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Vaccine mandates, inflation and remote workforces—here’s what mattered to CFOs this week

January 7, 2022, 11:30 AM UTC

Good morning,

Here’s what happened this week:

“If you had told me when I was 21 that I would spend more than half of my career being a CFO, I would have said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m an engineer, and I love marketing and media,” Visa Vice Chair and CFO Vasant Prabhu told me. “I tell people—build your skills, build your relationships, build your reputation. But stay flexible in terms of what you’re willing to do because you never know what your next opportunity is going to be.” For Fortune’s series Career Rewind, Prabhu discussed his climb up the corporate ladder, including his current position at the global credit card and payments powerhouse. But finance, it turns out, wasn’t initially on his radar. Prabhu revealed the four factors he has considered throughout his career when changing jobs.

What’s your company’s take on vaccine mandates? The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today to weigh challenges to the Biden administration vaccine mandates for the workplace. Ahead of the high court’s hearings, Starbucks has required its U.S. workers to be vaccinated or agree to weekly testing by Feb. 9. The company is also requiring employees to disclose their vaccination status by Jan. 10. The company’s plans are in line with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) for private employers with 100 or more employees and health care workers. The measure will affect approximately 84 million workers, according to OSHA.

CFOs are worried about inflation as a risk in 2022, and rightly so, it seems. “Inflation has been higher and more persistent than I had expected,” Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday. Kashkari wrote, in his opinion, the U.S. central bank will need to implement two interest rate hikes in 2022. The Goldman Sachs alum is a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He led the Troubled Asset Relief Program—the federal government’s high-profile response to the 2008 financial crisis. Now at the Minn. Fed, he has a unique view of what’s really going on in the economy. The Federal Open Market Committee, Kashkari said in his essay, faces balancing two opposing risks.

Professionals seeking high-paying jobs will most likely be able to permanently work remotely, even in finance, according to Ladders. New research by the career site that lists employment opportunities with annual salaries of $100,000 and up found nearly 20% of all professional jobs are now remote. In Q3 of 2021, it jumped to 15% and then rose to 18% in Q4. “There’s a little over 100 million white-collar professional jobs in America,” Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella told me. “With a 3% increase, that’s about 3 million jobs.” And “once you’re hiring somebody remote, you’re permanently changing that job to be remote,” Cenedella said. 

Enjoy your weekend. See you on Monday.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

Big deal

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey found the U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.22% for the week ending Jan. 6. Last week, it averaged 3.11%. At this time a year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.65, according to the report. “Mortgage rates increased during the first week of 2022 to the highest level since May 2020 and are more than half a percent higher than January 2021,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater said in a statement. “With higher inflation, promising economic growth and a tight labor market, we expect rates will continue to rise. The impact of higher rates on purchase demand remains modest so far given the current first-time homebuyer growth.”

Courtesy of Freddie Mac

Going deeper

Here are a few Fortune reads for the weekend:

Meet the 45-year-old whose untraditional career path led to her becoming the second woman in history to lead the NYSE by Declan Harty

5 reasons why stocks will fare poorly from here by Shawn Tully

France cracks down on dark patterns, fining Google and Facebook nearly $240 million for manipulative cookie tricks by David Meyer

The Great Resignation rages on as a record 4.5 million Americans quit by Megan Leonhardt

Leaderboard

Lisa Banks was named CFO at SpotOn, a software and payments provider. Banks brings more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience. She most recently served as SVP of finance at ServiceNow, Inc. Banks has also held finance roles at technology and financial service providers, including Cisco, MarketWatch and Ernst & Young. 

John Doyle was named CFO at 4D pharma plc (NASDAQ: LBPS), a pharmaceutical company. Doyle brings over 15 years of experience at public health care companies. He joins 4D pharma after serving as CFO at Chiasma Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company acquired by Amryt Pharma in 2021. Prior to Chiasma, he was VP of finance and investor relations at Verastem Inc. Doyle was previously head of financial planning and analysis at SimpliVity Corp. Before that, he was director of business unit financial planning and analysis, Early Phase Division, at PAREXEL. 

