Stories of our impact

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At Deloitte, we’re committed to helping people get to where they want to be, whether that’s in the classroom or in the boardroom. Our range of C-suite transition programmes, launched in 2011, have supported over 500 executives on their path to become a CFO – and beyond. Julie Brown, COO and CFO of Burberry, explains the difference our programmes have made to her career.

A fantastic opportunity

“I took part in Deloitte’s Next Generation CFO programme in 2012, when I was Interim CFO/VP Group Finance at AstraZeneca. The programme provided me with insights into how to be a successful CFO, an understanding of the vast stakeholder landscape I would need to navigate, time to reflect on my career ambitions and an invaluable network of peers.

The CFO role is fantastic – it allows you to add an enormous amount of value to the business and get involved in various areas, from strategy through to operations. But it can also be daunting, given the multiple stakeholders and responsibility for business performance, investor relations and the share price.

So I turned to Deloitte again to attend a personalised one-day CFO Transition Lab. This was a great sounding board to help me to develop my 180-day plan, including my priorities around where I should focus my time and making some tough decisions on the team around me. There are endless demands on a CFO’s time, and a challenge - particularly when new to the role - is to determine where to invest time to make an impact as you settle in.”

Time for pastures new

“I left AstraZeneca in 2013, and have since been Group CFO at FTSE 100 medical devices group Smith & Nephew and COO/CFO of luxury fashion designer Burberry. Deloitte helped me transition to both those roles and also supported me by developing my wider team, as I nominated my top performers for the Next Generation CFO programme. For many of them, it was their first insight into the breadth and complexities of the CFO role. The programme helped them to understand what it takes to manage the market, the diverse aspects of the role and the range of internal and external stakeholders. Having an understanding of the complexities of the CFO role and the expectations has helped to develop my team and set priorities accordingly.

At a personal level, my relationship with Deloitte, from the first interaction I had as VP Finance at AstraZeneca, has been so beneficial. The Deloitte team has always been there for me.”

Julie Brown, CFO & COO of Burberry plc