GrowCFO Show

GrowCFO Show

#85 My Journey from Big 4 Auditor to CFO with Jimmy Vassilas, CFO at SantéVet

June 07, 2022

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 LinkedInKevin Appleby on LinkedInGrowCFO CFO Competency FrameworkFind 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