Jimmy Vassilas started his career in Montreal, Canada. He qualified as a Canadian Chartered Accountant with Deloitte majoring in high tech and telecoms. High tech has remained the focus of his career ever since. Jimmy’s CFO roles include Receipt Bank; Zappi; and most recently SantéVet.
Jimmy joined Autodesk and then moved to Europe temporarily to cover maternity leave. The person on maternity leave never returned to work and Jimmy never returned to Canada. In the episode, we reflect on how unexpected things like this often have the biggest impact on your career path.
His journey takes him from external audit to internal audit. Subsequent job changes take him into FP&A and several senior management roles. Jimmy achieved many of these by moving horizontally rather than vertically within Autodesk, eventually becoming Autodesk’s finance director.
- Jimmy Vassilas on LinkedIn
- Kevin Appleby on LinkedIn
- GrowCFO CFO Competency Framework
- Find out more about becoming a CFO
01:21 Jimmy’s early career in audit
05:35 Internal audit to FP&A and 17 years in Autodesk
07:35 Are horizontal moves worth taking?
08:49 The 9 competencies of a CFO
09:29 The number one complaint CEOs have about CFOs
11:26 Is 17 years too long in a single organisation?
14:00 So why leave after 17 years?
16:07 Becoming CFO in an organisation funded by venture capital.
19:04 SantéVet and a move to France
20:46 The challenges of being CFO in a high growth tech company
21:49 The importance of shared values within the business
23:11 The importance of being a business partner
25:00 What’s the best advice you would give somebody at the start of their journey?
29:00 The importance of networking and maintaining connections