Best Buy Co.'s promotion of Corie Barry to CEO is both a rarity for a sitting CFO and a positive sign for the rising number of women who are taking on finance jobs at the largest U.S. companies.

Barry, who turns 44 this week, will take over for Hubert Joly, 59, at Best Buy after the company's June board meeting. Only about 7 percent of CEOs held the top finance role immediately before taking the CEO position, according to 2018 data from Crist Kolder Associates. About 75 percent of CEOs were elevated from general management roles, such as division president or COO.

Barry's promotion to CEO may be especially good news for female CFOs. The number of women in charge of finance among the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 rose to 84 in 2018, an all-time high, according to Crist Kolder data.

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