Interview highlights

Partnering for performance

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We interviewed 21 leading CFOs and chief HR officers from around the world, to hear their insights on how the CFO-CHRO relationship is evolving, and how they are working together to improve organizational performance. Read some of the highlights of these interviews here.

“In the old days, finance would say: We need to do a 10% across-the-board reduction in operational expense. And ultimately, that comes out of people because it’s the bigger number. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. You may want to double down on your sales and marketing workforce to allow you to invest in those feet on the ground, to make sure that there are customers that are aware of what you are doing.”

Sean Huurman - Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Imagine Communications

“It is fundamental that the finance head and the HR head are in lockstep with the line business head. The relationship between the three should be symbiotic. When we have a strategy, as a business, it has both human capital and financial implications that must be in sync.  When they're not in sync, we make bad decisions and we confuse people.”

Rich Polster - HR VP of Global Business Services, P&G

“The traditional finance and HR roles of the past are blurring. The best finance leaders will have an  appreciation of issues that were traditionally in the HR domain. HR might not be as strong as finance at number crunching, but they are now much closer to our business strategy, goals and threats. At Yamaha, the HR team spends the time to really understand and add value to our various business segments.”

Brian Jemelian - SVP Finance and Administration, Yamaha Corporation of America

“The external environment requires closer and greater cooperation and synchronization. Companies need to be faster and they need to be less administrative than they were in the past. They need to be more proactive and be able to adapt quickly. Being able to think quickly, make the right decisions and implement them promptly depends on close collaboration between finance, HR and the business.”

Marco Iannaccone, CFO, Yapi Credit Bank

“As a CFO, you need to understand people issues in order to be successful. Globalization means that you need to create and manage teams who have the local knowledge and cultural understanding. We need to train people and ensure that they can learn from each other. That takes investment, but it is very important for decision-making and strategy recommendations.”

Zhong Hua, CFO, CNOOC

“Shared service centers and centers of expertise need to merge globally to give companies more visibility over key information, including data points from global payroll, pensions, total rewards and talent management systems. Many companies simply don’t know how many pension funds they have around the world. Having global data oversight and knowledge is the next journey for companies to make and will give HR and finance business partners the insight they need to better enable business success.”

George Brooks, Americas Human Capital Leader, EY

“The implementation of shared services is driving greater collaboration between the finance and HR functions. From the CFO’s perspective, this is relevant because the approach is designed to cut costs. From the CHRO’s perspective, the implementation of shared services involves the transmission of employment, so it is also a key area of interest.”

Dharma Chandran - Chief HR & Corporate Services Officer, Leighton Group

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