From the war for talent to the data explosion, here’s what mattered to CFOs this week

May 14, 2021, 9:00 AM UTC

Good morning,

Here’s what happened this week:

Manufacturers must “balance the need to cultivate innate human capabilities while reskilling their workforce with digital skills,” according to a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. Why? A U.S. manufacturing skills gap could leave as many as 2.1 million jobs unfilled by 2030, researchers found. Manufacturers also pointed to the war for talent as an obstacle — 77% believe they will have ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers in 2021 and beyond. 

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. announced Monday that it’s increasing average restaurant wages to $15 an hour by the end of June. The starting wages of hourly workers will range from $11-$18 per hour. I had a conversation with Chipotle CFO Jack Hartung about the company’s decision. “It’s only fair to increase the wages of folks that are already with us,” Hartung said. “We’re going to increase the wages across the board for salaried and our hourly managers, as well.” He offered some advice for CFOs on the war for talent: “I would encourage CFOs to look at the whole picture because if you’re competitive on the starting wage, you’ll get people in. If you’re not competitive on the opportunities going forward, you won’t keep them.”

The critical role of the CFO in a post-pandemic world was the topic of discussion during the first installment of Fortune and Workday’s virtual CFO Collaborative event series on Tuesday. Financial leaders from a variety of industries came together to talk about the evolving role of the CFO and dealing with the explosion of data. Today, the role of the CFO is “really to be the partner to the CEO and the business,” Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and co-CEO at Workday, said. Having access to large amounts of data is beneficial, but it can be overwhelmingif it’s not harnessed in an effective wayNasdaq CEO Adena Friedman added. Friedman was CFO at Carlyle Group, prior to joining Nasdaq. “I think a lot of the skill sets that CFOs have are quite relevant to being the person who harnesses the data within an organization,” she said. Allen Parker, CFO at Zillow, said that machine learning gives organizations the ability to “scale and iterate very quickly.” He continued, “I think the next stage is going to be computer vision as more and more 3D home tours populate our site. We’re actually able to use computer vision to even be more accurate about the value of these various houses.”

And Christina Spade of AMC broke down the difficulty of her job in a way that every CFO can probably relate to: “I always like to say, whenever you’re done with the budget, when you put the pencil down, it’s already wrong,” she said. 

See you Monday.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

Accenture’s new report, High-Voltage Digital Sales, estimates that by 2025 about 29% of industrial sales will be conducted through digital channels, up from 21% today. Based on the findings, companies surveyed were divided into three clusters according to digital sales maturity:  “Leaders” take the most advanced approach to creating digital customer journeys; “Laggards” have the least-mature digital sales capability; and “Strivers” seek to follow the same path as leaders, but struggle to transform the sales department.

Going deeper

Here are a few good Fortune weekend reads:

How the World’s Greatest Leaders respond to unexpected crises by Geoff Colvin

Elon Musk is right: Bitcoin mining is bad for the planet. Here’s how bad by Sophie Mellor

A new cryptocurrency claims to be an eco-friendly Bitcoin alternative. Is chia worth a look? by Anne Sraders

The unprecedented lumber shortage, in 8 charts by Lance Lambert


Some notable moves from this past week:

Ann Anthony was named CFO at OPAL Fuels, LLC, a renewable natural gas distributor. Anthony has more than 30 years of corporate finance experience, most recently serving as CFO for Key Capture Energy, LLC.

Vance Chang was named CFO at Dine Brands Global, Inc., the parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants. Chang will begin his role June 14. Most recently, he served as CFO for Exer Urgent Care.

Wetteny Joseph was named EVP and CFO at Zoetis Inc., an animal health company, effective June 1. Glenn David, the current EVP and CFO, was named EVP and group president. Joseph has served as SVP and CFO of Catalent since 2018.

Mark McCaffrey was named CFO at GoDaddy, an internet domain registrar and web hosting company, effective June 2. McCaffrey most recently served as the head of PwC’s US Technology, Media & Telecom Sector. He succeeds GoDaddy CFO Ray Winborne, who announced earlier this year his intent to retire, according to the company. 


"Muddy Waters Capital LLC is short Lemonade because it is clear that Lemonade does not give a [expletive] about securing its customers' sensitive personal information."

— Carson Block, founder of Muddy Waters Capital LLC, in an open letter to Daniel Schreiber, CEO at Lemonade Inc., claimed the insurance company is failing to secure customer data.

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