@Work Spotlight: Balancing Current Challenges with Future Opportunities

Balancing Current Challenges with Future Opportunities

In today’s uncertain business climate, there is a focus on cost containment to weather the storm, but also a need for executives position their organizations for future growth. The CNBC @Work CFO Spotlight will examine how top finance leaders are successfully striking this balance. We’ll discuss: lessons learned during the current crisis that can be applied permanently; the strategies, data and automation tools that can be leveraged to help manage uncertainty and lead to a stronger post-crisis posture; how to effectively engage employees, customers, and investors; and much more.

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Robin Washington

Ms. Washington joined Gilead in 2008 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer where she oversees the Global Finance and Information Technology organizations. Ms. Washington was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2014. Ms. Washington was previously Chief Financial Officer of Hyperion Solutions, which was acquired by Oracle Corporation in March 2007. Prior to that, Ms. Washington served in a number of executive positions with PeopleSoft, most recently in the role of Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller. Ms. Washington previously served on the Board of Directors of Tektronix, Inc. (acquired by Danaher), the Board of Directors of MIPS Technologies Inc. (acquired by Imagination), and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of Honeywell International, the Board of Directors of Salesforce.com, and the Board of Visitors, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University.

Ms. Washington is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a MBA from Pepperdine University.

Harmit Singh

Harmit Singh is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Levi Strauss & Co. He is responsible for managing the company’s finance, information technology, strategic sourcing and global business services functions globally. This includes: financial planning and analysis, strategic planning and corporate development, accounting and controls, tax, enterprise risk management, treasury, internal audit, and investor relations.

Harmit is a seasoned financial executive with more than 30 years of experience in driving growth for global consumer brands. Throughout his career, he has worked at companies that serve consumers in the hospitality, restaurant, travel and financial industries.

Prior to joining LS&Co. in January 2013, Harmit served as chief financial officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he successfully established a global financial structure, took the company public, built a strong balance sheet, and drove growth by supporting capital deployment for acquisitions and investments.

Before Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Harmit held various global leadership roles at Yum! Brand foods, the world’s largest restaurant company, including CFO of Pizza Hut U.S. and CFO of Yum Restaurants International. Early in his career, Harmit also worked at American Express India and Price Waterhouse in India.

Harmit holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, and is a chartered accountant from India. In 2019, he joined the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) project, helping to establish the U.S. Chapter of the organization and mobilize other prominent financial leaders to promote the business case for sustainability. He is also a proud member of the CNBC Global CFO Council and the Wall Street Journal CFO Network and World 50 (a private community for C-level executives at globally respected organizations). In 2018, Harmit was named to the board of OpenText, a global enterprise information management software company. He previously served on the board of directors for Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.

Annie Duke

Annie Duke has leveraged her expertise in the science of smart decision making to excel at pursuits as varied as championship poker to public speaking. Annie’s latest book, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices, is available on September 15, 2020 from Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint. Her previous book, Thinking in Bets, is a national bestseller. In the book, Annie reveals to readers the lessons she regularly shares with her corporate audiences, which have been cultivated by combining her academic studies in cognitive psychology with real-life decision making experiences at the poker table.

For two decades, Annie was one of the top poker players in the world. In 2004, she bested a field of 234 players to win her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. The same year, she triumphed in the $2 million winnertake-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions. In 2010, she won the prestigious NBC National HeadsUp Poker Championship. She retired from the game in 2012. Prior to becoming a professional poker player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of
Pennsylvania, where she earned her master’s degree.

Annie now spends her time writing, coaching and speaking on a range of topics such as decision fitness, emotional control, productive decision groups and embracing uncertainty. She is a regularly sought-after public speaker, addressing thousands in keynote remarks at conferences for organizations ranging from the Investment Management Consultants Association to the Big Ten Conference. She has been brought in to speak to the executive teams or sales forces of organizations like Marriott, Gaylord Resorts and Ultimate Software, among others. She is a sought-after speaker in the financial sector, with clients such as Susqehanna International Group and CitiBank. Annie regularly shares her observations on decision making and critical thinking skills on her blog, Annie’s Analysis, and has shared her poker knowledge through a series of best-selling poker instruction and theory books, including Decide to Play Great Poker and The Middle Zone: Mastering the Most difficult Hands in Hold’em Poker (both co-authored with John Vorhaus).

Annie is a master storyteller, having performed three times for The Moth, an organization that preserves the art of spoken word storytelling. One of her stories was selected by The Moth as one of their top 50 stories and featured in the organization’s first-ever book. Her passion for making a difference has helped raise millions for charitable causes. In 2006, she founded Ante Up for Africa along with actor Don Cheadle and Norman Epstein, which has raised more than $4 million for Africans in need. She has also served on the board of The Decision Education Foundation. In 2009, she appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice, and raised $730,000 for Refugees International, a charity that advocates for refugees around the world. In October 2013, Annie became a national board member for After School All-Stars. In 2014, Annie co-founded The Alliance for Decision Education to build a national movement that empowers teachers, school administrators and policymakers to bring Decision Education to every Middle and High School student. In 2016, she began serving on the board of directors of The Franklin Institute, one of America’s oldest and greatest science museums. In 2020, she joined the board of the Renew Democracy Initiative.

