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What's The Next Step On The CFO's Career Ladder?
Survey: More Than 6 in 10 CFOs Aspire to CEO Role at Their Company

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CFO may be a pinnacle career destination, but many of these financial executives are eyeing an upward move. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, more than six in 10 CFOs (64 percent) said they are at least somewhat motivated to become CEO of their organization, with nearly a quarter (23 percent) stating they are very motivated.

When asked what unique attributes financial executives would bring to the CEO position, CFOs most commonly cited finance and data-driven decision making, fiscal management and efficiency improvement, and economic and business awareness. Respondents noted other top contenders for the CEO role are chief operating officers, followed by chief information officers.

View an infographic with the survey findings.

CFOs were asked, "How motivated are you to reach the CEO role in your organization?" Their responses:

Very motivated


Somewhat motivated


Not at all motivated


Don't know/no answer




"CFOs, with their broad view of the business and influence throughout the organization, are well-prepared to lead a company," said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "While their financial expertise is an asset to any firm, CFOs aspiring to advance to the CEO role must foster a comprehensive skill set. Operational experience is often a must, as is the ability to develop a vision for the firm and inspire others to rally around it."

Robert Half Management Resources highlights four strategies to help financial executives advance their careers:

  1. Build relationships with peers across the organization. Overseeing companywide projects provides insights into how different functions operate and enhances business acumen, leadership skills and cross-departmental relationships. For instance, many CFOs report working more closely with their CIO, and this interaction provides knowledge of technology critical to the business.
  2. Prepare a successor. It's more challenging to move up the ladder if you are considered irreplaceable in your current position. Ensure the business has someone who can fill your shoes if you're promoted.
  3. Consider consulting. Look for engagements offering greater exposure to different business units and projects. Consulting can provide insights into organizational best practices and operating strategies.
  4. Add CEOs to your network. Your contacts can shed light on potential CEO opportunities and challenges unique to the job and offer career advice.

About the Research
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals for companies' project and interim staffing needs. Customizing its approach for each organization, Robert Half Management Resources can provide a single consultant, a financial team or full-service consulting services, delivered through Protiviti, a Robert Half subsidiary. With more than 140 locations worldwide, Robert Half Management Resources works with companies of all sizes, including more than half of the top 100 companies from the FORTUNE 500®. For more information, visit



SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources

For further information: Michael Weiss, (925) 913-2645,