Embrace social media

Suffice it to say that CFOs have not been at the forefront of the social media revolution. Hemmed in by disclosure restrictions and a close-to-the vest culture, sharing information via social channels does not come naturally to finance organizations. Add to this the many high-profile fiascos that have involved executives who said too much on […]

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Kate Mitchell: The rise of the CFO as strategic asset

With an increased ability to gather and analyze data from around the organization, the entire finance department is becoming a key driver of corporate strategy, and that’s especially true of the chief financial officer, says Kate Mitchell. A Silicon Valley venture capitalist and former senior vice president at Bank of America, Mitchell explains how forward-thinking […]

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Edward Boches: Building a culture of experimentation and creativity in the social media age

In 2011, Fast Company placed Mullen on the magazine’s list of the 10 most innovative companies in marketing and advertising. Last year, Forbes called Mullen one of the 10 great ad agencies of 2012. Both awards offered the same rationale: Mullen embraced the power of social media early for clients like Zappos and JetBlue and […]

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Thomas Hund: Keeping the company nimble

BNSF Railway, formerly known as Burlington Northern Santa Fe, operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America with approximately 32,500 miles of track in 28 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The railway has a long history of mergers and acquisitions (involving 390 railroads over 150 years) and has faced a series of […]

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William Gerber: Plotting the next big market move with data

The granddaddy of online brokers, TD Ameritrade was founded 30 years ago—before there was any popular use of the Internet to speak of. The company’s introduction of Accutrade for Windows is widely regarded as the first trading software for online investors and marked the beginning of a massive disruption in personal finance. After a string […]

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Arun Nayar: Rethinking business models in the age of big data

Over his 40-year career, Arun Nayar has worked at some of the world’s most successful global corporations, including PepsiCo, Westinghouse and ABB. Lately, the CFO of Tyco, an $11-billion fire protection and security conglomerate, has been thinking it’s time to reimagine the relationships between corporation and customer. Big data, ubiquitous mobile devices and digital networks, […]

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Chris Bradshaw: The end of top-down decision making

Autodesk has been the kingpin of computer-aided design and manufacturing software for three decades. Lately, however, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Bradshaw has noticed that the old model of influencing corporate gatekeepers doesn’t work the way it used to. That’s because individual employees are bringing their own devices to work and taking control over what software […]

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Brian Kenny: Communications and social media in times of crisis

Shortly after Brian Kenny joined Harvard Business School five years ago, Wall Street collapsed. Soon, the public and media began leveling attacks at HBS for its role in helping create a finance culture that incited a global economic meltdown. Kenny was at the front lines for the venerable institution’s post-crash soul-searching and developed the ensuing […]

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Samir Mahir: The transformative power of business analytics

As one of only four annual Grand Slam tennis tournaments, The Australian Open garners intense fan interest during nearly every match over the course of two weeks. Tennis Australia, the governing body that hosts the event, has invested heavily in technology to stream real-time data and analysis to fans, coaches and media around the world. […]

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Chris McCann: Building a culture of experimentation

In just under four decades, 1-800-Flowers.com has grown from a single shop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to a multi-million-dollar empire that delivers everything from chocolates and popcorn to fruit bouquets and, of course, flowers. Along the way, the company has enthusiastically experimented with many different technology platforms, including CD-ROMs, CompuServe, Second Life and Facebook. […]

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Spencer Rascoff: The road from CFO to CEO

Zillow has risen from dot-com curiosity to game-changing public company over the past six years. During that time, the role of the CFO has evolved in kind, according to CEO Spencer Rascoff. He should know. He was CFO of the Web real-estate company during those early days (and CMO and COO, too). Here, Rascoff discusses […]

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Dominic Caruso: Cost versus investment

Dominic Caruso served as head of finance for several of Johnson & Johnson’s businesses before he became vice president of finance and CFO of the corporation in 2007. Because of that depth of experience, he understands well the company’s decentralized management approach. But now, as J&J seeks to double the number of people it serves […]

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