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From the future of finance to new Fortune 500 leaders, here’s what mattered to CFOs this week

June 4, 2021, 9:00 AM UTC

Good morning,

It was a busy week!

Gen Z finance employees say they want robots, not humans, to assist with finance tasks, according to Oracle’s Money & Machines survey. Robots (meaning a digital interface that you can converse with), machine learning and A.I. or an algorithm, are all highly desired by Gen Zers — 91% said they would trust a robot to manage their organization’s finances. In addition, 79% of Gen Z employees said they would trust a robot over their own organization’s finance team. The next generation of finance leaders who use A.I. in their personal lives want the same advanced technology in their professional lives, Kimberly N. Ellison-Taylor, founder and CEO of the consulting firm KET Solutions, LLC, and an advisor on the report, told me.

This year’s Fortune 500 was released June 2, and there were plenty of new faces in leadership. There are 56 returning Fortune 500 companies which have new CEOs, and 39 new companies joining the party this year. Writing for Fortune, Chris Taylor took a look at new talent at the top. Chris writes: All of these Fortune 500 newcomers have one challenge in common: Now that they have made an impressive entrance, the task ahead is to keep up that momentum, and come out of this year with renewed focus and drive.

Being tech savvy is a required skill for CFOs as they steer digital transformation at organizations. Madhu Ranganathan, EVP and CFO at OpenText, a public information management software company, knew early on that she wanted to acquire knowledge beyond the numbers. “In the early days of my career when working with entrepreneurs and innovators, I didn’t want them to look at me as just a numbers-based CFO,” she told me. “I wanted to align with their thinking and the cool ways in which they use their technology.” Ranganathan shared some of her lessons from a 25 year career in finance—including why she thinks CIOs should report to CFOs. You can read the story here.


See you Monday.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

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Join us for the first of a virtual three-part series event for emerging CFOs and senior finance leaders, Stepping Out of Your Finance Comfort Zone, presented in partnership with Workday, June 16 from 11–11:45 a.m. EDT. Geoff Colvin, Fortune’s senior editor at large and I will moderate a conversation with: Kristina Salen, CFO at WWE; Harmit Singh, EVP and CFO at Levi Strauss & Co.; and Tania Secor, Global CFO at R/GA. We’ll explore the rise of big data analytics, A.I., machine learning, and even talk crypto. You’ll have a chance to learn from these finance leaders who successfully scaled the ladder and are now sharing what it takes to get to the top. Click here to register now.

Big deal

In a survey of 100 cryptocurrency investors and traders by Benzinga, a fintech media company, more than half of respondents named Ethereum as the global standard contract blockchain of the future. Following Ethereum is Cardano and Binance Smart Chain.

Going deeper

Go deeper on the new Fortune 500 with these weekend reads:

Subdivide and conquer: How homebuilder Lennar is capitalizing on the craze for new homes by Shawn Tully

Force of nature: How the unstoppable Marc Benioff fueled Salesforce’s stratospheric rise by Michal Lev-Ram

How Chewy charmed pets, owners, and investors to become a Fortune 500 company by Jen Doll

Meet the woman running the highest-ranked Fortune 500 company ever to be led by a female CEO by Emma Hinchliffe

How did Carvana make it onto the Fortune 500? Unconventional values—and car vending machines by Nicole Gull Mcelroy

Leaderboard

Some notable moves from this past week:

Scott Beasley was named CFO at Frontier Communications. Beasley was most recently CFO of Arcosa, Inc., a North American provider of infrastructure products and solutions. Beasley succeeds Sheldon Bruha, who will be leaving his position effective June 14, 2021 to pursue other opportunities, the company said in an announcement.

Scott Bomar was named SVP and CFO at Deluxe, a payments and business technology company, effective, June 14, 2021. Bomar joins Deluxe from the Home Depot, Inc. Most recently, he served as SVP of Home Services.

Peggy Han was named EVP and CFO at Tillamook County Creamery Association, a farmer-owned dairy cooperative. Han served as CEO at Vitamin World USA since September 2020.

Frank McAnally was named CFO at Nymbus, a provider of banking technology solutions. McAnally will succeed Jim Modak. Previous to Nymbus, McAnally held the CFO role at InstaMed, a healthcare payment company.

Overheard

“Virtual meetings should be used to supplement the traditional meeting, not as a substitute, and not to silence shareholders.”

—Amy Borrus, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, on annual shareholder meetings turning virtual amid the pandemic and possibly staying that way, as told to Fortune.

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