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VW Group Latin America CFO sees role as “steward” and “navigator.”

 

BY JOSEPH A. MANN, JR.

 

For Oliver Harmann, CFO at Volkswagen Group Latin America Inc., the chief financial officer’s position has evolved in recent decades.


“The role of the CFO/Controller has changed dramatically in the last 20 years,” says Harmann, who came to VW Group Latin America in 2007 as manager of financial controls and was promoted to CFO in 2009.  The CFO’s responsibilities have moved from being an administrator or “introverted bean counter” in Harmann’s words, “who distributed tirades of numbers to the business units without really focusing on needs and wants, to the business partner who has two different mindsets: steward and navigator,” says Harman, an industrial engineer with a degree from Berlin’s Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management.

As a steward, he noted, the CFO still...

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