NFL Taps Goldman Partner as CFO

Former college football star and Army Ranger Anthony Noto will fill a post that has been vacant for five years.

A Goldman Sachs analyst and partner has been tapped as the new CFO of the National Football League.

Anthony Noto, who runs the communications, media and entertainment team at the investment banking firm, will fill a role that has been vacant for five years, Bloomberg reported. Starting Feb. 24 he will oversee league-wide finance and strategy functions, including corporate development, labor finance, operational finance, accounting, tax and treasury.

Noto, who joined Goldman in 1999, was voted the top analyst for research on the Internet industry by Institutional Investor magazine from 2003 to 2007. The magazine also rates him as one of the top entertainment-industry analysts.

Noto NFLThe NFL goes long and hires Goldman Sachs partner Anthony Noto to become the new finance chief of the gridiron.

An academic all-American linebacker at the U.S. Military Academy and later an Army Ranger, Noto received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Before transitioning to equity research, Noto was a brand manager at Kraft Foods.

“His extensive experience and knowledge of the media industry and his strategic organizational capabilities will make him a significant asset to the NFL and our clubs,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

The NFL’s previous CFO, Barbara Kaczynski, left in February 2003. Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the league, said the CFOs of other NFL business units filled in over the past five years. CFO magazine interviewed one of them, Kim Williams, in 2006 when she was finance chief of NFL Business Ventures; she has since moved on to be COO of NFL Network.

Spencer Rascoff, a former Goldman colleague of Noto and CFO of Zillow, a real estate Internet company, called him “a phenomenal research analyst — one of the best.”

Rascoff noted that while Noto was not himself an investment banker, it is not surprising that more finance executives for investment banking companies are becoming corporate CFOs. “The skill sets required in these two disciplines are very similar — acute analysis, attention to detail, industry knowledge, and financial acumen.”

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