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Chicago CFO Adds A Financial Perspective To Business Decisions

Mike Smiley is the chief financial officer at Zebra Technologies. He started working with Zebra as CFO in May 2008 after working at Tellabs, Inc. for six years; he held several financial and operations executive positions. Before working at Tellabs, Smiley was positioned in Taipei, Taiwan as the vice president of finance for the Asia-Pacific region of General Semiconductor, with the company's main manufacturing and revenue-generating operations in the area.

(Photo Courtesy of Mike Smiley)

Smiley holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago.

Smiley shares his insights and experience in his current role as CFO at Zebra Technologies. He explains how his education and experience played an important role in his career success. He also offers excellent advice to those who are interested in pursuing a similar career in business and management.

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

"My current role includes finance, IT and acquisition value capture."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"My favorite part is interacting with great people and adding the financial perspective to business decisions."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"It was a great foundation for my career; however, my experience and the mentoring I received were critical. For me, working overseas in both Asia and Europe and being a general manager helped set me apart and helped me understand challenges associated with making a global business successful."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"Work in places with a culture you thrive in. Seek experiences that will expand your skill set and leadership skills. Be sure to surround yourself with people who excel at what they do and do it in the right way."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

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