Bruce Besanko, EVP, Chief Financial Officer, & Chief Administrative Officer of OfficeMax

July 05, 2010

Among other topics, Bruce discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy

  • How the most important thing in defining a relationship between a CFO and CIO is the establishment of communication and transparency to build trust
  • The four ways in which a CIO must demonstrate the value of a project
  • The multiple resources models IT can employ when structuring its staff
  • The important considerations when outsourcing
  • The potential pros and cons of the various reporting relationships between the CIO and the CFO vs. the COO vs. the CEO
  • The potential for the iPad and virtualization/cloud computing to provide agility to the workforce


Bruce Besanko’s Biography

Bruce is the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer of OfficeMax, Inc. With revenue of approximately $8 billion, OfficeMax is a global supplier of office supplies and services with operations in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. As CFO and CAO, Bruce oversees the company’s global financial and administrative activities including controllership, tax treasury, analysis, investor relations, strategy, corporate development, procurement, compensation, internal audit, loss prevention, and financial operations.

Before joining OfficeMax, Bruce served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Circuit City Stores, Inc from 2007 to 2009. Prior to his time with Circuit City, Bruce was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Yankee Candle Company, Inc. as well as Vice President, Finance and Controller for Best Buy, Inc. He also spent time in a variety of roles with Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Atlantic Richfield Co.

Bruce has served on the Finance Executive’s Council of the National Retail Federation and has been featured in business periodicals including Forbes magazine and Harvard Business Review. He is a current member of the Chicago area “CFO Select”, an organization of principal financial officers from leading Chicago-area large public companies. He also serves on the Governing Body of the CFO Executive Summit. He has served on the boards of directors for Mass Mentoring; United Way of Western Massachusetts; and Minnesota Mentoring.

In addition to his financial experience, Bruce has served in the United States Air Force for more than 25 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 2003, Bruce received the Air Medal for numerous aerial combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Bruce received his Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

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