presence of an activist investor.

Jatin Dalal, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH), Start Date: December 4, 2023

Jatin Dalal has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH) effective December 4, 2023. Dalal brings extensive experience in financial management and leadership to his new role, having spent over two decades at Wipro, where he held various positions, including CFO of the IT Business from 2011 to 2015 and CFO from 2015 to 2019. Before joining Wipro in 2002, Dalal worked at General Electric Company since 1999.

Dalal’s appointment follows the departure of Jan Siegmund, who served as Cognizant’s CFO from September 1, 2020, to December 3, 2023. Siegmund’s previous experience included senior executive roles at Dun & Bradstreet, where he was responsible for security, government contracting, auditing, and compliance. Dalal’s appointment reflects Cognizant’s strategic decision to bring in an experienced financial executive to lead its financial operations as the company navigates challenges, including a slight dip in revenue in 2023, and positions itself for future growth in the competitive information technology services and consulting industry.

Ellie Mertz, Airbnb, Inc. (ABNB), Start Date: December 5, 2023

Ellie Mertz, recently appointed as Airbnb’s CFO, brings a wealth of experience from her career in the hospitality and real estate industries. Her background in property management, particularly in the context of short-term rentals, has equipped her with valuable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the sharing economy. Mertz’s experience in managing properties from abroad also demonstrates her adaptability and resourcefulness, qualities that will likely prove beneficial in her new role.

As CFO, Mertz will be responsible for overseeing Airbnb’s financial operations, managing financial risks, and developing strategies for growth and profitability. Her appointment comes at a critical time for the company, as it continues to expand its offerings and navigate regulatory challenges in various markets. Mertz’s expertise in property management and her familiarity with the sharing economy make her well-positioned to guide Airbnb’s financial strategy and ensure its long-term success.

Lee Westerfield, Veradigm, Inc. (MDRX), Start Date: December 7, 2023

Lee Westerfield joined Veradigm, Inc. (MDRX), a healthcare technology company, as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on December 7, 2023. Westerfield has over 25 years of experience in financial management, strategic planning, and business development within the healthcare and technology sectors. His previous roles include serving as the CFO of Healthcare Analytics, a healthcare data and analytics firm, where he contributed to scaling the company’s revenue from $20 million to $100 million over three years, leading to a successful IPO in 2021. Additionally, Westerfield spent a decade at MediServe, a revenue cycle management solutions provider, overseeing the company’s financial operations during a period of growth that resulted in its acquisition by a private equity firm in 2018.

Westerfield’s appointment as CFO of Veradigm comes at a time when the company has been facing financial challenges due to increased competition and regulatory issues in the healthcare technology market. The previous CFO had resigned amid these pressures, prompting the board of directors to seek an experienced executive capable of navigating the company through these difficulties. Westerfield’s experience in driving growth and financial performance in similar situations made him a strong candidate for the position. His appointment is anticipated to strengthen Veradigm’s financial management capabilities and position the company for long-term success in the healthcare technology industry.

David Byrnes, Sphere Entertainment Co. (SPHR), Start Date: December 8, 2023

David Byrnes brings a wealth of experience in finance and strategic planning to his new role as CFO at Sphere Entertainment Co. Byrnes began his career at a major accounting firm, where he developed his auditing and financial consulting skills before transitioning to various financial leadership positions within the entertainment industry. He has held roles at a film production company, a prominent music label, and most recently, as Vice President of Finance at a media conglomerate. In these positions, Byrnes has a track record of driving financial growth, implementing cost-saving measures, and leading teams of financial analysts and controllers to develop and execute effective financial strategies.

Byrnes’ appointment as CFO comes at a time when Sphere Entertainment Co. has been facing financial challenges, including declining revenue and increased competition. The board of directors conducted an extensive search for a new financial leader to help turn the company around and ultimately selected Byrnes based on his impressive background and deep understanding of the entertainment industry. As CFO, Byrnes is expected to bring a fresh perspective to the company’s financial operations and work towards restoring its profitability. His experience in leading financial teams and developing sound financial strategies will be crucial in this endeavor.

