The Top Spot

Why more companies are tapping their finance chiefs for CEO.

But the past few years have brought a change in CFO recruitment. Because of Sarbanes-Oxley, a growing number of companies now want CPAs running finance. According to executive search firm Spencer Stuart, the number of CFOs-CPAs in the Fortune 1,000 has jumped from 26 percent to 45 percent since 2003. “We’re seeing a real shift to CFOs with a technical accounting background,” says Spencer Stuart vice chairman E. Peter McLean.

Does this mean that fewer CFOs will make it to the top, or does it mean one day more of those at the top will be accountants? One other shift in CFO recruitment may shed some light: in addition to wanting CPAs, large companies are also demanding that their CFOs have operational experience. “For every CFO search we are running, we have a request for someone who’s done more than finance,” says Peter Crist, chairman of executive search firm Crist Associates. Ten years from now, the result may be a truly exotic breed: the charming, operationally expert accountant-CEO. — D.D.

Where to Find Financial CEOs
Ex-CFOs in the Fortune 500
Rank in
Fortune 500
Company CEO
119 AMR Gerard J. Arpey
232 Continental Airlines Lawrence Kellner
318 Southwest Airlines Gary Kelly
419 Laidlaw International Kevin Benson
Business Services
95 Electronic Data Systems Michael H. Jordan
219 Aramark Joseph Neubauer
277 Automatic Data Processing Arthur F. Weinbach
444 NVR Paul Saville
469 The Ryland Group R. Chad Dreier
Consumer Products
17 Altria Group Louis Camilleri
123 Coca-Cola Enterprises John R. Alm
202 Pepsi Bottling Group John Cahill
410 Maytag Ralph Hake
86 Duke Energy Paul Anderson
96 Plains All American Pipeline Greg Armstrong
136 Premcor Jefferson Allen
177 Tesoro Bruce Smith
195 TXU C. John Wilder
196 PG&E Peter Darbee
199 Public Service Enterprise Group E. James Ferland
209 CenterPoint Energy David McClanahan
213 FPL Group Lewis Hay III
221 Entergy Wayne Leonard
256 Xcel Energy Richard Kelly
288 Pepco Holdings Dennis R. Wraase
310 Northeast Utilities Charles Shivery
314 El Paso Douglas Foshee
471 Wisconsin Energy Gale E. Klappa
Financial Services
53 Merrill Lynch Stanley O’Neal
51 Allstate Edward Liddy
81 TIAA-CREF Herbert M. Allison Jr.
85 St. Paul Travelers Jay Fishman
99 Nationwide Mutual Insurance William G. Jurgensen
124 Northwestern Mutual Edward Zore
161 Chubb John D. Finnegan
208 UnumProvident Thomas Watjen
319 Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Bruce Nicholson
378 SLM Thomas Fitzpatrick
461 Jefferson-Pilot Dennis Glass
73 Caremark Rx Edwin Crawford
137 Express Scripts George Paz
168 Tenet Healthcare Trevor Fetter
172 PacifiCare Health Systems Howard G. Phanstiel
371 Coventry Health Care Dale Wolf
465 Henry Schein Stanley M. Bergman
499 Kindred Healthcare Paul Diaz
3 General Motors G. Richard Wagoner Jr.
47 Lockheed Martin Robert J. Stevens
57 Caterpillar James Owens
63 Delphi Robert S. Miller Jr.
70 International Paper John Faraci
106 Deere Robert Lane
149 United States Steel John Surma
262 Smurfit-Stone Container Patrick J. Moore
432 York International C. David Myers
360 Ball R. David Hoover
368 Harley-Davidson James Ziemer
376 AK Steel Holding James Wainscott
456 Engelhard Barry Perry
481 Sealed Air William V. Hickey
33 SBC Communications Edward E. Whitacre Jr.
446 NTL Simon Duffy
449 MGM Mirage J. Terrence Lanni
451 Avaya Donald K. Peterson
43 Lowe’s Robert Niblock
45 Sears Holdings Alan Lacy
147 The May Department Stores John Dunham
347 CDW John Edwardson
350 AutoZone William Rhodes
358 Asbury Automotive Group Kenneth Gilman
476 Nash Finch Ron Marshall
24 Pfizer Henry McKinnell
44 Archer Daniels Midland G. Allen Andreas
101 Halliburton David Lesar
168 Waste Management David Steiner
269 CSX Michael J. Ward
386 Darden Restaurants Clarence Otis Jr.
405 Temple-Inland Kenneth M. Jastrow II
406 Emcor Group Frank T. MacInnis
428 Newmont Mining Wayne Murdy
442 C.H. Robinson Worldwide John P. Wiehoff
Source: Executive biographies


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