Executive Briefings

Chief Financial Officer Wears Many Hats, Including Logistics Expert

Steven Neil, the chief financial officer of Diamond Foods, a major marketer in the snack-nuts industry, says the economic downturn has helped rather than hurt the company. Instead of going out for their entertainment, families have been more likely to watch a movie at home, a bowl of nuts at the ready. Diamond is not the leader in that category, but it will have an increasingly large presence in every home's pantry if Neil has anything to say about it.

"I am the CFO, but I'm also responsible for operations, logistics, IT, treasury, grower relations, and purchasing," he says. "I view them all as one and the same. I'm the type of finance guy that looks at a financial report and sees it as just numbers on a piece of paper unless I'm out in the plant and can see how the product flows, how we can reduce our unit costs, and how we can improve our logistics. Then the numbers mean something."

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Steven Neil, the chief financial officer of Diamond Foods, a major marketer in the snack-nuts industry, says the economic downturn has helped rather than hurt the company. Instead of going out for their entertainment, families have been more likely to watch a movie at home, a bowl of nuts at the ready. Diamond is not the leader in that category, but it will have an increasingly large presence in every home's pantry if Neil has anything to say about it.

"I am the CFO, but I'm also responsible for operations, logistics, IT, treasury, grower relations, and purchasing," he says. "I view them all as one and the same. I'm the type of finance guy that looks at a financial report and sees it as just numbers on a piece of paper unless I'm out in the plant and can see how the product flows, how we can reduce our unit costs, and how we can improve our logistics. Then the numbers mean something."

Read Full Article