COVID-related stories dominated the business headlines in 2020 along with the government’s financial response to ailing businesses in the midst of the pandemic–economic stimulus in the form of PPP loans. Jane Thier, a journalist for the online business publication, CFO Dive, joined us to discuss these stories including some emerging trends that are here to stay.
- CFO Dive readership continues to grow as well as its breadth and expansion of business coverage for CFOs, VPs of Finance, Directors of FP&A and other financial leaders.
- Jane Thier is a writing machine.
- 2020 top stories included COVID, PPP loans, and the tax implications of the SBA financing.
- Jane’s take on succession planning and one interesting development caused by the pandemic.
- One of the most interesting CFO moves of the year – Dhivya Suryadevara moving from GM’s CFO post to Stripe’s.
- The CFO who decided to stay amidst the pandemic – Delta’s Paul Jacobson who delayed retirement.
- A recurring theme in 2020 – pivoting to digital.
- Other themes included the evolving and expanding role of the CFO.
- Two closely-followed stories at Harvard – cutting non-essential spending and dealing with uncertainty.
Three Trends to Monitor in 2021
- ESG – continued shift toward accelerated changes in environmental, social, and governance priorities.
- Boards mandating diversity matters given the events of 2020.
- Working from home.
Two CFOs Jane Would Like to Interview
As I was prepping for this interview, the question I looked forward to the most was asking about the CFO Jane would be the most interested in interviewing. Her answer did not disappoint. Her pick was Jill Woodworth of Peloton. Her close second which she claims would be a moonshot is the CFO of Alphabet Inc., Ruth Porat.
On Becoming a Business Writer
- Jane’s degree is in English
- An internship led to increasing her financial acumen before joining CFO Dive
- Biggest tip for young journalists, ” … always be curious and interested in the subject.”
Books Mentioned During the Interview
Jane stated that John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood was a mind-blowing read in 2020 which reinvigorated her commitment to insuring facts in any story she writes and hoping her readers do likewise.
CFO Bookshelf Recommends CFO Dive
I recommend signing up for CFO Dive’s daily updates. The emails hit your inbox early each morning. I generally click on one to three articles about daily to read more on their site. While articles are generally short, I also appreciate their periodic deep dives.