· 5 min read
What’s that thing that Taylor Swift said about August? That it “sipped away like a bottle of wine”? Sure, we’ll go with that. But even if August slipped and/or sipped away, plenty of CFOs found time to make some T. Swift-level business moves.
Jack of all trades, Master of Coin. In one of the biggest CFO shakeups of the month, Tesla’s CFO Zach Kirkhorn unexpectedly stepped down after 13 years with the company. His departure became effective on August 4, and the carmaker’s chief accounting officer, Vaibhav Taneja, took over as CFO.
The move was a shocker primarily because Kirkhorn seemed like a potential successor for the famously finicky Elon Musk.
Instead, he tapped out. “As I shift my responsibilities to support this transition, I want to thank the talented, passionate, and hard-working employees at Tesla, who have accomplished things many thought not possible,” Kirkhorn wrote in a LinkedIn post confirming his departure.
Earning his Stripes. Stripe, the popular payment processing platform for businesses, announced that Steffan Tomlinson would be taking over as CFO, effective in September, according to CFO Dive. He’ll fill the post vacated by former CFO Dhivya Suryadevara, who announced back in February that she would be stepping down “to attend to family matters,” per a LinkedIn post.
Tomlinson has already amassed over two decades of experience in finance and tech, working everywhere from “seed-stage startups to Fortune 25 companies,” including Google Cloud, software provider Confluent, and Palo Alto Networks, per a press release. He’s joining Stripe at a pivotal time: The company will decide whether or not it’ll go public within the next year, according to CNBC.
“Steffan has a strong track record of optimizing the financial engines of high-growth and high-discipline organizations, and I’m looking forward to partnering with him as we help fuel the growth of our users in the years ahead,” John Collison, co-founder and president of Stripe, said in a statement.
American football. The Green Bay Packers organization hired Maureen Smith as CFO, effective in September, taking her from one form of football (that is, soccer) to another. Previously, Smith served in a variety of senior executive positions at the Minnesota United FC for seven years, according to a press release. During that time, she eventually became executive vice president and COO, making her one of a small roster of women to hold those positions in Major League Soccer.
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Smith will take over from Paul Baniel, who will retire in October. Smith’s appointment marks the first time the position, which involves leading the Packers’s financial operations, will explicitly be called CFO, according to CFO Dive.
“[Maureen] played a key role with Minnesota United FC as the team grew into a Major League Soccer club,” Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. “Her impressive financial expertise, in a variety of industries, will be excellent assets to our organization.”
Jeans to an end. Kontoor Brands, the Greensboro, North Carolina-based parent company of denim giants like Wrangler and Lee, appointed Joe Alkire as CFO, effective August 31. He’ll succeed Rustin Welton, who’s retiring after four years with the apparel retailer. Welton will hold an advisory position until the end of the year to help with the transition, according to a company release.
Most recently, Alkire served as CFO at BrüMate, a high-growth drinkware company with private equity backing. He also formerly held a variety of finance roles, including vice president of corporate development at VF Corporation.
“Joe’s background in our industry and with successful, disruptive brands will help Kontoor continue toward sustained and profitable long-term growth,” Kontoor president, CEO, and chair Scott Baxter said in a statement.
Salary: $700,000 base, $1,600,000 sign-on equity award, annual target short-term incentive award of 75% of base salary, annual target long-term incentive award opportunity of $1,275,000, $200,000 one-time cash bonus.
Squeaky clean. Reckitt Benckiser Group, which makes consumer hygiene products like Lysol and Mucinex, said its standing CFO, Jeff Carr, who’s held the position for just over three years, will retire at the end of March 2024. In his place, Nike executive Shannon Eisenhardt will take over as “CFO designate,” effective October 17, according to a press release. At that time, she’ll also be appointed to the board as an executive director.
“Shannon brings extensive experience across consumer and retail, having worked with some of the most globally recognised brands, and an impressive and highly relevant international background,” Chris Sinclair, chair of the board, said in a statement, adding that she’s “a proven strategic and operational leader with a track record of building highly successful teams and delivering strong and consistent performance.”