Governing Body Spotlight
Governing Body Member of the New York CFO Community
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Craig Safian has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Gartner (NYSE: IT) since 2014. As CFO, he leads the company’s accounting, tax, treasury, corporate finance, investor relations, M&A, competitive intelligence, pricing, data strategy & enablement and real estate functions.
Craig joined Gartner in 2002 and has held numerous leadership positions in the company, including Group Vice President of Global Finance, Strategy & Corporate Development, Group Vice President of Strategy, and Managing Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis. Prior to Gartner, he held finance positions at Headstrong (now part of Genpact) and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and was an accountant for Friedman, LLP.
Learn more about the New York CFO community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I started in public accounting (achieving my CPA). After receiving my MBA, I went into corporate finance where I focused on a financial planning & analytics track. Along the way, additional areas of responsibility were added to prepare me for the CFO role, including corporate development, pricing and strategy.
What are your guiding leadership principles?
Know the business you are supporting inside and out. To be successful, you must be a business person who happens to have an exceptionally strong functional expertise in finance.
With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CFO going in the next 1-2 years?
My CFO role has continued to become more and more enterprise operationally focused, and I see that continuing to accelerate.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CFO?
- Establish strong relationships with all internal/external stakeholders (Board, Leadership team, investors, external partners, etc.)
- Make sure your leadership team is who you want to go to battle with
- Understand the core economic levers of the business
- Quickly understand cash flow, balance sheets, debt structure, etc.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I am a huge Liverpool Football Club supporter!
- I love movies! Watching, reading about, talking about and watching again.
- I wish I could learn how to play the guitar. (I'm trying!)
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
The CFO role can be a lonely place. I love the opportunity to network with other CFOs whenever I can get the opportunity.
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