From the Wall Street Journal: Is it becoming easier for the CFO to become the CEO?

A Wall Street Journal article from August 7 notes a recent spate of CFO promotions to the top job. Recent CFO to CEO moves cited in the WSJ piece include Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., Church & Dwight Co. (the company that owns the Arm & Hammer brand) and MoneyGram International Inc.

Previous research from executive search firms suggests there is a big gap for CFOs to close to become CEO. Only 18% of current CEOs on the global Forbes 500 were CFOs immediately preceding their chief executive appointment, data from Korn/Ferry shows.

The common thinking is that the jump from CFO to CEO is difficult, as chief executives require operational and people skills that aren’t common among those from technical, accounting-driven backgrounds. Korn/Ferry International labels it the “right-brain leadership gap.”Wall Street Journal

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