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Finance leaders dominate Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list- Newshubweek

Finance leaders dominate Fortune's Most Powerful Women list
Written by Arindam

Historically there has been a lack of women in financial leadership roles. But that’s changing.

Women in finance dominated this year’s Fortune’s Most Powerful Women (MPW) list. The tech industry came in a close second, followed by retail and health care. This marks the 25th anniversary of the list of dynamic women in business, and it was highly competitive to earn a spot. For the first time, it’s a global list, rather than separate international and domestic versions. All the spots were filled by CEOs or those who are on the path to becoming one. CVS CEO Karen Lynch earned the No. 1 spot.

Two CFOs of the biggest tech companies in the world—Google and Microsoft, earned a spot on the list.

Ruth Porat (No. 12) has been SVP and CFO at Alphabet and Google since 2015. This year, Porat oversaw Google’s acquisition of cybersecurity company Mandiant for $5.4 billion, which was completed last month. It was the company’s second-largest acquisition ever. 

Amy Hood (No. 15), EVP and CFO at Microsoft, with the company since 2002, began her current position in 2013. Hood is leading the way towards Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard announced this year. The acquisition should make Microsoft competitive in the metaverse realm and gaming. 

Both Porat and Hood have been steering their companies through a market downturn that’s been hammering the tech industry, resulting in hiring freezes and even layoffs.

Influential women on the list representing the finance industry include: Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup; Abigail Johnson, CEO, Fidelity Investments; Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO, TIAA; Shemara Wikramanayake, managing director and CEO, Macquarie; Ana Botin, executive chair, Banco Santander; Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak, co-CEOs, Consumer and Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase; Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and president, Ariel Investments; and Penny Pennington, managing partner, Edward Jones.

When it comes to advancing women in finance, Amanda Blanc (No. 24 on the list), group CEO of Aviva, has created a blue-print. Blanc partnered with Bain & Company to design a series of recommendations to help leaders of U.K. financial services firms achieve gender parity. The plan of action focuses on recruitment, retention and promotion, culture and behavior, and embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion. A recommended course of action for recruitment is: “A centralized process, interrogated for bias and focused on skills over experience, with a broad talent pool and commitment to interview 50% women for roles at all levels,” according to the report released in March.

Times are changing as the percentage of women who are CEOs and CFOs has reached an all-time high, according to executive search firm Crist Kolder Associates’s latest volatility report. As of the first half of this year, 7.3% of CEOs at 681 companies in the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 are women, compared to 3.5% in 2012. And currently 16% of CFOs are women, versus 9.4% in 2012. 

There’s still a ways to go, but it’s progress. 


See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

Big deal

Consumer discretionary (nonessential goods and services, like cars and leisure products) was the highest risk sector for the second consecutive quarter, according to risk measurement data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. This is as a result of pressure from high inflation, the decline in public markets, and expectations of a recession, the report found. Using three risk criteria — corporate guidance, short interest and probability of default — S&P Global Market Intelligence looked across 11 sectors representing 4,238 companies and filtered out the four sectors with the highest potential investment risk. Consumer discretionary scored the highest on the proportion of lowered corporate guidance and the rise in short interest. Companies in the sector that lowered corporate guidance more than doubled quarter over quarter to 34 and increased 10 times compared to the first quarter.

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S&P Global Market Intelligence

Going deeper

Compensation Advisory Partners released its annual report on CFO pay, examining compensation outcomes for CFOs relative to CEOs. The analysis summarizes 2021 compensation actions among 130 companies with median revenue of $14 billion. The research found that more CFOs received increases in 2021 compared to 2020, with the median increase generally in line with 2020. About 7% more CFOs received base salary increases this past year. And overall, 62% of companies made salary increases for CFOs in 2021 and 42% made increases for CEOs, according to the report.

Leaderboard

Kelly Porter was named CFO at Lazydays Holdings, Inc. (NasdaqCM: LAZY), a travel and tourism company providing RV dealership services, effective Nov. 15. Porter succeeds Nick Tomashot will retire as CFO. As part of the transition, Tomashot will remain with Lazydays as an advisor through the end of the year. Porter began her career in public accounting at Moss Adams, spending over 20 years growing their Dealership Accounting Services practice, where she was a partner. More recently, she served as corporate controller and vice president of FP&A at Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE: LAD), an automotive dealership group.

Timothy Schick was named CFO at Laser Photonics Corporation (Nasdaq: LASE), a global industrial developer of Cleantech laser systems, effective Oct. 5. Schick joined the LPC in July 2022 as VP of finance. Before joining LPC, he served as head of finance at Jupiter Marine International. He has also served as the director of financial planning and analysis at Everglades Boats. Previously, Schick served in various financial and investment roles.

Overheard

“The global economy faces a multi-pronged crisis. The picture for 2023 has darkened considerably.”

—Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, secretary-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said at a briefing on Wednesday. The WTO cautioned that global trade will significantly slow down next year amid “strong headwinds,” heightening the risk of recession, Fortune reported.

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Arindam

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