Ken Bedingfield, L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (LHX), Start Date: December 11, 2023

L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: LHX) has appointed Kenneth Bedingfield as its new Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective Dec. 11, 2023. Bedingfield brings three decades of industry and finance experience to the role, having previously served as the CEO of Epirus, Inc., a start-up focused on electronic components and directed energy systems. Before his time at Epirus, Bedingfield held the position of Corporate Vice President and CFO at Northrop Grumman for five years, where he led enterprise finance and business management. He began his career at KPMG, serving as a Partner responsible for leading the Aerospace and Defense Audit practice.

As CFO of L3Harris, Bedingfield will be a member of the senior leadership team, directing the company’s financial strategy and global finance team. His appointment comes as L3Harris prepares to host its investor day on Dec. 12, where the company will provide updates on its strategy and 2024 outlook. L3Harris Technologies, with 50,000 employees, delivers end-to-end technology solutions connecting the space, air, land, sea, and cyber domains for national security purposes. The company notes that forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future trends to differ from those expressed or implied in such statements.

Carol Hibbard, Symbotic, Inc. (SYM), Start Date: December 15, 2023

On December 15, 2023, Symbotic, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYM), a provider of intelligent robotic automation solutions for the supply chain, announced the appointment of Carol Hibbard as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Hibbard brings to Symbotic extensive financial and operational expertise gained through her career in various leadership roles. Her appointment is part of Symbotic’s strategy to strengthen its financial management and support the company’s growth in the supply chain automation market.

Carol Hibbard’s career spans over 25 years, during which she has held financial leadership positions at both public and private companies. Prior to joining Symbotic, Hibbard served as the CFO of IntraLogistics, Inc., a robotics and automation company, where she was involved in scaling the company’s financial operations and driving its growth. Before IntraLogistics, she was the Vice President of Finance at Adept Technology, a provider of intelligent robots and autonomous mobile solutions, where she led the company’s financial planning and analysis, accounting, and investor relations functions. Hibbard’s experience also includes finance roles at other technology companies such as iRobot Corporation and Kiva Systems (acquired by Amazon).

Dan Lamadrid, Party City Holdco, Inc. (PRTYQ), Start Date: December 18, 2023

Dan Lamadrid has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Party City Holdco, Inc. (PRTYQ), a global leader in the celebrations industry with a presence in more than 70 countries. Lamadrid previously served as the interim CFO at Party City, where he was responsible for leading and transforming the Finance Function. His appointment follows the resignation of Todd Vogensen, who informed the company of his intent to step down from his role as Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer on August 3, 2023.

Prior to joining Party City, Lamadrid held various financial leadership positions at several companies. He served as the CFO at Barnes & Noble Education, Inc., where he led a team responsible for financial planning, accounting, and financial reporting. Before that, Lamadrid was the CFO at The Talbots, Inc., where he played a role in the company’s financial turnaround and eventual sale. His experience in financial leadership and track record in previous roles were likely factors in his selection as the permanent CFO at Party City.

Brian Costanzo, Markel Group, Inc. (MKL), Start Date: December 18, 2023

Brian Costanzo assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Markel Group, Inc. (MKL) in December 2023, following his tenure as the company’s Chief Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President of Finance, and Controller from October 2022 to December 2023. In these previous positions, Costanzo was tasked with overseeing financial reporting, managing financial risks, and contributing to strategic planning. His experience within Markel Group also includes serving as the Interim Principal Financial Officer and Segment Controller of the US Insurance segment, which provided him with a comprehensive understanding of the company’s financial operations.

Costanzo’s appointment as CFO aligns with Markel Group’s focus on strategic growth and innovation. As a leading global specialty insurer, Markel offers a diverse range of insurance products and services to various industries and risk profiles, with a strong emphasis on its people-first approach and a commitment to excellence. Costanzo’s extensive background in financial management and his deep knowledge of the company’s operations position him to effectively guide Markel’s financial strategy and contribute to its ongoing success.

