Q&A with Jeff Jones, incoming president and CEO of H&R Block
The transformational leader from Uber, Target, The Gap intends to use his deep retail and digital expertise to evolve and grow the company with a broader range of solutions for the tens of millions of clients who trust the brand. Below are excerpts of a conversation with Jones as he sets his sights on leading-edge ways to meet clients’ needs, and to position the company as an agile and adaptive market leader.
Why did you take the job leading H&R Block?
Jones: I believe this is a company with great potential. What I know about H&R Block today, the expertise, history and scale, and what I believe about its potential going forward, is what led me here. This business is fundamental to millions of Americans, everyone who pays taxes, and at its core, it’s about a trust-based relationship with the client. The company is grounded in something that really matters, and that’s very important to me.
Where do you intend to take the company?
Jones: My overall goal for this company is growth. We need to be objectively clear on the good and the not-so-good so that we can establish a vision for growth, then we can develop the strategy and a multi-year roadmap.
One of the company’s biggest strengths is its relationship with clients. This is a classic legacy, omni-channel company and there is incredible goodness in being that. We have relevance to today’s and tomorrow’s consumers… we need to do an objective assessment of where the opportunities are.
What are your views on the retail tax preparation industry? Is it going to go the way of Sears and Blockbuster?
Jones: No. I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t believe H&R Block will remain the leader in tax preparation, and that assisted tax preparation will continue to play a critical part of the way forward. People will continue to need and want help from our tax professionals. My goal, as part of a strategy to grow this company, is to really focus on clients, giving them a great experience, and making sure we’re meeting their needs in the ways and channels they most want in the future.