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CFO King: Paul Harrison, Ruling Autostore

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TLDR: Paul Harrison, the CFO of AutoStore, a technology company specializing in order-fulfillment solutions, discussed the challenges and responsibilities of his role in a recent interview with Global Finance. Harrison highlighted the importance of meeting and knowing stakeholders, navigating interest rate fluctuations, and addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. He also emphasized the need for CFOs to proactively address future challenges and ensure the finance function is aligned with the future business landscape.

In his interview with Global Finance, Paul Harrison, the CFO of AutoStore, discussed his role and responsibilities within the rapidly expanding technology company. Here are some key points from the interview:

  • Harrison emphasized the importance of meeting and knowing stakeholders, such as investors and clients. He emphasized that CFOs now need to be strategic partners to the CEO, engaging with various stakeholders and bringing a well-rounded perspective to support business decisions.
  • When discussing interest rate fluctuations, Harrison noted the challenges faced by a rapidly expanding company. He highlighted the need to strike a balance between short-term challenges and long-term considerations, especially in a market where only 20% of warehouses employ the level of automation offered by AutoStore.
  • Harrison also addressed the evolving importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters. He highlighted AutoStore’s commitment to delivering efficiency to customers through cubic warehousing, which reduces their environmental footprint. He emphasized that AutoStore’s contribution in this aspect sets it apart from other businesses.
  • When asked about what keeps him up at night, Harrison discussed the need for the finance function to be suitable for the present and aligned with the future business landscape. He emphasized the importance of taking a proactive approach and anticipating and addressing future challenges.
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