Coach, Inc. on Driving Profitable Growth


Mike Devine, a speaker at the marcus evans CFO Summit XXIII Fall 2011, discusses the CFO’s role in growth strategy and international expansion.

Interview with: Mike Devine, Executive Vice President and CFO, Coach, Inc.


Traditionally viewed as a financial gatekeeper, the role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) has broadened in recent years beyond the conventional finance function. Today, CFOs are positioned to advise on how to grow profitably through the exploration of new geographies and the introduction of value-oriented price points.

A speaker at the marcus evans CFO Summit XXIII Fall 2011, taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 10-12, Devine speaks on the importance of a CFO in leading a corporation’s growth path and capturing new markets.  

How can the CFO promote growth and open avenues to new markets? 

Mike Devine: CFOs need to play an active role in making sure that their organization drives profitable growth. During the economic downturn, we came to the realization that we needed to push growth in international markets, where we were not as mature. Presenting an even greater value to our consumers would also incentivize them to purchase more.

CFOs play a major role in making sure that value is delivered to consumers at acceptable rates of profitability. They can be active in pushing an organization’s growth internationally, by helping provide the infrastructure for expansion in new markets, and negotiating with third parties to help accelerate the pace of growth.

CFOs are also important for making sure standardized, repeatable processes are implemented to ensure efficiency, so the company can move to profitability quickly in new geographic markets.

How can the CFO maintain profitability and efficiency while the company is growing?

Mike Devine: The CFO needs to partner with the operators of the business to make sure they maintain their focus and implement the right strategies.

It should not be growth for growth’s sake, but profitable growth. The CFO has to be active in the day-to-day tactics of the business.

Do you think that CFOs excessively focus on financial risk management, overlooking other important functions?

Mike Devine: That can be a common flaw in a financial organization, but it is critical that the CFO be more than just a risk mitigator, they must also help drive growth.

At times, CFOs and finance organizations spend too much of their time keeping score of the business and trying to eliminate risk. In my opinion, successful CFOs do not strive to eliminate all risks, but help the company find the optimal risk and reward balance.

What obstacles and risks do CFOs face when it comes to growth and international expansion?

Mike Devine: Maintaining the appropriate financial controls and processes in distant geographies whilst initiating in different countries is often challenging.

The finance team can help determine the right market entry strategy. Should they enter an already established market or expand into a new one? Would it be better to form a joint venture or a distribution agreement with a third party?

What are the main criteria for international expansion?

Mike Devine: To determine whether operating in a certain country would be profitable, we must conduct market research to see if the market is large enough to support a profitable business. Only then do we make the effort to expand into that market.

Contact: Veronica Diaz, Journalist, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 347

About the CFO Summit XXIII Fall 2011

This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 10-12, 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on how innovation can transform finance organizations, the CFOs role in growth and international expansion and the 2012 financial landscape.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

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Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

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