Travelling Into The Future Of Finance: A Q&A With Trivago’s CFO

The COVID-19 predicament disrupted many industries, yet transport was one of a many affected. For a association whose business rests on people all over a universe being mobile, a tellurian shutdown of tellurian transformation can be devastating. Luckily, many transport and liberality companies were means to navigate this plea and learn critical lessons about predicament government along a way, including a tellurian transport record association trivago. In a new QA, we asked trivago CFO Matthias Tillmann not usually about COVID-19 yet how he helps urge his company’s financial duty by sublime tellurian collateral government and harnessing information to surprise decision-making.

Jeff Thomson: trivago’s business indication is formed on tellurian transport and hospitality. The COVID-19 predicament disrupted this attention immensely, inspiring all from atmosphere transport to hotel accommodations. What were a evident stairs we took to safeguard business smoothness during your company? What predicament government skeleton did we have in place? Did your workforce have to pierce to remote working?

Matthias Tillmann: When a conditions is changing so quickly, CFOs contingency stay nimble and stretchable during times of uncertainty. Among a initial financial stairs we took was to have a tighten demeanour during a association cost structure. The infancy of a cost is in marketing, and while we are stretchable in a opening selling channels and pulled behind automatically, we also looked during a bound yearly costs and code selling commitments. We pulled TV ads in influenced marketplaces (starting with Asia), practiced a code selling spend and pushed bill into a entrance quarters. Aside from a need for cost cutting, with each nation influenced by COVID-19, selling for people to transport during a time like that didn’t send a right message. 

Also, to safeguard a reserve of a employees, while progressing business as usual, we instated a remote operative process in mid-March. It was a finish change in government character as we had roughly all a employees operative from a Dusseldorf campus, and we weren’t built to be a remote company. In short, we temporarily altered a government character and blending to a new situation. You need some-more structured communication if we are sitting in 1,200 offices vs. in one. It has been unequivocally comforting to see how good a group has responded to these challenges, bettering during an extraordinary gait with a positive, forward-looking attitude.

Thomson: Many vital companies have reacted to COVID-19 and a mercantile downturn by furloughing or laying off employees out of financial necessity. How should CFOs change obligatory financial concerns with a need to keep talent? What is a suitable proceed to tellurian collateral government during times like these?

Tillmann: This was a formidable doubt confronting companies around a universe who were balancing a fortitude of their business with a enterprise to keep their employees. The suitable proceed is going to be opposite depending on stretch of a business, attention and a stream situation. For us, maintaining talent was an apparent priority even yet COVID-19 took a vast fee on a industry. Our talent is a heartbeat of a product. As a German-based company, we were means to pursue kurzarbeit, or short-term work, for some employees as a costs assets measure. But we also need to delicately consider how a attention is changing and what this means for us in a future. Staying stretchable is unequivocally critical to safeguard a long-term success of a company.

Thomson: Before apropos CFO of trivago, we hold a opposite array of roles within a company, including time spent as Head of Creative Production in Marketing. What is a value for financial professionals of holding non-traditional roles? What did we learn about selling and artistic people that we did not know before we took a role?

Tillmann: At trivago we inspire a talent to stay stretchable and open to training new things. This includes rotation, holding on new roles and bringing uninformed perspectives into opposite areas. When we changed into marketing, we gifted a unequivocally opposite proceed of working. In Creative Production we schooled that while numbers are important, generally when producing a new TV spot, it is roughly never a starting indicate to solve a problem. You start looking during a plea from a artistic standpoint, perplexing opposite things though carrying a ultimate outcome in mind. This leads to unequivocally opposite avenues, some of that we would not have embraced if we usually focused on a results. 

Thomson: Attracting a right talent is formidable for record companies, with pursuit possibilities lacking a claim skills in record to attain and grow. What recommendation would we give to undergraduate financial and accounting students who wish to work in a record company? How many importance should they be fixation on training skills in information analytics or coding? What skills do we demeanour for in intensity hires?

Tillmann: From my possess experience, we trust that many skills can be schooled if we are both encouraged and willing. Early in my career, we watched a tech attention rise from a distance, yet couldn’t unequivocally figure out how it worked. When we assimilated a IPO understanding group during trivago, we got to see how things worked firsthand and schooled during a discerning pace.

We demeanour for people who are curious, entrepreneurial and passionate. While skills in information analytics and coding are appreciated, we find possibilities who strike a change in both tough and soothing skills. Our enlightenment is opposite and authentic, and something that we are many unapproachable of. 

Thomson: Given your credentials in mathematics, how have we infused modernized analytics into financial and accounting processes for discernment and foreknowledge over a numbers? How have we been means to strap information for softened decision-making?

Tillmann: When we investigate healthy sciences, we rise a unequivocally methodical mindset. You do not demeanour during things in siege yet we try to wizz out and move things into perspective. For example, when we try to consider a new business event we competence run a normal ignored money upsurge analysis. But while we can plea a assumptions in that elementary model, there competence be some-more choice value that is some-more important. Real options can infrequently be unequivocally formidable and formidable to weigh and mostly it is not even apparent what those options are. we consider if we proceed hurdles like that with an open and methodical mindset it can be fitting over a traditional, textbook-like approach.

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