Bill Courtney, new chief financial officer at Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies, has extensive experience in global business and in using Starkey hearing aids.
Courtney said he has worn hearing aids for most of his adult life and Starkey products for more than six years.
Courtney referred to using Starkey’s new Livio AI hearing aid. With integrated sensors and artificial intelligence, it tracks fitness and cognitive health, translates dozens of languages and features Amazon Alexa connectivity.
“It’s way beyond a hearing aid for people who need them,” Courtney said. “There is functionality and opportunity to help people in many facets.”
Courtney, who joined Starkey last month, has more than three decades of global experience in retail strategy, operations, financial infrastructure and medical device leadership.
He most recently was Medtronic’s vice president and chief financial officer for global operations and business services. He was responsible for financial and strategic support for teams throughout the world and led Medtronic business services’ global strategy, developing it from concept to operating group in 18 months.
Courtney’s finance experience spans operations, information technology, supply chain, manufacturing and other functions. He also served as senior vice president of finance at Hertz, senior vice president of finance and operations at Best Buy and chief financial officer of Barclays global technology and operations, based in London.
Q: What brought you to Starkey?
A: Being able to join Starkey is very close to my heart. I’ve known Bill Austin, our CEO, and Brandon Sawalich, our president, for six years, after I first moved back from London and joined Best Buy. I started wearing their equipment, started learning about their vision, their commitment to the customer, which is unparalleled, and their commitment to helping others.
Q: How do you view your role as CFO?
A: I think a great CFO is also a great [chief operating officer]. As a finance leader we have the opportunity to look at the enterprise holistically. We have to think about the upstream and downstream implications of decisions. We’re looking at how all of this comes together, from the commercial front end of sales and products and marketing through the operations side from supply chain, manufacturing and procurement into support of [information technology], human resources, legal, all of those fall under the financial organization.
Q: What are you looking forward to as CFO at Starkey?
A: I have an intellectual curiosity. I love to learn. I love to work on what I call the art of the possible. It’s about how do we partner with the leadership to say are we thinking about the art of the possible, how can we take it to the next level, how can I overlay my experience and leverage that knowledge into how we add greater value.