Annie currently resides in the Philadelphia area. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn and visit her website.

Kathy Waller

Kathy Waller is a Chief Financial Officer and Board Member with over 35 years of broad financial and operational leadership experience within the consumer and retail sectors. She has a proven track record of success in driving transformations, delivering strong financial performance and forming strong relationships with investors and industry analysts. She has extensive knowledge across all areas of finance, including financial planning, investor relations, M&A, accounting, treasury and tax. She also serves on several public and private company boards.

Waller retired in March 2019 after 32 years with The Coca-Cola Company where she was the Chief Financial Officer and President, Enabling Services. In these roles, Waller led the company’s global finance, technical and shared services organizations, and represented the company to investors, lenders and rating agencies. Waller also serves as a Board member for Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL), CGI Group (NYSE: GIB), Cadence Bancorporation (NYSE:CADE) and Beyond Meat.

Waller joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1987 as a Senior Accountant, and assumed roles of increasing responsibility, including Principal Accountant for the Northeast Europe/Africa Group, Marketing Controller for the McDonald’s Group, Vice President, Chief of Internal Audit and Vice President, Controller.
She was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2014 and added the role of President of Enabling Services in 2017. In addition to her c-suite role, Waller was the founding chair of The Coca-Cola Company’s Women’s Leadership Council.

Along with her public board responsibilities, Waller is a member of the Board of Trustees of The University of Rochester, Spelman College, The Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and Achieve Atlanta. Prior to her retirement she served as Vice Chair of the Advisory Board of Catalyst, a global nonprofit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women.

Waller holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Rochester and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Marty Chavez

R. Martin (“Marty”) Chavez, Ph.D. is widely renowned as a trailblazer and leader who turned the Wall Street trading business into a software business, revolutionizing the way that capital moves and works. He is a partner and vice chairman of Sixth Street Partners, where he works on research and development; diversity, equity, and inclusion; the sourcing engine; and the More Than Capital business, driving deeper engagement with the portfolio companies. Before joining Sixth Street, Marty served in a variety of senior roles at Goldman Sachs, including Chief Information Officer, where he oversaw the firm’s 9,000 engineers; Chief Financial Officer; and global co-head of the firm’s Securities (now Global Markets) Division. Marty was also a partner and member of the Goldman Sachs management committee.

Marty has achieved singular acclaim in the financial-services industry for his work on SecDB, an early platform that transformed the trading business into a software business. He is also known for bringing the front and back offices together. By training, he is a computer scientist who successfully advocated for the elevation of engineers. Yet Marty is also a highly regarded investor in his own right, leveraging his background in machine learning to push the industry forward.

Far from the stereotype of a banker, Marty is a disrupter at heart. He was among the most senior Latinos on Wall Street, as well as the most senior openly gay executive at Goldman Sachs. In 2016, a New York Times profile described Marty as “a departure in sensibility from the buttoned-down partners of Goldman lore.”

Adept in both Wall Street and Silicon Valley, Marty co-founded San Francisco start-up, Quorum Software Systems. Later, he was CEO of Kiodex, a New York risk management systems company that SunGard Data Systems acquired in 2004.

Beyond finance, Marty has long held a passion for converging the life sciences and software, and has an eye for new applications of AI and technology that will transform industries. Since retiring from Goldman Sachs, Marty serves as an advisor and board member to multiple startups and projects that are accelerating breakthroughs in their fields.

Marty serves on the Board of Directors of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). In addition, he chairs the Board of Directors of Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:RXRX), a digital biology company industrializing drug discovery by harnessing the power of cloud-based machine learning models. He advises numerous other companies, including Abacus.AI, an AI startup developing new approaches to deep learning; Cambrian Biopharma, a distributed drug discovery company developing medicines to extend healthy lifespans; Earli, which delivers new technologies for identifying and localizing early-stage cancers; and Ketch, which delivers responsive infrastructure for compliance and data security.

Marty serves on the Board of Directors of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows, and the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Previously, he served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University (and as President for the 2020-2021 academic year). He also served on the board of directors of Grupo Santander; the Institute for Advanced Study, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), Paige.AI, PNM Resources, Inc., and Sema4. A passionate patron of the arts, he has served on the boards of the Friends of the High Line, amFAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research), and the Santa Fe Opera. Marty resides in the Berkshires, and is the proud father of two.

