Broadcom is a company that prides itself on its alpha-geek cred: Its employee base is made up mostly of engineers (more than 90 percent of the some 11,000 global workers have engineering backgrounds), many with advanced degrees, industry accolades and long paper trails at the U.S. Patent Office.
Most of the folks in the C-suite have engineering chops, too, including Broadcom Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Eric Brandt. Brandt was profiled this week in the latest issue of CFO Journal, a long-running feature in the Wall Street Journal. In fact, “thinking like an engineer,” is what enables Brandt to keep his edge when forecasting the company’s finances to the Street and industry analysts, the story said.
From the article:
“Like the acceleration equations he learned in physics classes, business trends rarely move in a single direction and face impacts from forces both inside and outside of the company,” Mr. Brandt said. So as CFO, he said he tries to “identify the direction” the performance of the business is moving in by focusing on the rates of change of those trends.”
The profile touched on Brandt’s background in chemical engineering and his years working in the pharmaceutical industry. It also recognized his impressive track record — he has had to adjust revenue guidance only once since he joined the company in 2007 — with quarterly revenue projections: “We will evaluate our revenue right up until the morning of our revenue release if we think something’s changed,” Brandt said in the story.
Brandt talks shop about his particular focus on rates of change for metrics, his attention to macro trends and Broadcom’s commitment to research and development spending in the full story.