CFO Corner With CNH Industrial’s Oddone Incisa

Oddone Incisa was appointed chief financial officer of CNH Industrial in March 2020, after having led the financial services arm of the company for seven years. In 2021, under the leadership of new CEO Scott Wine and bolstered by the $2.1 billion acquisition of Raven, CNH solidified its expansion. Early in 2022, CNH undertook a division of its operations, separating its Iveco truck and engine business to focus on its agriculture and construction segments. In late 2023, CNH ended its dual-listing structure, opting for a single listing on the NYSE and exiting the Italian stock market. Incisa talked with Global Finance.

Global Finance: What kept you busy during the four years since you have been CFO at CNH?

Oddone Incisa: During the early months of the Covid pandemic, our main priority was maintaining operations. As I adapted to my new position, attention shifted to managing supply chain constraints, ensuring our plants had adequate resources to meet the growing customer demand. Today, my role encompasses so much more, and my commitment lies in analyzing the long-term evolution of both demand and our products.

GF: And nowadays, what keeps you busy?

Incisa: We are currently revising our cost basis and, as a result, we must make some difficult decisions. It’s crucial to transparently communicate the reasons behind these actions to our team and to approach them with rationality. Cost reductions must be executed with precision. This entails avoiding cuts in areas critical for future growth, as doing so could undermine our long-term prospects.

GF: What keeps you up at night?

Incisa: I’m always thinking about the growth of the company—how to fuel growth and how to make sure that my team is prepared to support and facilitate this growth.

GF: How important is for you to have a top team, and what do you do to get it?

Incisa: It’s about picking the right people for the right roles, rotating junior staff in different positions, and training. But also having a succession plan. There are a few people who could step into my job if needed. Of course, no two individuals are entirely alike, and I would not want to work with a copy of myself. But I believe that more than one person could effectively step in and replace me. We have some great talent.

GF: What would you suggest to a young professional who is interested in being a CFO?

Incisa: I recommend that you immerse yourself in various aspects of finance. Gain a deep understanding of the nitty-gritty details and be able to comprehend the implications of your actions. Having experience in accounting and treasury is crucial, as is familiarity with FP&A (data and analytics), or controlling. Additionally, I believe that job rotation in finance is highly valuable to build a broader skill set and grow professionally.

GF: As a European working at a multinational company with a strong US presence, you likely have first-hand experience with the differing perceptions of environmental, social and governance factors between the two continents. Can you share your insights on this contrast?

Incisa: As ESG is increasingly becoming a divisive topic, companies must strike a delicate balance, given the diverse range of customers and stakeholders they serve. Our primary focus should be on aligning shareholder interest with stakeholder objectives. Fostering a corporate culture that embraces good governance, diversity and inclusion, and environmental and social responsibility is paramount. It’s crucial to be mindful of the societal impact of our actions. We are a recognized leader in our industry for our ESG efforts. We never make decisions based exclusively on ESG drivers but try to align them with our company goals.