“An Investment CFO with an eye to the future and maximizing long term value”

Ed O’Dea is an investment CFO.  He brings an investor’s perspective to strategic business planning, elevating finance from an operational tool to a prognosticative toolbox to maximize long term business and financial success.  He brings real-world investment experience having funded several businesses, served on the Board for others and been a CFO/COO for multiple successful companies including ITEL and LookSmart, a startups which had a successful public exits.  Ed is focused on long term value.

Ed began his career following graduation from the University of California, Berkeley at Arthur Andersen.  He rose through the ranks including a multi-year stint in Spain working with a wide variety of clients which gave him invaluable international experience he would use throughout his subsequent career.  Following a standard but success required career path, Ed left the Big Eight Accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, for a senior role with a client, Levi Strauss, running a 30-person internal audit team while providing support on the financial reporting side and leading a significant secondary offering.  Subsequently, Ed was hired by another previous client, ITEL Corporation, an alternative business finance company. He was hired initially as the CFO for the Transportation group and later served as President of the Rail Group.

After the success at ITEL, Ed wanted to return to the “excitement and camaraderie” of startups.  He was well known to Silicon Valley venture capitalist and had a solid track record in company funding, M&A, valuations and alternative compensation plans, including stock options, deferred compensation, and ownership.  During this phase of his career he met with many bankers and developed a deep understanding of where banks can and cannot help a business; Ed’s investment CFO career had started.

Ed with his significant experience in general and financial management, debt & equity financing, mergers and acquisitions and strategic and financial planning with emphasis in the start-up environment, has successfully advised numerous clients over the years. One Australian client actually achieved top ten wealthiest ranking following Ed’s guidance.  He has a solid understanding of all corporate functions from sales and marketing, to human resources and accounting and reporting which he adeptly applies to the solutions and counsel that he provides his clients.

His focus working with clients is to build companies, seizing on opportunities while being involved with the entire team to generate comradery and business success.  He promotes an externally competitive environment with an internal collaborative one.




  • The Issue – May 2014"409A" In this issue, CFOs2Go Partner Ed O’Dea discusses what a 409A valuation is and why you might need one if you are a private business issuing stock options. Ed first focuses on “Pricing employee stock options” then walks through the “fair market value rule”. Don’t worry, he provides guidance factors and suggests three approaches to help determine the company’s value. Read More