Nvidia’s CFO has been ‘instrumental’ in success and ‘key to Jensen’s vision,’ top analyst says (2024)

Good morning. Nvidia on Tuesday surpassed Microsoft to become the most valuable company in the world, reaching a market capitalization of $3.34 trillion to edge out Microsoft’s $3.32 trillion.

In the first week of June, CEO Jensen Huang saw his firm hit a $3 trillion market cap for the first time, surpassing Apple. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker, whose highly sought-after semiconductors help power AI-related computing tasks at massive data centers, has dominated the market. Over the past year, shares of Nvidia have surged more than 200%.

The Godfather of AI, Jensen, and Nvidia are leading this AI revolution, and it’s a race to $4 trillion market cap—with Nvidia, Microsoft, and Apple battling for the No. 1 spot,” Dan Ives, managing partner at Wedbush Securities, told me on Tuesday.

Huang cofounded Nvidia in 1993 with Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem. About 34.5% of the S&P 500’s market cap gains so far this year can be attributed to Nvidia alone, according to Apollo Global Management chief economist Torsten Sløk, Fortune previously reported.

On May 22, Nvidia reported results for the quarter ended April 28, and it showed no signs of slowing down. On the earnings call, Nvidia EVP and CFO Colette Kress said revenue for the quarter was $26 billion, up 18% sequentially and up 262% year on year, and well above the company’s outlook of $24 billion.

“The CFO leadership at Nvidia from Colette Kress has been instrumental in Nvidia’s success with Wall Street, and is key to Jensen’s vision,” Ives told me. “She is extremely well respected both internally at Nvidia and across the tech industry.”

Kress joined Nvidia in 2013 as CFO after serving nearly 25 years in a range of finance roles at major technology companies. She previously was CFO of Cisco’s Business Technology and Operations Finance organization, and she spent 13 years at Microsoft, including four years as CFO of the server and tools division.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Kress in 2022, and we discussed how the rest of her career prepared her to move to Nvidia.

Here’s what she told me:

“My career background did serve me well. When I started at Nvidia, it was the smallest company that I’d ever worked for. It’s gotten quite large, but the focus is on how do you think about the future and make sure we’re ready for it to scale?

“Some of the techniques and processes have to be transformed over time as the company scales. How do we digitize manual processes? Our fast growth rate has put that front and center for us. Particularly, in my role leading finance, and the sister and brother organizations around me, I’m looking to them to say, ‘Hey, we need to revise a process, how the functions work together, to create digital solutions.’

“When looking back at my career of 30-plus years, what’s fascinating now is there are so many different ways to do things that never existed—even at some of the largest companies that I’ve worked at in the past.”

She now works at the largest company. And she’s clearly a big reason why.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

Leaderboard

Jason Bengel was promoted to CFO at LendingTree, Inc. (Nasdaq: TREE), an online financial services marketplace, effective Aug. 9, following the departure of CFO Trent Ziegler, who is pursuing a new opportunity outside the company. Bengel, currently a senior vice president at LendingTree, joined the company in 2018 as VP of financial planning and analysis.

Timothy Lorber was named CFO at Shuttle Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SHPH). The company’s currentCFO, Michael Vander Hoek, will be transitioning out of his roleto a VP of regulatory position.Lorber has more than 40 years of professional finance experience, including 15 years with Legg Mason, Inc., where he served as a managing director and chief accounting officer. Before that, he served as internal audit director of Freddie Mac.

Big Deal

Are virtual meetings still effective? Hybrid Work Has Changed Meetings Forever, a new report in Harvard Business Review, explores this topic The authors, Mike Tolliver and Jonathan Sass, from analytics firm Vyopta, analyzed 40 million virtual meetings from 11 organizations, spanning more than 450,000 unique employees. Some key findings: Returning to the office did not reduce virtual meetings; “no-participation rates” in small group meetings are increasing; and meeting participation and camera usage correlates with retention.

Going deeper

The inauguralFortune Southeast Asia500was released this week. It's Fortune’s first-ever ranking of the largest companies in Southeast Asia, and reflects a dynamic and fast-changing region—one that boasts a GDP of $4trillion. You can read more about the companies here.

Overheard

“Much has been said about Boeing’s culture. We’ve heard those concerns loud and clear. Our culture is far from perfect, but we are taking action and making progress.”

—Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told a Senate panel on Tuesday amid questioning over the company’s safety and quality lapses and whistleblower allegations, CNBC reported.

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Nvidia’s CFO has been ‘instrumental’ in success and ‘key to Jensen’s vision,’ top analyst says (2024)
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