10 questions for Nair & Co. CFO John Sullivan

Name: John Sullivan

Age: 46

Time with company: three years

Education: BA (Honors) in Business and is a U.K. chartered Accountant (ACA)

Company headquarters: Sunnyvale, California

Number of countries: more than 50

Number of employees total: 400+

Number CFO oversees: 1

About the company: Nair & Co. is an international IT services outsourcing firm that provides an integrated solution in the HR, finance, tax, compliance and legal arenas designed to make a company's overseas operations less risky, stress free and more strategic. Its website is http://www.nair-co.com/Default.aspx

1. Where did you start in finance and what experiences led you to the job you have today?

I started in a standard three-year training contract in the City of London followed by a move to industry through a traditional entry point -- internal audit. Multiple head-office roles including MA were followed by a move to Operations, ultimately becoming EMEA controller for a $750 million Group.

However, working within such a large Group had its frustrations -- long lines of command, slow response times, and as such I looked around for something more entrepreneurial, and it is in that sector I have worked for the last 10 years -- young, fast-growth entrepreneurial companies with an international outlook.

2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?

I guess it was the fact that I worked with so many influences both while training and during my early career that has shaped my own approach to work -- I try to create as calm an environment in which to evaluate the challenges of the moment, at least from an outward appearance, and as Mr. [Stephen] Covey says, understand first, then be understood.

3. What are the biggest challenges facing CFOs today?

I would have to say the recession, assisting the management team and business as a whole to negotiate the challenges of the recession, minimizing risks, controlling costs, etcetera, while never losing sight of where the company is going; making sure overall strategy remains on track and ensuring the tools and resources are in place.

4. What is a good day at work like for you?

A plan to resolve a tough decision.

5. How would you characterize your management style?

Open door.

6. What is it about your current job, at this particular company, that sets it apart from other chief finance positions?

Being located in that entrepreneurial sector where change is constant and opportunity abounds, it is the fact that no two days are the same and the remit is as broad as you make it -- that sets my role apart from many.

7. What strengths/qualities do you look for in job candidates?

The technical aspect is a given -- for me it is all about personality -- what that person can bring to the existing team.

8. What are some of your favorite interview questions or techniques to elicit information to determine whether a candidate will be successful at your company?

That's a trade secret, but in essence it is likely to be something obscure, geared to see how they react.

9. What sort of answers send up red flags for you and make you think a job candidate wouldn't be a good fit?

A well-practiced textbook answer delivered without conviction and little substance in the ensuing conversation.

10. What do you do to unwind from a hectic day?

A long drive home with the volume turned up clears the head and puts me in a frame of mind to enjoy family and my dogs on my return to home.

11. If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?

Running a contemporary art gallery by the sea -- art is my other great passion.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Nair & Co.CFO CareersJohn Sullivanbusiness management

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Weil

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?