Question: How much should I ask for as a CFO?


Good question. The market for these roles been thin the last 12 months or so, thus no one has really good data.

The only data you gave me was $10mm in revenue today, hoping to be $20mm in one year.  The difference between $10 and 20 mm in revenue is not significant…what is is hitting goals and targets. Thus starting at $10 and reaching 20 mm is more significant than coming in at $20mm.

In the past we would be looking at several factors in addition to income such as:

  • amount of money raised
  • Risk of business plan
  • Strength of financial backers
  • velocity of earned income
  • number of employees
  • compensation of the CEO
  • if they were requiring public company CFO experience
  • size of staff under CFO.
  • availability of cash!

My last CFO placement, with a private equity firm ownership, was at $185k base, 20-30% bonus, and 1% equity equivalent.   This package was the result of much discussion between the candidate, CEO, Board, and financial backers, as you might expect.

Other sources:

  • The Radcliff Survey was a good source for Silicon Valley/Tech companies
  • Call VCs and ask them
  • Speak with other CFOs
  • (maybe…online services sometimes generalize too much, but a good assist).

Call me if you have any other questions.  415-721-7001.  Hope this helps!

Paul Herrerias, Managing Director-San Francisco

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