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The podcast featuring finance leaders driving change within their organizations.

May 16, 2021

Space is not typically the realm that CFOs point to when we ask about experiences that prepared them for a finance leadership role.

However, the first 10 years of Alex Amezquita’s professional life frequently involved celestial spaces.

“I was an engineer and chip designer, and some of those chips are floating around space on satellites right now, as we speak,” explains Amezquita, who served in a succession of senior chip designer roles before returning to graduate school for an MBA.

“As a designer, it’s all about problem-solving, or, ‘How do I get from point A to point B in a very structured way?,'” comments Amezquita, before making a thoughtful comparison between chip design and finance.  

“Finance leadership is about taking unstructured information and figuring out how to make it fit into a budget or P&L or message that we can share with the public or our management team or operators,” continues Amezquita, whose post-MBA career has largely been spent inside the investment banking realm’s mergers and acquisitions wing.

“These sets of problems often involve human capital and transactions and  ‘How do you arrive at a solution that works for both buyers and sellers?,’” observes Amezquita, who, shortly after joining investment banking firm Moelis & Company, acquired Herbalife Nutrition as a client back in 2012.

Looking back, Amezquita says that his advisor role allowed him to become a Herbalife “business partner,” which in turn found him beginning to observe more closely the Herbalife team’s approach to strategic decision-making.    

“I got to see how they managed the company in various situations and how they worked together as a team, so for me it was like being on a 5-year interview in reverse,” recalls Amezquita, who in 2017 joined Herbalife by accepting a finance position that the company dubbed “second to the CFO.”  

“There were no promises made about the CFO role, but I jumped at the opportunity. I just felt that from where the company had come and where it was headed, I could learn from the CFO,” reports Amezquita, who 3 years later would step into the CFO role himself. –Jack Sweeney

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