Modern-day CFOs Redefine Themselves


At the Bank of America Securities Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Warner Bros Discovery's CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels recently made a remark that shows how the role of CFOs has changed over the past few years. He said: “The streaming industry has been underpricing its quality content for a long time, and that is now being fixed.” This implies that modern-day CFOs are not just managing finances but also driving growth for their respective organizations.

Today, CFOs have to balance growth and profitability, as investors expect both. This means they have to be more than just finance managers but also growth enablers. They have to work with other leaders, redesign work processes, and leverage technology—ensuring better coordination with all other functional departments. They have to create business strategies that produce quick and lasting results that show up in the P&L statements.

Digitalization is not a one-off project but a way of running a business. CFOs have to make sure they get real benefits and returns from investing in digital technology. Many of these technologies, some still in the early stages, are already making a big difference. The challenge for the automotive CFOs is to take the risk and embrace them. They also need team members who have not only accounting, auditing, and compliance skills but also data visualization, flexible thinking, good communication, and, most importantly, business acumen. This special issue is dedicated to the outstanding CFOs in Indonesia.

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