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CFO Competitive Intelligence Monitor - Part 1

theboardiQ explores the world of Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures in the Home, Networks and Communication segments and the top CFOs behind these deals.


Let's view their abridged profiles.


M&A and Divestiture Focus

1. R. Martin Chávez (a theboardiQ Hall of Famer) is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, investor and risk manager. Widely renowned as a trailblazer and leader who turned the Wall Street trading business into a software business, he revolutionized the way that capital moves and works. He served in a variety of senior roles at Goldman Sachs, including Partner, Chief Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and global co-head of the firm’s Securities Division. He was also a member of the Goldman Sachs management committee. Since his retirement in 2019, he continues to serve as a Goldman Senior Director. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he was the CEO and co-founder of Kiodex, acquired by Sungard in 2004, and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Quorum Software Systems. He currently serves as President of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University for the 2020-21 academic year as well as on the boards of Santander, Paige.AI, Recursion and Sema4; the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows; the Advisory Council of the Stanford Center on Longevity; among others.

2. In his role, Vasant Prabhu, EVP, CFO & Vice Chairman, oversees Visa’s financial strategies, planning and reporting, in addition to all finance operations and investor relations. Vasant joined Visa from NBCUniversal Media, LLC, where he served as chief financial officer, overseeing the company’s finance function as well as the operations and technical services division. Prior to joining NBCUniversal in 2014, Mr. Prabhu served as the chief financial officer for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. since 2004.In 2010, Mr. Prabhu was named vice chairman of Starwood. At Starwood, he was responsible for all financial functions, information technology and a range of corporate functions. He also served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Safeway Inc., and held senior leadership roles at The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc. and Booz Allen Hamilton. Mr. Prabhu served on the board of directors of Mattel, Inc. from 2007 until June 2020. Vasant holds a B.S. in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

3. Akash Palkhiwala serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Qualcomm. In this role Palkhiwala leads the global financial organization, IT and investor relations. Palkhiwala also serves as a member of Qualcomm’s executive committee. Palkhiwala served as senior vice president and finance lead for QCT for four years, with responsibility for finance and accounting for all chipset products and segments including Mobile, RF Front End, Compute, Auto, Connectivity and Networking and IoT. Palkhiwala joined Qualcomm in 2001, and during this time has held several finance leadership roles including treasurer, financial planning & analysis and corporate development. He has been part of the senior finance leadership team for more than 10 years. Prior to joining the company, Palkhiwala was an analyst at KeyBank. Palkhiwala holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from L.D. College of Engineering in India and an M.B.A from the University of Maryland.

4. Richard Fearon was appointed EVP and chief financial & planning officer at Eaton on April 15, 2002. He retired in March this year on turning 65. Fearon had responsibility for the accounting, controller, corporate development, information systems, investor relations, strategic planning, tax and treasury functions. Fearon joined Eaton from Willow Place Partners, a Menlo Park, CA-based corporate advisory firm that he founded in 2001. From 1995 to 2000, he was with Transamerica Corporation, where he most recently served as senior vice president of corporate development. From 1990 to 1995, Fearon was GM, corporate development for Singapore-based NatSteel Ltd. and vice chairman, NatSteel Chemicals. Prior to that, he worked with management consulting firms Booz Allen & Hamilton in Singapore and The Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles, and served as director of strategic planning for The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, CA. Fearon holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, with distinction, from Stanford University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

5. Paulo Basilio is the Chief Financial Officer for The Kraft Heinz Company. He is responsible for the Company’s global accounting, treasury, tax, internal audit, budget and business planning, investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, information technology, global business services and Global Center of Excellence functions. He previously served as the Company’s Chief Business Planning and Development Officer, responsible for developing the Company’s global business plans, leading mergers and acquisitions and overseeing the Company’s Amsterdam-based Global Center of Excellence and information technology and global business services function. Prior to that, he was Zone President of the Kraft Heinz U.S. Business, responsible for leading all functions that drove the $19 billion+ U.S. business. Paulo joined Heinz in 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and has been a Partner of 3G Capital, Inc. since July 2012. Prior to joining Kraft Heinz, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of America Latina Logistica (ALL) from 2010 to 2012. Paulo holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidade de Brasilia and a M.Sc. in economics from EPGE/Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV).


Domain Focus

1. Scott Herren, joined Cisco as executive vice president and chief financial officer on December 18, 2020. Herren reports directly to Cisco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins. Since November 2014, Herren served as chief financial officer and senior vice president of Autodesk where he helped the company successfully transform its business model from perpetual licenses to SaaS and recurring subscriptions. Prior to joining Autodesk, Herren was senior vice president of finance at Citrix Systems where he led the company's finance, accounting, tax, treasury, investor relations, real estate and facilities teams and held a variety of leadership roles during his 14-year tenure. Before Citrix, Herren spent more than 15 years in senior strategy and financial positions at FedEx and IBM. Herren holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Columbia University.

2. As EVP and CFO for Dolby Laboratories, Lewis Chew leads the worldwide finance organization, responsible for financial and infrastructure support for Dolby's business, including all finance functions, information technology, real estate and facilities, manufacturing, procurement, and investor relations. He has announced his intent to retire end of the year. Lewis came to Dolby with decades of financial and strategic business management experience. He is the former Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of National Semiconductor Corporation, where he was responsible for all finance functions as well as information systems and investor relations. Prior to joining National Semiconductor, Lewis was a partner at KPMG LLP, serving numerous technology and financial institution clients. He has been recognized five times as one of America's best CFOs by Institutional Investor magazine in its annual ranking. Mr. Chew serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Cadence Design Systems.

