Sporrer Fosters Growth, Positive Culture at Exit

Scott Sporrer has been named San Diego Business Journal’s CFO of the Year in the Small Private Company category. Sporrer is the CFO at Exit Consulting Group. As a seasoned CFO, he provides clients with perspective and guidance across a broad range of matters typically experienced through the life cycle of a business.

Scott Sporrer (Exit Consulting Group, Inc.) Photo courtesy of Exit Consulting Group

With 20 years of experience in public accounting, investment banking, and operational experience at the executive level growing public and private companies, Sporrer enjoys supporting business owners to not only stabilize and grow their business but to realize their personal and professional dreams.

“Scott Sporrer embodies the qualities of an exemplary financial leader,” said Exit’s CEO, Andrea Steinbrenner, who nominated him for the honor. “His impact on the organization is evident in the growth and positive culture cultivated within the company.”


Financial Strategies Strengthens Market Position

Under Sporrer’s financial leadership, Exit has been able to grow financially by implementing effective cost management strategies resulting in significant savings and improved overall financial health. Since the start of 2023, Sporrer’s financial strategies have only strengthened the company’s market position, contributing to its competitiveness and sustained growth.

“Through the keen ability to navigate and mitigate financial risks, as well as by streamlining financial processes, Scott has ensured the company’s stability in a dynamic business environment,” Steinbrenner said. “He consistently displays visionary leadership, steering the financial department towards success by fostering a culture of excellence.

“His adaptability has allowed him to face challenges to market changes and regulatory shifts with agility and strategic insight,” Steinbrenner continued.

“He successfully collaborates with cross-functional teams, breaking down silos and ensuring a unified approach to financial decision-making, and at the same time communicating complex financial concepts in a clear and accessible manner to foster understanding and buy-in from stakeholders at all levels.”

Sporrer’s financial stewardship has only enhanced the shareholder value, earning the confidence of stakeholders. His emphasis on pushing and maintaining the company’s culture and employee morale is recognized in his encouragement of transparent communication and recognition of financial achievements.

The Business Journal recently caught up with Sporrer to learn more about his career journey as a CFO.

Scott Sporrer and the team from Exit Consulting Group. Photo courtesy of Exit Consulting Group

Q: At what stage in your life did you set your sights on the CFO’s office?

A: After my first few years at Ernst & Young, it became clear that a natural career progression from public accounting was to become a CFO. Though I had not made a definitive conclusion that the CFO role was my goal, it certainly served as a north star in my choices for the next 10 years.

Q: What put you on the path to getting there?

A: As career opportunities were presented, I focused on broadening my experiences across venture-backed startups, investment banking and scaling operations. Eventually, I served in the CFO role for a publicly traded small cap company with a roll-up strategy in the footwear and apparel space. A focus on building to scale and value creation has been a consistent theme throughout my entire career.

Q: Think back over your career. Up to this point, what is the accomplishment you are most proud of?

In mid-2008 I joined a Spanish solar panel manufacturer and project developer as CFO for U.S. operations. Shortly after joining, the 2008 financial crisis hit and capital markets froze, which significantly impacted our ability to sell panels and develop projects. As the company struggled over the following months, the executive team out of Spain gained comfort with my collaborative approach to leadership and communication and asked me to take the role as president of U.S. operations.

Though there was much uncertainty as to how long it would take for markets to turn, I accepted the role and had to make some hard decisions quickly — the most significant being to restructure a sales organization that was stuck focusing on developing utility scale projects without understanding the current state of the capital markets. I had to terminate the existing sales team and rebuild with a group that was willing to execute the hard work of pursuing smaller orders rather than being stuck focused only on large commercial and utility deals.

Through that effort, we eventually were able to build a broad customer base with multiple recurring orders each month, enabling us to expand our U.S. manufacturing capacity from one production line to four and eventually doubling that volume with a facility in Tijuana. Through that hard work, our U.S. team was able to create hundreds of U.S. jobs and become a well-recognized brand in the growing U.S. market.

Q: Of all the economics and business issues in the news right now, what are you following with most interest and why? Which one most directly affects your organization?

A: I am constantly seeking opportunities to monitor and review use cases for Generative AI as this is an immense opportunity for business of all sizes to leverage the technology, increasing the speed and accuracy of decision-making. With consideration for the responsible use of AI, the synthesis, analysis and summarization of small and large data sets and scenario modelling is at the fingertips of many businesses today. This is an area of focus for ECG to apply within our own processes and responsibly across our client engagements where applicable.

Q: How big is your team?

A: We are currently a team of 14 at ECG. However, as we often provide coaching, guidance and oversight to the finance and accounting teams of our clients, that rapidly exceeds 100 people.

Q: How difficult is it to hire qualified team members in this employment environment?

A: Since the San Diego unemployment rate bottomed out in 2022, there has been a gradual increase in 2023 but below 4%. During this period, the labor market for qualified finance, accounting and advisory candidates was challenging, but I have seen that soften at the end of 2023 and now into 2024 which is consistent with the unemployment rate increasing to 4.7% in Q1 of this year. While there continues to be challenges with balancing a remote work force and strong team culture, good employees are looking for purpose in what they are doing and understanding how they are part of the bigger picture.

Q: What is the next big step your company hopes to take?

A: Our next significant strategic move will be to expand our physical presence. Though we already have clients in over 15 states across the domestic market, establishing an office in our next key market will enable us to continue our growth strategy. We are committed to becoming a nationally recognized brand that serves clients looking for guidance and support as they consider growth, scale, business transition, and succession planning.

Q: What challenges do you face getting there?

The biggest challenge in successfully opening a new location will be to transfer the strong work and team culture that we have in San Diego. Our team and culture are such a critical part of delivering optimal value to our clients and carrying that commitment and integrity over is essential. With the combined experience of my partners and senior leadership team in developing productive cultures, we are confident in achieving these goals.



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