He holds an A.B. (1985) magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences and an S.M. (1985) in Computer Science from Harvard, and a Ph.D. (1990) in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford (Architectures and Algorithms for Probabilisti

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Marty was the CEO and co-founder of Kiodex, acquired by Sungard in 2004, and Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Quorum Software Systems. He holds an A.B. (1985) magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences and an S.M. (1985) in Computer Science from Harvard, and a Ph.D. (1990) in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford (Architectures and Algorithms for Probabilistic Expert Systems).

Beyond finance, Marty has long held a passion for converging the life sciences and software. Since retiring from Goldman Sachs, Marty serves as an advisor and board member to multiple startups and projects, including the Digital Dollar Project and RealityEngines.

Marty serves on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University (recently appointed President for the 2020-2021 academic year), the Stanford Medicine Board of Fellows, the Advisory Council of the Stanford Center on Longevity, the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study, Paige.AI, Recursion, Sema4, Santander, and the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of PNM Resources, Inc., and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). In July 2020, it was announced that Marty will serve as a key advisor to Abacus, a San Francisco-based AI startup developing approaches to deep learning. A passionate patron of the arts, he previously served on the boards of the Friends of the High Line, amFAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research), and the Santa Fe Opera. Marty resides in New York City and the Berkshires, and is the proud father of two.

Margaret Keane

Margaret Keane is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Synchrony, one of the nation’s premier consumer financial services companies. She led the company’s successful initial public offering in 2014 and separation from GE in 2015.

With Synchrony, Margaret set out to build a very different kind of financial services company. Through her leadership and vision, she has created a culture of caring, inclusion and innovation at every level, while balancing the needs of all stakeholders—partners, customers, communities, shareholders and more than 17,000 Synchrony employees. She is instrumental in accelerating Synchrony’s growth and diversification across all of its platforms.

Margaret’s passion for emerging technology, innovation and employee development has solidified her reputation as a top leader in financial services. She has been recognized as one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” for the past five years and American Banker’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” for the past 13 years. Fortune also named Margaret to their “Businessperson of the Year” list in 2016 and 2019.

Prior to Synchrony’s founding, Margaret had an 18-year career with GE Capital, where she led the retail card platform as President and CEO. She later expanded her responsibilities to become President and CEO of the GE Capital North American retail finance business. Earlier, she held leadership roles spanning consumer finance, vendor financial services, operations and quality. Margaret spent the first 16 years of her career at Citibank in various leadership roles.

Margaret is dedicated to giving back to the community. As President of the Synchrony Foundation, Margaret developed Synchrony’s citizenship platform, Families That Work, providing support to nonprofits that help low- and moderate-income working families move their lives forward. She also serves on the board and is passionately committed to the work of buildOn, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering urban youth to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations.

Margaret serves on the Allstate Corporation Board of Directors and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Boards of Overseers and Patient Care Committee. She is also a member of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.

Margaret earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from St. John’s University and is a member of the St. John’s University Board of Trustees. She is married with two children.

Matthew Schuyler

Matt Schuyler is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Hilton and leads the company's global human resources organization. Mr. Schuyler joined the company in 2009. Under his leadership, Hilton has been recognized for its exceptional workplace culture, earning the #1 ranking on the Fortune Best Companies to Work For® in the U.S. list for 2019 and 2020 and #2 for Diversity by DiversityInc in 2020. In addition, Hilton has been recognized as the #2 World’s Best Workplace two years in a row (2019 and 2018) and a Great Place to Work in 22 countries including #1 rankings in China, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Peru and Italy.

Prior to Hilton, Mr. Schuyler was Chief Human Resources Officer at Capital One Financial Corporation.

Prior to Capital One, Mr. Schuyler served as a Senior Vice President of Human Resources with Cisco Systems, Inc. and as a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Global Human Resources Group. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Penn State University.

Mr. Schuyler serves as Vice-Chair of the Penn State University Board of Trustees.

Brian Wenzel

Brian Wenzel is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Synchrony. As CFO he oversees accounting and controllership, financial planning and analysis, tax, investor relations and treasury. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial and strategic management, including 21 years at Synchrony (including the time prior to its separation from GE in 2014).

Prior to being appointed to this role in May 2019, Brian was Synchrony’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer, and earlier, the CFO of Synchrony’s Retail Card platform. He was an integral part of the Retail Card leadership team, helping develop and expand key partnerships, while also having responsibility for operating and strategic plans, quarterly operating results, and financial management of new and existing partnerships. Brian continued to strategically diversify and expand this platform to best optimize growth for Synchrony and its partners.

Prior to this role, he held roles in business development, growth and investments for Synchrony and earlier for GE's Treasury and Global Funding Operation. He was also an Assistant Controller for GE’s Consumer North American Finance Business. Before working at GE, Brian worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and held various roles in a start-up healthcare venture.

