Career History

Between 1980-1999 Dennis provided consulting services to numerous technology companies including AT&T, IBM, General Electric, and Xerox, as well as dozens of smaller firms.

In 1979 Dennis had the honor of being a Keynote Speaker at the first COMDEX Show in Las Vegas. In 2011 he was inducted into the IT Hall of Fame – Channel Wing, administered by CompTIA (as part of the team. In 2013 The Dallas Business Journal and NACD honored Dennis as one of 12 Outstanding Directors in North Texas.

Since 1983 Dennis has served as either a Shadow CEO™ (he received a USPTO Registered Trademark on the term in 2012) or an interim C-level executive.

Dennis is a recognized authority on corporate governance, boards of directors, information technology (including mobile applications, Internet, infrastructure, e-commerce, software, hardware, systems, cybersecurity, and communications), in the disciplines of governance, strategy, distribution channels, sales/marketing, and services.

He is currently engaged in management consulting through his firm Caganco Incorporated, founded in 1984. Caganco specializes in three areas: working with private company ownership and leadership to develop and manage world-class governance through boards (both fiduciary and advisory), providing his trademarked Shadow CEOservices, and his unique Governance Forensics which uncover loopholes allowing for desired changes in company ownership. All are comprised of an intense side-by-side, hands-on approach to helping C-level executives go beyond their current experience set.

Dennis has been a regular contributor of feature articles in a variety of business publications and is likely the only author to have been published in the four most popular board magazines: Directors & Boards, NACD Directorship, Family Business, and Private Company Director. He speaks widely on the subject of boards of directors and governance, including keynoting the inaugural Private Company Governance Summit, in Washington, D.C. in 2013, and speaking again in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2019.

In 1976 he founded the David Jamison Carlyle Corp. (his 5th start-up), turning it into one of the country’s earliest and largest distributors of computer peripherals. After being included in Inc. Magazine’s very first published Inc. 100 listing at #32, he took DJC public (DJCC: NASDAQ) in 1981. Since 1983, in addition to his consulting, he has served in several interim CEO positions.

Dennis currently serves clients in CA, MA, AZ, PA, FL, GA, and TX, and he sits on technology company boards in Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Arizona, southern and central California; and Dallas.

Dennis is a native Californian and attended the University of California at Los Angeles where he majored in Economics. He left UCLA in his third year, impatient to begin a career. He then served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve (’65-’71), and received an honorable discharge. Dennis lives with his wife Angelia in Sarasota, Florida.

About Dennis Cagan – SHADOW CEO®

Brief Video Introduction Link

Dennis Jay Cagan is a noted high-technology entrepreneur, respected CEO, professional board director – 67 corporate fiduciary boards, venture investor, mentor, consultant, and Shadow CEO™. He has founded or co-founded over a dozen different companies, taken some public, and has been the CEO of both public and private companies.  He is in the IT Hall of Fame, and his book, The Board of Directors of a Private Enterprise, released in 2017, is considered by many to be the most authoritative perspective available on private company boards and governance issues. He has an impressive track record of both start-up and turn-around situations.

In addition to leading the numerous companies he has founded or co-founded, Dennis has served as an interim CEO for many years. As examples, he has served as interim President, CEO and Managing Member of a cybersecurity software developer; as President and CEO of a SaaS financial services company; as Chairman, CEO and President of a public company providing distance learning-based workplace training internationally; and CEO of a public company providing proprietary Internet email messaging services.

SHADOW CEO® (1983-Present)

Since 1983 Dennis has consulted in Shadow CEO roles, sat on boards of directors, and taken on periodic interim CEO positions. Dennis continues to provide clients with management consulting and mentoring through Caganco Incorporated, in the form of his four signature roles: Shadow CEO®, Board Practice (formation and management of corporate boards of directors), Governance Forensics practice, and interim CEO situations. Since 1983 Caganco has helped at least 100 CEOs. Clients have ranged from $2B enterprises down to ‘back-of-the-napkin’ start-ups.

Outstanding Directors Award (2013)

Dennis Cagan was honored by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Dallas Business Journal as one of the inaugural class of 12 Outstanding Directors in North Texas.


IT Hall of Fame (2011)

Dennis Cagan was inducted into the IT Hall of Fame – Channel Section (administered by CompTIA). He was honored for being the Treasurer, and on the founding team of the CompTIA A+ Certification Program, one of the most successful trade licensing programs in the computer industry. To date, A+ has certified millions of personal computer technicians globally. The program is said to generate over $50M in annual royalties to CompTIA.