From women in leadership to crypto, here’s what mattered to CFOs this week

April 30, 2021, 9:00 AM UTC

Happy Friday!

Here’s what went on this week:

Pacaso CFO Nina Tran joined the company in March, and is already appreciating the workplace culture, she told me in our recent chat. The startup is geared toward buyers seeking a second home but who choose to become a co-owner rather than buy their own place outright. In March, Pacaso announced $75 million in Series B funding, which brought its total financing to $90 million. “The people who are all rowing in the same direction” make it exciting to work at a startup, Tran said. After getting financial audits done, Tran is focusing on “building and implementing an efficient and scalable infrastructure for not only finance and accounting, but also our people and talent teams,” she said. With a rich background in financial leadership, Tran offered up some advice: “I would encourage people to raise their hand to take on special projects, because I think those opportunities don’t come very often.”

Tania Secor, the new global CFO at R/GA, is an artist at heart, but her dual affinity for finance had led to her breaking barriers. “Looking back on my career, in every CFO role I have taken on, I have been the first female CFO,” Secor said. She will begin her role at R/GA, an international innovation consultancy, May 3. The CFO role is technical, and most decisions are time-sensitive,” Secor explained. “R/GA and I believe technology is complementary to building a more human future, and you can see this in their work both for clients and internally,” Secor said. 

How do women in senior-level positions drive better business outcomes? It all comes down to innovation. I had a chat with the professors behind a new study that suggests women joining the C-suite may result in an increase in research and development (R&D), and a decrease in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). “What surprised me is the almost instantaneous nature of the shifts in orientations following a female appointment,” coauthor Boris Lokshin, an associate professor at the department of Organization, Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Maastricht University, told me. 

There’s been much talk about Tesla’s foray into—and out of—Bitcoin following the electronic vehicle maker’s Q1 earnings call on April 26. “We also invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin during the quarter, then trimmed our position by 10%,” CFO Zach Kirkhorn told investors. Following Tesla’s 10Q release on Wednesday night, my colleague Shawn Tully wrote: The filing provided new detail on the market value of its Bitcoin holdings that for the first time, allows observers to calculate what it paid for the coins, and assess the full scale of its gains so far. Read the story here. 

See you on Monday.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

Taking leave: Employers reported increasing the various types of paid time away from work during pandemic, according to new research from The Hartford.



Going deeper

Here are a few good Fortune weekend reads:

GoodRx helps people afford drugs. But is it improving health care or profiting off a broken system? by Erika Fry

Everything to know about Biden’s $3,000 child tax credit—including when the money should arrive by Anne Sraders and Lance Lambert

Bitcoin, Tesla, Ethereum: When should you take profits on your biggest investing winners? by Ben Carlson


Some notable moves from this past week:

Scott A. Roe was named CFO at Tapestry, Inc., a New York-based modern luxury accessories and lifestyle brand company, effective June 1. Roe previously served as CFO at VF Corp. 

Matt Puckett was named executive vice president and CFO of VF Corp., a global lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories company. Puckett joined the company in 2001 as a senior accountant in the finance organization. Puckett succeeds Scott A. Roe.

Ravi NarulaCFO at Ooma, Inc., a smart communications platform, intends to step down from his position in the second half of the company’s second fiscal quarter, ending July 31, to pursue other opportunities, Ooma said in an announcement. Namrata Sabharwal, vice president and corporate controller, will assume Narula’s responsibilities on an interim basis upon his departure.

Urian Yap was named CFO at Madison Realty Capital, a real estate private equity firm. Yap most recently served a senior vice president at The Blackstone Group.


"If the federal government didn't cover the gig economy workers, those workers would not only have lost their job, but they wouldn't have had any unemployment benefits to keep their family moving forward."

— U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on "the risks that result from not having gig companies paying unemployment insurance for such workers," as told to Reuters.

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