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Kyndryl executive Josh Gordon shares lessons for aspiring tax leaders.

In brief

  • Trailblazers in tax leadership embrace unconventional paths to find success.
  • Josh Gordon, Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Tax at Kyndryl, shares his advice for aspiring leaders.
  • He says to be transparent in your interactions, cultivate empathy for others in the business world and encourage a sense of enjoyment within teams.

In the realm of tax leadership, there are trailblazers who embrace unconventional journeys and rise to the top with unwavering determination. Josh Gordon’s story is a testament to this spirit of exploration and adaptability. His career trajectory took him from a role in a prestigious accounting firm to a position of significant influence as the Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Tax at Kyndryl, a spin-off of IBM’s managed infrastructure services business. Let’s delve into Josh’s remarkable journey and glean insights from his distinctive path.

A journey of doors opening: Josh’s career has been characterized by a willingness to embrace new challenges and seize opportunities as they arise. His trajectory was far from typical, but it led him from a role as an audit associate to a prominent leadership position in tax.


While working as an audit associate at a renowned public accounting firm, Josh discovered his passion for international tax matters during a complex project involving a global manufacturing and health care company. His fascination with this intricate field led him to contemplate a partnership track. However, an unexpected opportunity emerged when he was offered a position at IBM. The promise of accelerating his learning curve by immersing himself in business projects persuaded Josh to explore this new avenue.


Learning and adapting: Josh’s initial role at IBM laid the foundation for his understanding of corporate operations, particularly in relation to financial statements. Over the years, he continued to evolve within the organization, taking on diverse roles and responsibilities. He had the opportunity to serve as Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer, a position that initially left him hesitant but intrigued.


In this new role, Josh focused on providing practical support to the CFO, ensuring preparedness for meetings and understanding the intricacies of decision-making processes within the company. His dedication to bringing solutions rather than problems to the table cemented his strong rapport with the CFO, a relationship that continues to benefit him in his current role.


Broadening horizons: Josh’s career at IBM expanded as he took on various positions, including working with the global tax team, serving as CFO of IBM’s public cloud business and assuming the role of controller for IBM Americas. In 2021, a pivotal opportunity arose when his former boss moved on to become CEO at Kyndryl.

Josh was entrusted with the roles of Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Tax at Kyndryl. This transition involved moving from a well-established corporate environment to a smaller dynamic company. It presented yet another opportunity for him to acquire new skills, participate in building a new team and contribute to the company’s growth.


Key advice from a trailblazer: Josh shares three essential pieces of advice for aspiring leaders:

  1. Be honest: Emphasize the importance of honesty and transparency in your interactions. Providing candid feedback early can prevent situations that require delivering unfavorable news.
  2. Show empathy: Cultivate empathy for others in the business world. Recognize the significance of understanding and connecting with colleagues on a personal level.
  3. Have fun: Encourage a sense of enjoyment within your team. Maintaining a positive and lighthearted atmosphere fosters motivation and prevents burnout. Additionally, find joy outside of work to balance your life effectively.

Josh’s journey from audit associate to Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Tax at Kyndryl is a testament to the power of adaptability, continuous learning and the willingness to embrace new opportunities. His career path offers valuable insights for aspiring tax leaders, emphasizing the significance of honesty, empathy and a sense of fun in leadership roles.


Josh Gordon’s story inspires others to navigate their own unique paths, embrace change and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.

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