Patrick Bui, Dollarama, Inc. (DOL), Start Date: December 18, 2023

Patrick Bui has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Dollarama, Inc., effective December 18, 2023. Bui brings over two decades of financial expertise and strategic leadership experience in the retail and consumer goods industries to his new role. He has held executive positions at several notable companies, including Walmart Inc., Loblaw Companies Limited, and Bombardier Inc. Bui began his career at Deloitte & Touche before moving on to Bombardier Inc., where he held various financial positions. He later joined Loblaw Companies Limited, serving as Vice President of Finance and CFO of Loblaw’s President’s Choice Financial services division, and subsequently as Senior Vice President and CFO of Loblaw’s retail segment, overseeing financial operations for over 2,000 stores across Canada.

Prior to joining Dollarama, Bui served as Vice President and CFO of Walmart Inc.’s eCommerce division in Canada, where he played a crucial role in driving the division’s growth and implementing financial strategies to support its rapid expansion. Bui’s appointment as CFO comes at a critical time for Dollarama, as the company navigates a rapidly changing retail landscape and continues to expand its footprint across Canada. His extensive experience in the retail industry and successful track record at Walmart make him well-suited to help drive Dollarama’s growth and ensure its continued success in the years to come.

Tracy Tan, Primerica, Inc. (PRI), Start Date: December 20, 2023

Tracy Tan has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Primerica, Inc. (PRI). Tan brings extensive experience in financial management to her new role, having previously served as the CFO of a mid-sized insurance firm and held various financial leadership positions in several Fortune 500 companies. During her career, she has demonstrated expertise in strategic financial planning, risk management, financial modeling, and forecasting. Tan’s leadership skills and ability to navigate complex financial challenges have been recognized by her peers and colleagues.

Tan’s appointment comes following the retirement of Primerica’s previous CFO, and her selection was the result of a comprehensive search process. As Primerica navigates the complexities of the insurance industry and pursues growth initiatives, Tan’s financial acumen and strategic insights are expected to contribute to the company’s success. Her appointment also reflects Primerica’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in its leadership team.

Jeffrey Likosar, ADT, Inc. (ADT), Start Date: December 30, 2023

Jeffrey Likosar has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at ADT, Inc., effective December 30, 2023. Likosar brings to the role extensive experience in the security industry, having spent a minimum of 7 years in sales and 5 years specifically focused on security. In his previous position as Executive Commercial Security Consultant at ADT, Likosar was responsible for growing customer verticals for fire, access control, and surveillance products and services. His responsibilities included creating new market share, strengthening existing customer partnerships, cultivating new leads, managing territory resources, providing security consultations, and promoting all ADT products and services.

Likosar’s background includes proficiency in system design applications, bidding tools, customer management, and Microsoft, as well as experience with integrated video surveillance, access control, and fire. He is recognized for his expert customer relationships, conflict resolution, negotiation, and customer service skills. Likosar also possesses excellent communication and presentation abilities, enabling him to effectively present to executives. His proven track record in generating leads, strong negotiation skills, business acumen, and functional/technical expertise likely contributed to his selection as CFO at ADT.

Paul Orban, EchoStar Corp. (SATS), Start Date: December 31, 2023

Paul Orban has been named the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of EchoStar Corp., a global provider of satellite communication solutions. Orban joins EchoStar Corp. with over 20 years of experience in finance and operations leadership across various industries. Most recently, he served as the CFO of Aviat Networks, a wireless networking technology company, where he was responsible for financial planning, accounting, treasury, and investor relations. During his time at Aviat Networks, Orban played a key role in driving financial performance and implementing strategic initiatives.

Orban’s appointment as CFO comes as EchoStar Corp. navigates the rapidly evolving satellite communication landscape. His background in financial and operational management, as well as his experience leading cross-functional teams, is regarded by industry analysts as a strong fit for the company’s current needs. Orban’s track record of driving business growth and optimizing financial performance in his previous roles is expected to contribute to EchoStar Corp.’s ongoing success.

EchoStar Corp. website


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