Shadow CEO™

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.

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NEW ARTICLE: Private company profiles: One size does not fit all.

Private companies – this is such a broad category! When looking at their origin, their growth process, and their hoped-for ‘end-game’, there are actually many varieties just like flowers. There are many different looks, different sizes, different shapes, and certainly different smells……

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Board of Directors Practice | Interim Executive Assignments |Mentoring and Consulting

Mr. Cagan’s Primary Activities Include:

  • Board of Directors Practice
  • Shadow CEO
  • Active company management as a C-level interim executive and working with entrepreneurs and management on a consulting basis.

Mr. Cagan’s Core Characteristics Include:

  • Charismatic, decisive, motivating, creative, strategic, innovative, consensus building, and broadly experienced.
  • Proven ability to build and motivate strong management teams, grow or turn-around companies, and increase revenue and profit.
  • Exceptionally creative in crafting strategy, solutions and business development opportunities.
  • Well traveled with a deep, broad knowledge of business practices. Able to quickly gather pertinent information, get to the heart of the matter, and implement a solution.
  • Decisive decision-making ability, tempered with a practical and down to earth perspective.
  • Experienced and practiced in a wide variety in business types, able to effectively transfer knowledge across business models and categories. Extensive experience in public and private company management, public, investor and customer relations, fostering an enabling and motivating work environment, repairing old or implementing new techniques and technologies, and business turnaround.
  • Willing to make fast, tough decisions. Oriented to building long-term enterprise value.

Board of Directors Practice

Dennis Cagan is frequently retained by private companies to conceive of, and form, both fiduciary boards of directors and advisory boards. He works with company owners and managersOutstandingAward to understand the purpose and benefits of boards. He will then assist in profiling potential members, identify and recruit candidates, initiate the board, and help the various stake holders to navigate the process of best-of-class corporate governance.

Interim Executive Assignments

Dennis Cagan has taken a number of interim or temporary C-level Executive assignments.

Since 1987 Dennis, usually as a member of a firm’s board of directors, has been called on in emergencies or opportunities to step into active senior management as a C-level executive.

Past interim positions include: CEO, COO, President, and Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Strategy (CSO), and even Human Resources.

These assignments have lasted for as little as ninety days (Message Media CEO, transitioning to CSO), and for as long as four years (Century Computer Marketing, SVP Sales & Marketing). At the end of the assignment Dennis remained on the board.

Examples of situations requiring Dennis have included substantial insolvency and eminent bankruptcy (TWL Corporation: TWLO.OB), a desire to sell a profitable company for substantially more than the current market (Century Computer Marketing), the necessity of integrating several acquisitions into a public company (StarPress), an underperforming President and the desire to relocate the company and integrate two acquisitions (Message Media), the desire for the company to enter new and larger markets (Design1), and the need to rapidly scale a newly formed company after a large capital infusion (

Mentoring and Consulting

Dennis Cagan mentors and consults with entrepreneurs who are forming and running early-stage high technology companies.

When Dennis begins a mentoring or consulting relationship he will frequently become a member of the Board of Directors. Often he will actually form the Board by recruiting additional preeminent members of the business and technology communities who can add substantial value.

Dennis may provide his client company with seed capital in addition to his professional guidance. He will also usually guide the company in the formation of an appropriate corporate infrastructure and the relationships necessary to launch and build a successful technology business. He assists in arranging for necessary facilities and physical/IT infrastructure.

Dennis will guide and assist the company with raising additional capital at the appropriate time, and from appropriate sources – venture capital firms, angel investors, strategic partners, etc.