Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spotlight on Women: Melissa Claassen

Chief Financial Officer TaylorMade Golf Company


Published:

Melissa Claassen

Melissa Claassen
Chief Financial Officer
TaylorMade Golf Company

Sponsored by
Barney & Barney G.R.O.W. logo

Where are you from? I was born in Australia, but I have lived in several countries. I started my adidas career in Australia and moved up through the ranks working in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and, most recently, Germany. My parents were first-generation immigrants from Holland. I grew up speaking Dutch, but now my German is better than my Dutch after spending three years working at adidas headquarters in Germany. English is my third language.

How long have you been in San Diego? I moved here 10 months ago when I was promoted to my current position. Fortunately, my husband, Edo Fuijkschot, is an illustration artist, so he can live and work anywhere. We have a five-year-old daughter, Lana.

How did you advance your career? It was not a planned path for me. It was really being flexible and recognizing opportunities. When I was in Australia, I realized the CFO was going to be there for a while so I decided to look beyond adidas. He suggested that I stay with adidas and look beyond Australia to explore other opportunities. My next move was with adidas global.

Who was your role model? The managing director of adidas group greater China. He encouraged me to learn the marketing side of the business, and then I began to think about how to activate the brand to get some commercial sensibilities. I believe that the “new CFO” is a business partner and copilot, rather than the “numbers cruncher” of the past. As a financial professional I interact with the marketing, product, sales, and retail teams. I see every facet of the business through the numbers.

What obstacles have you had to overcome as a woman? Sports is a male-dominated industry, but I never defined myself as a woman. I am, however, the first woman board member in TaylorMade Golf Company. I think they were more afraid than I was.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? In 2011 I was named one of the Top 50 Australian women leaders at the 50 For The Future, Advance Women’s Leadership Summit. The Honorable Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, addressed the summit. Then in 2012 I was honored with the “Best People Leader,” voted by financial people from around the adidas group.

What else should we know about you? I believe in the financial world it’s all about transparencies. We should present the best information possible. I have been with the company for 18 years. I have to feel the company that I am working for is doing a good thing in supporting their community. Since I moved to San Diego I have joined the EDC board and the YMCA board, plus participating in team-sponsored events.

At the young age of 40, you were promoted to worldwide CFO. Where to from here? My career was built around innovation and challenging the status quo. I am all about moving out of your comfort zone. I have no future plan, just open to all opportunities.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

The Women Who Revolutionized San Diego's Food Scene

A discussion with six iconic San Diego chefs and restauranteurs who helped make our culinary landscape what it is today

Q&A: Imperfect Produce, the "Ugly" Fruit and Vegetable Service

How this business is helping save 30 million pounds of food that would otherwise end up in landfills

Celebrating Women: A Q&A with The New Children's Museum CEO Judy Forrester

Forrester talks about rising from humble beginnings, taking on daunting jobs, and identifying how to move the needle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
    Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
  2. A Sneak Peek at ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’
    The Old Globe’s newest world-premiere musical promises a familiar soundtrack and all the good feels of an ’80s rom-com
  3. What San Diego Women Want
    53 working women share their compelling stories on navigating pay equity, the baby penalty, #MeToo, and more
  4. Sushi’s Next Gen Is Here at Himitsu
    In La Jolla, a Sushi Ota protégé sticks to an age-old tradition of quality
  5. 10 Hot Plates: San Diego's Top Food News in October
    The latest restaurant rumors, openings, and coming-soons
  6. San Diego Events Calendar: October 2018
    How to be busy and important this month in San Diego
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags