Hats off to the CFO! Celebrating Finance Leaders Fueling Innovation

Gold Medal On A Blue Background

Planning is the underpinning of innovation. Having the right resources allocated means no momentum is lost during crucial moments. Taking the financial long view means no leap to a new market or a new product line sputters out, unsupported. It’s no surprise, then, that the finalists for the 11th Annual 2016 Bay Area CFO of the Year Award have a seat at the executive table of innovation powerhouses.

Adaptive Insights applauds all finance leaders using sophisticated tools and a strategic mindset to move companies forward. And we’d like to raise a glass to those San Francisco Bay Area finalists who are also part of the Adaptive Insights family—which turns out to be a staggering 40 percent of this year’s list. Here’s a glimpse at some of the other accolades and successes these customers can celebrate.

A10 Networks
The maker of software-based advanced application networking solutions bested top-line and bottom-line estimates for the past four quarters. Most companies would catch their breath long enough to celebrate, but A10 Networks seems to be full-speed ahead: Analysts told Motley Fool that A10’s Thunder TPS security solution could soon be a strong growth pillar.
Hats off to: Greg Straughn, CFO

Art.com
Art.com has long been the go-to destination for buying high-quality wall art, but the company hasn’t been content to rest on its laurels. In late 2015, it unveiled a new service to help customers get their beloved family photos off their smartphones and onto their walls. The Frame Your Art service requires just a few thumb taps, and customers receive framed prints at their door.
Hat tip to: Chuck Kurth, CFO

Fitbit
“The CFO job is not just sitting in the back office with the accounting folks,” William Zerella, Fitbit’s CFO, told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s also participating with the rest of the management team to run the business.” Zerella is no stranger to balancing budget planning with strategic leadership: He helped two other companies prep for their initial public offerings (IPOs) prior to joining Fitbit before its own June 2015 IPO. But going public hasn’t seemed to slow the wearable tech company. And in May, Time named the Fitbit device one of the most influential gadgets of all time.
Hat tip to: William Zerella, CFO

Lyft
When Brian Roberts joined Lyft as CFO in mid-2014, the ride-sharing company had raised just $350 million. Since then, Roberts has helped raised an additional $2 billion—including from legendary activist investor Carl Icahn, according to The Financial Times. But raising capital is just a starting point: In the past year, Lyft has unveiled a number of high-profile partnerships—including with Starbucks, General Motors, and an international coalition of ride-sharing companies—that show the company’s growth plans are only accelerating.
Hats off to: Brian Roberts, CFO

San Francisco Ballet
When Kim Ondreck Carim joined the San Francisco Ballet a decade ago, the finance team juggled “tens of spreadsheets to model the different areas of our business,” she told The Wall Street Journal, and budget planning was a slow, laborious process. She’s since trimmed the planning process by at least three months by embracing data analytics and tech upgrades and, as CFO, is able to plan for uncertainties in real time. That nimble approach has helped the oldest professional ballet company in America face the future with confidence. As she explained to Adaptive Insights: “The fundamental business model of that institution has not changed dramatically, but economic conditions required us to change the way we do what we do.”
Hat tip to: Kim Ondreck Carim, CFO

Ultragenyx
In April, the pharmaceutical company released interim data for its phase II trial that had both investors and medical professionals cheering. The ongoing trial, for the company’s KRN23 candidate, targets a condition called tumor-induced osteomalacia. If it clears the FDA, the new drug could eventually open a multibillion-dollar market—and help protect bone health in tumor patients.
Hats off to: Shalini Sharp, CFO

Zuora
When asked how to be a good CFO, Zuora’s Tyler Sloat once responded: “Own the business model. I’m not talking about a budget. I’m talking about the strategic business model.” The best finance leaders, he said, “act as a true business advisor and strategist.” One can assume Sloat is taking his own advice, as Zuora continues to be ahead of the competitive curve, according to TechCrunch. Its software as a service (SaaS) solutions help companies manage subscription business models. The recently announced update, Zuora 17, will allow clients to integrate multiple types of revenue on a single platform.
Hat tip to: Tyler Sloat, CFO

All award finalists will be recognized, and winners announced, at the awards dinner and ceremony on Thursday, May 12, 2016 to be held at The Fairmont, San Francisco.

Each of these CFOs is not only transforming finance but leading their respective organizations through innovation. We proudly honor our customers and wish best of luck to all of the finalists!

Interested in other finance success stories? Read more here.

Share this: