Chris BurnsPartner Partner
“A consulting CFO who helps companies solve financial challenges, realize opportunities and put financial plans in place to achieve strategic and financial goals.”
Chris Burns’ more than 30 years of hands-on financial leadership has helped deliver increased shareholder value, growth in cash flow and profits to startup and established market leaders.
Chris earned his BS and MBA in Business Administration at UC Berkeley. His strong foundation in large public technology and CPG companies, including Oracle and Clorox, combined with twenty years of experience in industry leading global ecommerce, software and SaaS startups, developed Chris’ ability to bring hands-on financial leadership and partnership to CEO’s, boards, their investors and staff.
In his most recent company, Art.com, Chris was the financial leader for this global eCommerce start-up that grew from $16Million to $200Million in five years. At the beginning, Chris lead a staff of three, the company was using QuickBooks and did not have GAAP financials. Chris engaged the company’s first auditors and tax advisors, raised the Company’s first equity capital, implemented new financial systems and helped prepare the company for its quick growth. Following the 2007-2009 recession, Chris helped to continue the company’s global growth while managing costs to weather the macroeconomic storms that extended through 2010.
This experience included raising equity and debt capital, making acquisitions, expanding internationally, implementing MS Great Plains and later Oracle ERP’s and selling subsidiaries. Along the way, Chris established strategic partners and vendors and helped the company save more than $35Million, positioning the company to scale and manage its growth responsibly and profitably. This startup was sold to Walmart in early 2019.
Chris enjoys working with inspiring entrepreneurs. As the first financial partner to marketing teams at Clorox, the controller for Craig Conway (ex-CEO Peoplesoft) and Marc Benioff (SalesForce founder/CEO) at Oracle, VP Finance at one of Masayoshi Son’s (Softbank founder) companies, and the entrepreneur CEO’s at the startups that Chris served, Chris’ passion for adding value and learning from both the successes and challenges faced fueled his passion for helping startups and companies at all stages of development.
Chris’ key strengths make him a valuable resource for early stage companies with a broad array of business needs, including:
- Financial Modeling, Planning, & Forecasting Strategic & Tactical Business Planning
- P&L, Cash Flow & Balance Sheet Forecast and Management
- Ecommerce & Payments Expertise
- Business Process, Systems Development, & ERP Implementation
- Mergers, Acquisition, & resulting integration
- Deal Negotiation – Customers, Vendors, & Tax Authorities
- Building & Leading Collaborative Finance Teams
- Equity & Debt fund raising and all related compliance
- International Expansion, tax planning/negotiation
- 409a valuations
- Treasury management and foreign exchange
Chris was a great value-adding partner to me and Art.com in driving and managing all of the Company’s financials, reporting and planning, acquisitions, raising capital (debt and equity), saving millions every year negotiating with strategic partner/vendors, expanding internationally, and building a world-class financial team. Chris drove the implementation of the Company’s transition from QuickBooks to MS Great Plains and later drove the deal and helped implement Oracle’s ERP. Chris also put in a cloud-based financial planning and reporting system in place without any internal IT Support.
– Geoffroy Martin, Former CEO, Art.com
Chris is a great business partner for any CEO. At Neomar, Chris was responsible for all Financial, Legal and HR functions. He helped us raise capital, negotiate with partners and vendors, support the Board corporate governance, and sell the Company. Not our first time working together as he also worked for me in my prior CEO role.
– Butch Winters, Former CEO, Neomar, Inc.
- COVID-19 Startup Update: Immediate Actions to Take March 26, 2020
- Top Five Start-up Mistakes November 12, 2019