3. Steve Louden joined Roku in 2015. He previously had various roles at Expedia, including VP of Corporate Finance and Treasurer. Earlier, he held senior financial positions at Washington Mutual, McKinsey and Walt Disney. Steve began his career as a financial analyst with Merrill Lynch. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.



4. As Group CFO, Monica Vorn Mijaleski oversees all finance operations for the global business, including Controllership, FP&A, Procurement, Internal Audit and Operations Analytics. Prior to Verizon Media which she joined in December 2015, Monica was SVP Head of FP&A, Management Reporting and Financial Systems at News Corp. She also had a stint at Sony Music Entertainment for a decade. She has a Masters in Accounting from Macquarie University

5. John Feehan, joined Patriot Media in March, 2011. He serves as EVP and CFO for Patriot Media, RCN, Grande Communications and Choice Cable. Prior to joining Patriot, John spent 10 years in the wireless communications industry where he was the SVP, CFO of the Sprint/Nextel Prepaid Group. For the 8 years prior to joining Sprint/Nextel, John was the EVP, CFO of Virgin Mobile USA and joined Sprint/Nextel when Virgin Mobile was acquired by Sprint in November 2009. John was the initial finance department hire in January 2002 when Virgin Mobile USA was formed and helped lead the company from its national launch to become one of the nation’s top wireless carriers with more than 5 million subscribers and $1.3 billion in annual revenues. As CFO, John led the initial public offering of Virgin on the NYSE in October 2007. Prior to joining Virgin Mobile, he served as chief financial officer of SAGE BioPharma, a leading manufacturer of infertility products. John began his career at Price Waterhouse and has held various senior level management positions throughout his 25-year career. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and management information systems from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia and is a certified public accountant in the state of PA.


Inclusion Focus (Gender Diverse Slate)

1. Cheryl M is currently an Executive Strategic Advisor with JM Family Enterprises after a short stint of four months as their CFO. Prior to taking on this role, Cheryl was executive vice president and CFO of AutoNation, which is the largest retailer of automobiles in the United States. The company has 26,000 employees and booked nearly $21 billion of revenues in 2015.

Miller began her career in the financial management training program at Circuit City’s corporate headquarters and has since racked up more than 20 years of corporate finance experience, including over 15 years in the auto industry, including retail, rental, distribution and captive finance.

2. Tracey T. Travis (a theboardiQ Hall of Famer), a member of Accenture’s board of directors since July 2017, is EVP & CFO of The Estée Lauder Companies. In this role, she is responsible for global finance, accounting, investor relations, information technology, and strategy and new business development. Before joining The Estée Lauder Companies in 2012, she was SVP & CFO at Ralph Lauren for seven years. Previously, she served in senior financial, information technology and operations management roles at L Brands, American National Can and PepsiCo/Pepsi Bottling Group. She began her career at General Motors as an engineer and senior financial analyst. Tracey is a director of Facebook. She also currently serves on the board of Lincoln Center Theater and is a trustee on the board of overseers of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Tracey was a director of Campbell Soup Company from 2011 to 2017 and was previously a director of Jo-Ann Stores. Tracey holds an MBA in Finance and Operations Management from Columbia University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

3. Elaine Paul departed Hulu after nearly six years as chief financial officer to join Amazon Studios as CFO/VP of finance in 2019. She started at the ecommerce company’s studio division, reporting to Dan Jedda, VP of digital, advertising and corporate development finance for Amazon. At Hulu, as CFO she partnered with Hulu’s executive management team, CEO, and Board of Directors to drive growth and efficiency at one of the fastest growing digital media companies. Elaine joined Hulu in 2013. Prior to joining Hulu, Elaine served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development at the Walt Disney Company where she led various acquisitions, new business initiatives, and strategic investments both domestically and internationally, including Disney’s original investment in Hulu in 2009.Prior to her time at Disney, Elaine worked as an Associate at McKinsey and Company and a Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley and Company. Elaine holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics and History from Stanford University.

4. Dhivya Suryadevara (a theboardiQ Hall of Famer) is an Indian-American executive and the current chief financial officer of Stripe, an American e-commerce payments company. She is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of General Motors. Suryadevara started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers while attending the University of Madras.She then interned at the World Bank in 2002 and went on to UBS as an investment banker. She joined General Motors in 2004. In 2013, she was appointed the CFO and chief investment officer of GM Asset Management. In 2015, she accepted a role as Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. In 2017, she became Vice President of Corporate Finance at General Motors. On August 13, 2020, Suryadevara resigned her position as chief financial officer at General Motors to work as Chief Financial Officer for e-commerce payments company, Stripe. Suryadevara was named to Fortune's 40 Under 40 in 2015 and 2018.

5. Kim Jabal is the former Chief Financial Officer of Unity Technologies, a creator of real-time 3D development platforms, serving as Chief Financial Officer from 2019 through April 2021. Prior to joining Unity Technologies in March 2019, Ms. Jabal was the Chief Financial Officer of Weebly, a small business software company, from November 2015 through December 2018. Prior to joining Weebly in November 2015, she served as Chief Financial Officer of Path, Inc. and as Vice President of Finance at Lytro, Inc., both early-stage technology companies. She served in various capacities at Google from 2003 to 2011, including as director of engineering finance, director of investor relations and director of online sales finance. Prior to Google, Ms. Jabal spent two years at Goldman Sachs in technology investment banking and eight years with Accenture working in information technology. She is a former director of SVB Financial Group.


In Part 2 of this two part series, theboardiQ will spotlight recent M&A CFO Hires, Modeling Assumptions for hiring criteria and sample compensation examples.

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