Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Washington, DC CFO Community

Desy Majo

Chief Financial Officer & Director, & Board (North America)

Maccaferri Inc.

I come from a humble Italian family and learned the values of responsibility and financial prudence early on. Despite aspiring to various career paths and in addition to my creative aspirations, I recognized the importance of a stable, long-term job. My charisma made leadership a future prospect, and my analytical thinking allowed me to see beyond mere numbers, appreciating the importance of human capital and corporate dynamics.

In 2020, during the global pandemic, I relocated from Italy to Washington, D.C. My hobbies include photography, journaling, scuba diving, and sports. I hold spirituality dear for mental well-being, and my core values encompass creating value, promoting peace, and facilitating effective communication. My backbone consists of family and friends.

Learn more about the Washington, DC CFO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

My professional journey has spanned 17 years, during which I've accumulated a wealth of experience. Armed with a Master's degree in Finance and Planning and a Magistral's degree in Accounting and Business Management, I've continually enhanced my skills through courses and certifications. I have garnered extensive experience across a spectrum of finance roles (auditing, industrial and business analyst, treasury, consultant, finance manager) while working with various companies, big players (manufacturing and trade industry) in Food & Beverages, Fashion, Engineering, NGO sectors. My responsibilities ranged from implementing robust accounting systems and setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) to overseeing business performance, cost-saving initiatives, ERP integration, bond issuance, mergers and acquisitions, and internal control assessments. 

What lured me towards Maccaferri was the unparalleled emphasis placed on sustainability, environmental protection. After progressing from my previous position as Regional Business analyst of Latam and North America (responsible for directing four Regional CFOs, six Regional Finance Managers, over 30 companies, 10 plants) , this journey led me to my current role as Regional CFO (USA and CANADA) and I serve as board member, where I am entrusted with driving transformation and achieving remarkable success within the region. 

Leveraging my strategic leadership and financial expertise, I have spearheaded numerous initiatives that have propelled the organization forward. In addition to my professional accomplishments, I am fluent in Italian and English, with intermediate proficiency in French and Spanish.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Lead by example. Being a leader is not solely about authority or position – it is about empowering others, levering on their own potential, fostering inclusivity, and effecting positive change. It can be a powerful motivator for others to emulate and uphold high standards.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CFO role going in the next 1-2 years?

  1. Talent Acquisition and Retention: Navigating the evolving ambitions and expectations of the new generation of employees presents challenges. It's crucial to attract and retain talent effectively in this shifting landscape.
  2. Addressing the Influence of AI: The increasing integration of AI presents both opportunities and challenges. We must consider how AI impacts our operations and make efforts to leverage its capabilities effectively.
  3. Strengthening Cybersecurity Measures: Cyber threats continue to evolve, necessitating a constant effort to enhance our cybersecurity posture and safeguard our digital assets.
  4. Adapting KPIs and Metrics: As data-driven decision-making becomes more prominent, our key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics will continue to evolve. We must stay agile in adjusting our measurement criteria to reflect changing priorities and strategies.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CFO?

Act swiftly when necessary to drive significant organizational changes. Within the first year, identify and replace individuals who hinder progress, act as bottlenecks, or resist change in the organization. Recognize and retain those who excel.

Cultivate and trust your professional instincts by establishing meaningful connections with essential stakeholders, including board members, fellow executives, employees, and external partners. It's important to remember that the success of the company is fundamentally driven by its people.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I have a twin brother, and when he falls ill, it often affects my own health. I'm constantly vigilant about his well-being to minimize any potential impact on my own.
  2. Fashion and food are fundamental requirements to keep my Italian passport
  3. I find a certain delight in failure, because it's the cost of pursuing ambitious goals.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

  1. Through Evanta, I experience a strong sense of community with exceptional, high-level peers who inspire and share their brilliance.
  2. I contribute by introducing fresh ideas and sharing my own experiences to enhance the collective knowledge.
  3. Embrace competition as a healthy means of comparison, propelling us toward reaching our fullest potential and acquiring more knowledge.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CFOs, for CFOs

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