CFO Mini Series (part II) - 'Rocketships and Receivables' w/ David Obstler, CFO Datadog


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David Obstler is the CFO of Datadog (NASDAQ:DDOG), a $30b hyper growth monitoring and security platform for cloud applications. Few current active CFOs have been at the forefront of fast growing technology companies like David has - he is the seasoned pro that founders and CEOs have turned to to help them scale effectively for the last 25 years. You may remember from a previous episode the anecdote that Ethan Berman told of the CFO doing investor calls in his ski boots, as the financial world collapsed around RiskMetrics in 2008. That was David.

The emergence of software and the nature of the business model has created an opportunity for the CFO to move from what once was more of a financial controlling role to that of the most important strategic partner to the CEO. No one epitomises this elevation of the CFO role more than David

He has been through it all, and his sage wisdom on scaling transpires in a wonderful and far reaching conversation not just on his role and what has made him successful, but also the key ingredients that have intertwined him and his teams throughout. Sometimes half an hour with the best in the business can elicit a lifetime of golden nuggets.

This mini series was inspired by a blog post that TDM produced last year - “What makes a great CFO” - and I hope this podcast episode brings this blog to life.

The best place to find this, as well as other TDM frameworks is on our website or across our social channels ( and host Ed Cowan can be found at

Show notes:

· David’s Core skills as a CFO that has made him so successful (00:03:50)

· Catalyst for the role of CFO as a strategist, people-leader and culture-carrier (00:06:44)

· How the CFO keeps the chaos intact in high-growth companies: (00:08:38)

· How does the executive team manage the rigour and processes involved in scaling rapidly (00:10:20)

· David’s relationships with the various founders over time and what makes a great CEO (00:14:22)

· David’s approach to culture (00:18:15)

· The process in creating great IR (00:21:20)

· What David appreciates from investors and his “pet peeves” (00:25:08)

· Key steps CFO needs to take control of in order to make sure the transition from private to public is manageable (00:27:29)

· What makes a great director: 00:30:42

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