CFO Positions To Open Up As Boomers Retire

CFO Positions To Open Up As Boomers Retire

According to a study, baby boomers in CFO positions are getting ready to retire. Which means CFO positions will be opening up for new executives. Although the study focuses on Fortune 500 companies, it’s likely that many CFO jobs will be opening up in companies of all sizes.

New CFOs stepping into the roles will be faced with the opportunity to make their mark on a company, especially if new CFO hires are ready to transform the position into a modern CFO role.

You’ve Landed a New CFO Job….Now What?


When stepping into the CFO chair at a new organization, some say that within the first few weeks you should:

1) Gain a clear picture of the business’s operations first, then meet with other senior executives.

2) Aggressively delegate lower-value-added activities immediately.

3) Spend more time interviewing customers than meeting with the CEO.

4) Stick to meeting with department heads and avoiding gathering intelligence from their subordinates.

5) Immediately ask to take over functions more operational in nature, like corporate development, if the CEO is looking to delegate.

Does all of the above sound wise? Actually, tips 1), 3), and 4) are highly questionable, according to consultants and sitting CFOs. But they do suggest that there’s a lot to think about when planning how to attack the first couple of months at a new company. To be sufficiently prepared, the best CFOs develop a game plan before their first day.

Why should CFOs be thinking about this now? Many CFO posts at all kinds of companies will be opening up in the next few years. The reason is generational mathematics. A 2016 study by Spencer Stuart found that the average retirement age for a Fortune 500 CFO was a shade over 58. An informal study of the most recent Fortune list by CFO columnist John Touey pegged the current average age of those companies’ CFOs at about 56 (give or take a few months). The population of baby boomer CFOs is rapidly shrinking. And though many baby boomer CFOs will stay in the workforce, few will do so at the CFO level past retirement age.

To fill those vacancies, U.S. companies are increasingly turning to outsiders. An August 2019 study by Crist|Kolder Associates found that 43% of CFO positions at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies are occupied by candidates hired from outside the company. That’s 10 percentage points higher than the average the previous 10 years, the recruiting firm says.

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Finding CFO Positions

CFO candidates looking to take advantage of this retiring trend need to take a competitive approach. Become a featured applicant and improve your chances of being featured for a finance job.

What This Means For CFO Positions In Growth Companies

For growth companies, finding the right CFO can be risky. It’s a pivotal position on a company’s leadership team so finding the right person is crucial. When your company is in need of a finance executive, make executive search part of your hiring strategy.

Clarity has placed finance executives in high-growth companies using insights around behaviour science in hiring and our proprietary technology. If you’re serious about finding the right finance executive for your growing company, you need a strategic executive search.

Learn more about executive search today.


Clarity is a recruitment agency specializing in the placement of designated Accountants and Finance professionals in the GTA and Vancouver. Our mission is to improve decision-making in hiring by investing in behavioural science and hiring technology. We specialize in Project & Interim Resourcing, Permanent Search and Executive Search and recruit Finance and Accounting Executives for growth companies. We are a tenured team of successful recruiters who have worked in the major industries across Toronto and Vancouver.

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