CFO shake-ups

The month in CFO moves
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Andrii Yalanskyi/Getty Images

· 3 min read

Someone once said that the only constant is change and perhaps the juiciest change in the corporate world is when there’s a CFO shake-up. The rumors begin to fly internally and externally, as it’s often when the bears and short sellers start eyeing the company just a little bit closer.

That’s not to say all departures are bitter; some CFOs may just be getting burned out, tired of trying to forecast and cut costs in the ongoing economic morass.

We rounded up October’s biggest CFO moves.

The biggest executive ouster of October started taking shape back in April, when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his bid for the blue bird. Twitter CFO Ned Segal was seen leaving Twitter headquarters on October 27, along with former CEO Parag Agrawal, as the new owner started his reign.

Segal tweeted (What else was he going to do, send an Instagram story? Post on LinkedIn?) shortly after his departure: “The past 6 months have pulled on every mental muscle I’ve developed in 48 years. You learn so much when times are challenging and unpredictable, when we are tired or feel our integrity questioned. Our team remained kind, respectful, and steadfast.” No great mystery who he was probably subtweeting there. Does a freed bird need a CFO? We’ll find out soon enough what Musk has planned for his new purchase.

On October 11, travel tips site TripAdvisor hired finance leader Michael Noonan, who previously worked at competitor Booking Holdings. In addition to an impressive resume that includes JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets, Noonan studied history as an undergrad. For our college-age readers, next time your parents nag you about that humanities degree, point them to Noonan, whose annual base salary is a cool half-million.

  • Salary: $525,000 base + $400,000 signing bonus + annual bonus with a target of 80% of base salary

After promoting its previous CFO to the CEO role in July, Keurig Dr. Pepper chose outsider (but seasoned CFO) Sudhanshu Priyadarshi as its new top finance person. He was previously CFO at Vista Outdoor Inc., a recreational sports brand, and Flexport, a logistics company.

  • Salary: $850,000 + eligible to receive an annual bonus at a target level of 80% of his base salary

Nordstrom CFO Anne Bramman will leave the struggling retailer in early December. While a new CFO hasn’t been chosen as of this writing, it’s worth asking what brave finance pro would be willing to take on the job as activist investors lurk nearby.

  • Salary: TBD, but Bramman netted $815,000 in base salary for 2021

Website-building platform Squarespace announced it had hired Nathan Gooden to be its next CFO. Gooden joined the company from Amazon Alexa WorldWide. When reached for comment, Alexa said, “I didn’t get that, can you repeat it?” and then said she might need a website developed for all the inquiries coming her way.

  • Salary: $750,000 base +  $500,000 sign-on bonus
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Only one of the October CFO appointments was an internal promotion: Shapewear brand Spanx promoted Kim Jones, former president and CFO, to be its CEO. Martin Elliott, formerly CFO of MGA Entertainment, will be Spanx’s new CFO. Clearly, they’ll be tasked with shaping up the company, and no, we’re not apologizing for that pun.—KT

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