FEB 24, 2024 JLM 51°F 07:56 AM 12:56 AM EST
Want job stability? Don’t become a CFO

Report finds CFOs of US companies lasted only 3.5 years in their jobs – lower than any other C-suite position – between 2016 and 2021.

Pity the poor CFO. The chief financial officer position suffers from the worst job security in the so-called C-suite, according to a new study by Israeli financial planning and analysis startup Datarails.

Datarails analyzed 2,056 US companies and discovered that CFOs lasted only 3.5 years in their jobs – lower than any other C-suite position. The methodology involved reviewing CFO tenure and compensation, which is mandated by the SEC to be disclosed in annual filings.

Of the companies in Datarails’ list, 53 have gone through four CFOs, while 269 companies have accumulated three CFOs, between 2016 and 2021.
CEOs (chief executive officers) lasted 3.9 years in their positions, only slightly longer than CFOs. It’s better to be a CTO (chief technology officer) or a CMO (chief marketing officer), it seems. They did the best, both averaging 4.6 years on the job in the same five-year timeframe.

More than half (56%) of the companies experienced at least one CFO change in the same period. And 16% of companies of companies experienced more than one turnover.

“There has never been more scrutiny on the CFOs’ ability to forecast, show value, and tell a compelling story around the numbers,” notes Didi Gurfinkel, CEO of Datarails. “This will help to determine the staying power of CFOs in 2023.”
While 2021 was the worst year for CFO departures, Datarails estimates that 2022 (for which data was not available yet) was even worse.

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