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16 November 2011

Norman Thomson - CFO Woolworths: `Courage and integrity are key characteristics`

CFO South Africa interviewed a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. Meet Norman Thomson, CFO of Woolworths, one of South Africa’s largest chain of retail stores. Woolworths staffs 18000 people, of which 240 at the financial department of the Johannesburg based head office. Woolworths currently has a yearly turnover of R25.8bn and makes R2.3bn profit before tax (pbt). After having completed a B Com at Rhodes University, Norman pursued a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) at the University of the Witwatersrand. After serving in one or two roles as Finance Manager and Finance Director of a Woolworths group subsidiary, Norman moved into the world of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It was in this capacity that he joined Woolworths 20 years ago, to make a comeback into the world of finance only a decade later, when he was appointed Finance Director of Woolworths ten years ago.

14 November 2011

Four faces of the CFO

Today’s CFOs are under more pressure than ever. Economic uncertainty, increased regulatory requirements, financial restatements and increased investor scrutiny have forced them into the spotlight. At the same time, they face never-ending pressure to cut costs, grow revenue, ensure controls, and are even put at personal risk for the company’s mistakes. Given these pressures, it’s no wonder that CFO turnover is on the rise and the role is under greater scrutiny, internally and externally.

10 November 2011

Alex Smith - CFO Altron: "Yes You Can"

CFO South Africa has interviewed a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. Meet Alex Smith, CFO of Altron, a large South African investment holding company. Altron currently staffs around 13.000 people, and has a turnover of R23 billion. Alex joined Altron in 2006 and appointed to the CFO role in August 2008. Scottish Alex was trained as a CA in Edinburgh, Scotland with Price Waterhouse, after having done a law degree at Edinburgh University. He came out to South Africa on a two year secondment in 1995 and “never looked back!” He worked for PwC in South Africa through to 2005, spending eight years in their transaction services department doing a wide range of financial due diligences, before moving to Altron at the beginning of 2006 as Group Financial Manager.

04 November 2011

Vodacom announces changes to Group Board of Directors

Vodacom today announced changes to its Group Board of Directors. Tom Boardman has stepped down from the Board with effect from 30 October 2011, in the light of his other commitments. Vodafone Group Commercial Director Morten Lundal has stepped down from the Board with effect from 3 November 2011 and has been replaced by Ms Karen Witts (MA, ACA (UK)) with effect from 4 November 2011. Karen is the Regional Chief Financial Officer of Vodafone: Africa, Middle East, Asia and Asia Pacific. Karen joined Vodafone on 1 June 2010 and was the former Chief Financial Officer of BT Retail and Managing Director: Enterprises at British Telecom.

03 November 2011

Bruce Sneddon - CFO Auction Alliance: `Finance will only be one part of the role of the future CFO`

CFO South Africa has interviewed a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. Next in our series is Bruce Sneddon, CFO of Auction Alliance, one of South Africa’s leading auction services groups, staffing 175 people and a turnover of R300m. Bruce joined Auction Alliance in his capacity as Chief Financial Officer in December 2009. As a qualified Chartered Accountant, Mr. Sneddon completed both his under- and post-graduate studies at UCT, followed by his articles at Deloitte. Prior to his position at Alliance Group, Bruce acted as CFO at Integer, Finance Executive at Truworths, CEO and former Group Financial Director at Appleton, as well as being Group Accountant for Norwich Holdings. 1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

02 November 2011

7 Essential habits for personal effectiveness

Ever heard of the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey? You should! We think it is one of the best, well, at least one of the best selling management books ever – an impressive 22 million copies were sold so far. Here’s the first vital lesson; the difference between being effective and being efficient. Being effective means doing the right things, whereas being efficient implies doing things right. What do you find important? Which are your personal values? Those are the typical questions you need to be able to answer in order to do things effectively, to be effective. The closer you are to your personal values, the easier you will find it to master Covey’s 7 habits of high effectiveness.

26 October 2011

Paul O'Flaherty - CFO Eskom: `Companies have great strategies but fail in executing them appropriately`

CFO South Africa is interviewing a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. From now on, we will publish them on our site regularly. Next in our series is Mr. Paul O’Flaherty, CFO of Eskom, a company staffing 42,000 people, which he joined in January 2010. He was appointed to the Board as executive director responsible for the finance function overseeing nearly 3.000 employers in the finance and shared services departments.

28 September 2011

South African CFO remains cautious

Although the crisis in Europe and the United States might seem far away, they are very, very close. South African CFOs are very aware of that, proves the 2011 Deloitte CFO Survey. “South African CFOs are cautious about the future, perhaps wisely so.” The survey reveals that while the 2009 recession may be over, CFOs are only dipping their toes into the growth pool, while keeping a careful eye on costs and margins. The aftermath of the financial crisis has brought with it an additional regulatory burden which is at risk of stifling growth.

30 November 1999

Compleo Business Solutions and Compleo Print choose SAP Business One best practices across entire group

Having originally implemented SAP Business One in 2006 within Compleo Print, it became clear that the remaining businesses in the group were not enjoying as rich a functionality, which led to concerns over data integrity and reporting capability, as well as a distinct lack of integration. An almost fatal server crash in 2011 prompted the business as a whole to review its ERP technology infrastructure in order to ensure business continuity long into the future. Founded in 1999 as a strategic Xerox partner, Prodoc Business Solutions, recently renamed Compleo Business Solutions, has played a key role in positioning Xerox as a leading brand and supplier of quality printing equipment and related consumables in South Africa. A growing market, together with the opportunity to expand to a more holistic offering, saw the launch of Prodoc Business Systems, embracing a more service focused approach. In 2006, Compleo Print, a digital print company, was also launched. Operating in a B2B environment, the group works with a wide range of companies across multiple business sectors including agriculture, healthcare and government, to name but a few. “Xerox products range from efficient desktop devices right up to large, sophisticated multi-million Rand production print equipment,” explains Richard Attwell (pictured), founder and managing director. This se

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