Controller vacatures

CFO Job-Hopping: How Much Is Too Much?

Bron: - 08 april 2021

While executive recruiter David Arnold and the CEO of a high-profile Silicon Valley company were discussing the company’s CFO search, the CEO told Arnold, “If you send me someone who has had a lot of short stops, I’ll be skeptical.” That was a red flag and her “number one pet peeve,” says Arnold, president of Arnold Partners, LLC.

Too short a tenure at too many organizations — job-hopping — brings career risks like the concern cited by Arnold’s client. But how do you define how much is too much movement? And are the downsides significant?

The answer on how much is too much is subjective and can vary from industry to industry. Organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry reports the average CFO tenure is 4.7 years, while the most recent Crist|Kolder Associates Volatility Report sets it slightly higher, at 4.86 years. According to the Korn Ferry analysis, the information technology industry has the shortest CFO tenure at 4.1 years, while the industrial segment has the longest, at five.

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