Robert “Bob” Ginnan was named CFO at Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS), a technology company focused on manufacturing electric-powered delivery and utility vehicles, effective Jan. 4. Ginnan succeeds Greg Ackerson who had been serving as the company’s Interim CFO since September. Ackerson will reassume his role as the company’s corporate controller and principal accounting officer. Ginnan recently served as the CFO for privately held Family RV Group. Later, he was named CEO and managed the sale of the firm to RV Retailer in February 2021. 

David Goldberg was named CFO at REE Automotive (NASDAQ: REE), effective February 2022. Goldberg joins REE from Magna International, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, where he is currently SVP of corporate development, following a role as VP of finance and corporate development at the company. He brings to REE 20 years of experience including progressively senior roles at Morgan Stanley, Bain & Company, Greenhill & Co. and Magna International. Based in North America, Goldberg succeeds Hai Aviv, who has been REE's CFO since 2018.

Christopher (Chris) Halpin was named CFO at IAC, a media and internet company with more than 150 brands, (NASDAQ: IAC), effective Jan. 26. Halpin will join IAC from the National Football League (NFL), where he is currently EVP and chief strategy and growth officer. Halpin has spent nearly a decade in leadership roles at the NFL, most recently driving all strategic planning and data and analytics and leading the league’s international business. Prior to this role, Halpin served as NFL SVP of consumer products and licensing. Before working for the NFL, Halpin was a partner and managing director at Providence Equity Partners. 

Shinyoung Park was promoted to CFO at Magnachip Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: MX), effective as of Jan. 1.  Park succeeds Dr. Young Soo Woo, who stepped down from the position. Park joined Magnachip in 2014 and served as chief accounting officer from March 2020 to December 2021. She previously served as corporate controller from November 2018 to February 2020. Prior to joining Magnachip, she held various senior advisory and audit service positions for 10 years with Deloitte in Chicago, Illinois, Seoul, South Korea, and London, U.K. 

Esther Rajavelu was named CFO at Fulcrum Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FULC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Rajavelu brings nearly 20 years of experience in the life sciences sector. She was most recently a senior equities research analyst at UBS Securities, covering small and mid-cap biotechnology companies, following similar positions covering biotechnology and major pharmaceuticals companies at Deutsche Bank and Oppenheimer & Co. Prior to her career in sell-side equities research, Rajavelu spent several years as an investment banker at companies including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and EY Capital Advisors. 

Julie Robertson was named CFO at Marathon Gold Corporation (TSX: MOZ), effective March 7. Robertson’s appointment comes following the departure of Hannes Portmann who will be leaving Marathon, effective Jan. 31, for a position with a private company. Robertson is currently the VP of finance and capital projects for Centerra Gold Inc. Between 2006 and 2019 she held a number of increasingly senior roles for Barrick Gold Corporation, at both the corporate level and within Barrick’s capital projects group, culminating in the role of partner, VP and controller. Robertson began her career in the audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Katrina L. Sparano was named treasurer and CFO at Espey Mfg. & Electronics Corp. (NYSE American: ESP), effective Jan. 1. Sparano succeeds David A. O’Neil, who was appointed the new president and CEO. Sparano most recently served as Espey’s assistant treasurer and principal accounting officer. She previously served as interim principal financial officer from June 2, 2014 to Jan. 31, 2015.

Overheard

"As a working—and often traveling—mother of four, I often feel there’s something I’m not doing well enough. That feeling was amplified during the pandemic. Was I helping my kids enough? Was I seeing my mother enough? Was I supporting my team enough? At the end of the day, it’s impossible to be 100% on everything all the time."

—Emily McEvilly, chief customer officer at Workday, wrote in a Fortune opinion piece.

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