Robynne Sisco

Robynne Sisco is president and chief financial officer (CFO) at Workday, and oversees the company’s finance, investor relations, legal, and real estate organizations. Prior to expanding her role to president, Robynne served as Workday’s chief financial officer beginning in 2016.

Robynne joined Workday in 2012 as chief accounting officer, bringing more than 30 years of corporate finance and accounting experience to the role. Prior to joining Workday, Robynne was chief accounting officer and corporate controller at VMware, where she was responsible for accounting operations, real estate, and facilities. Before VMware, Robynne served as senior vice president and chief accounting officer at VeriSign and assistant controller at Oracle. She also held senior finance roles at Visa, General Electric, and Ford. Robynne has served on the board of directors for Unity Technologies since 2017.

Robynne holds a Master of Business Administration degree in finance from Golden Gate University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from Claremont McKenna College.

Christa Davies

Christa Davies serves as executive vice president, Global Finance, and chief financial officer for Aon plc, overseeing the firm’s global financial operations. Davies joined Aon in November 2007 as executive vice president, Global Finance, and became chief financial officer in March 2008. Before joining Aon, Davies worked for Microsoft for five years and held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including her last role as chief financial officer of the Platform and Services Division, Microsoft’s largest and most profitable division. Davies is a graduate in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Queensland in Australia, and as a Fulbright Scholar, earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School.


Agenda subject to change

11:45am EDT

Doors Open

12:00pm EDT

Program Start

A Rulebook for the New Reality
That businesses will continue to face economic and social headwinds is certain. Less certain is how these headwinds will manifest and play out. Hear tactics from leading executives on building and executing a game plan amidst uncertainty, while remaining nimble enough to adapt to change as it comes.
Matthew Schuyler, CHRO, Hilton
Harmit Singh, EVP and CFO, Levi Strauss & Co.
Interviewer: Jon Fortt, “Squawk Alley” Co-Anchor, CNBC


Strategy Session: What are the Odds?
Bolster your decision-making tools to achieve successful business outcomes by using strategies from the world of high-stakes poker.
Annie Duke, Decision Strategist and Poker Champion
Interviewer: Dom Chu, Senior Correspondent, CNBC 


Concurrent Sessions

Silver Linings: Learnings From COVID and the New Finance Imperative
Sponsored Session
The Covid-19 pandemic was an eye-opener for many CFOs. While it exposed fault lines in the office of Finance’s current operating model, it also proved that bold change can happen quickly and effectively. Examine ways where finance is using this opportunity to reemerge as a more agile and digitally enabled function.
Christa Davies, CFO and EVP, Global Finance, Aon plc
Robynne Sisco, President and CFO, Workday
Interviewer: Shibani Joshi, Business Journalist


The Finance/Tech Collaboration: A CFOs Role in a Digital Agenda
The onset of the pandemic forced companies across industries to accelerate or re-prioritize their digitization efforts. How do CFOs best coordinate with tech leadership to execute successful, evolving digital strategies while avoiding undue financial strain? Explore solutions with an executive who sat in the seats of both CIO and CFO during his tenure at Goldman Sachs.
R. Martin Chavez, Fmr. CIO and CFO, Goldman Sachs
Interviewer: Jon Fortt, “Squawk Alley” Co-Anchor, CNBC


Leading with Empathy: Balancing the Needs of a Company and its People
A top priority for CFOs in today’s uncertain environment is financial stability, but there are two sides to every decision: where the money flows and where it doesn’t. Sometimes the tough calls have broad and potentially lasting workforce impacts. How do finance leaders navigate these tough waters while positioning for solid footing and seizing opportunities for future growth?
Kathy Waller, Fmr. CFO, Coca-Cola Company
Robin Washington
, Fmr. CFO, Gilead
Interviewer: Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, CNBC


A Workforce-First Agenda
Our COVID-19 reality took work-life balance and thrust it head-on into a world of ongoing work-life integration. However, this new reality has the potential to substantially impact an employee’s productivity… and affect an organization’s ability to thrive. Hear how top leadership at one company successfully met this challenge and adopted sustainable changes to get through these tough times and beyond.
Margaret Keane, CEO, Synchrony
Brian Wenzel, EVP and CFO, Synchrony
Interviewer: Tyler Mathisen, Co-anchor, “Power Lunch”; Vice President, Events Strategy, CNBC

1:30pm EDT

Program Concludes


Learn from game-changing organizations who are using powerful new technologies to prepare their employees for the future and enhance their bottom line.


CFOs and other top executives who play a critical role building the teams of tomorrow that will leverage tech at scale.


Companies are only just beginning to leverage technologies that we now know are the most critical to thrive in changing times. Gather insights and be at the forefront of transformative discourse about the new convergence of technology and driving better outcomes, with an unmatched audience of peers.


Learn More

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