CFO Day will pit man against machine in the fight to lead business


South Africa’s leading finance execs will settle the big debate about who will lead the future: CFOs or AI.

The rise of technologies like ChatGPT has catapulted the capabilities of AI into the people space. But finance has been automating tasks for some time, and knows that there’s a time and a place for AI, and a time to let people take centre stage.

On 5 July, CFO South Africa will be hosting its annual CFO Day, the essential full-day learning and networking experience for the country’s most influential finance executives. The day will take place at The Leonardo in Sandton, with a three-course lunch being served from the hotel’s widely celebrated Aurum restaurant.

This year, attendees will hear speakers like Absa group FD Jason Quinn, Discovery Group CFO Deon Viljoen, Zeda CFO Thobeka Ntshiza and Afrimat CEO Andries van Heerden talk about how they are finding the balance between people and technology.

The day will also include live experiences with AI, including a walkthrough of the metaverse with VR creative technologist Dale Deacon, and a look into the future, where AI and people will be working side by side, together with TomorrowToday global founder and futurist Graeme Codrington.

But the real debate of the evening is whether AI will end up being better leaders in a decade. UK Professor of Practice and author Steven Sidley, BDO South Africa director of business development Pat Mokgatle and Microsoft South Africa CFO Welela Dawit will discuss whether AI has come to replace us, whereas Exxaro FD Riaan Koppeschaar and TransUnion Africa CFO Sharon Naidoo will argue the opposite.

Once the outcome has been settled, attendees will take to the African skies as they enjoy drinks at the country’s highest urban bar, Alto234.

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