Alan Black, former CFO at Zendesk and Founder of Surfspray Capital.

In conversation with Jeff Epstein, Operating Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.
January, 2022

Join us for this conversation between two top CFOs turned investors. Jeff Epstein, Partner at Bessemer Ventures and former CFO at Oracle, will interview Alan Black, who is the founder of Surfspray Capital. Alan served as the CFO at Zendesk in the years leading up to and following its IPO. Before Zendesk, he served as President and CEO at Intelliden, an IBM company, and as Managing Director and CFO at Openwave Systems. Alan sits on the Board of Directors at Looker and as an advisory board member to McGill University. We’ll get the inside story on the choices Alan made on his career path and how they might help inform your decisions.


Alan Black

Surfspray Capital

Alan Black

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Alan Black is a financial executive with over 35 years of experience leading technology companies. Residing today in Park City, Utah, in 2017 Alan founded Surfspray Capital, LLC. to provide advisory services to technology companies as they transition from being private to public companies. Notable clients have included Looker Data Sciences, Inc. (Board Member and  Audit Committee Chair- acquired by Google in 2019), Holdings, Inc., Cybereason, Inc.,  HashiCorp, Inc., Intercom, Inc. Netlify, Inc., and Nozomi Networks, Inc. Alan is also an Advisory  Board member to the Plum Acquisition Corp I SPAC. 

Prior to founding Surfspray Capital, Alan led Zendesk, Inc. through its 2014 IPO as its CFO and remained with the company through 2016. Alan also took public in 1999. Before Zendesk, Alan was CEO of Intelliden, Inc., a network management software company that he led from 2005 through its sale to IBM Corporation in 2010.  

Alan began his career at KPMG in Montreal after graduating from McGill University and before transferring to Silicon Valley in 1986. Alan was named a Dobson Fellow in 2014 for his work in McGill’s Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship and today is a member of McGill’s Board of  Advisors for the Western United States.

Jeff Epstein

Operating Partner
Bessemer Venture Partners

Jeff Epstein

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Jeff Epstein is an Operating Partner in the Silicon Valley office, where he leads Bessemer’s CFO Advisory Board and helps portfolio company CEOs and CFOs share best practices. He is the former Executive Vice President and CFO at Oracle, one of the world’s largest and most profitable technology companies, with a market value of over $150B. Prior to joining Oracle, Jeff served as CFO at several public and private companies, including DoubleClick (sold to Google), King World Productions (sold to CBS), and Nielsen’s Media Measurement and Information Group. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at The First Boston Corporation. He specializes in B2B software, marketplaces, and AI software. Jeff is Co-CEO at Apex Technology, a SPAC which has announced a merger with AvePoint. Each winter, Jeff co-teaches the Lean Launchpad class at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Engineering. He serves on the boards of directors at Kaiser Permanente, Twilio, Poshmark, Shutterstock, and several private companies. Jeff served on the board of directors at Booking Holdings/Priceline for 16 years as its market value grew from $1B to $80B. He holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a BA from Yale College, where he graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.

Why attend?

Get career perspectives from top CFOs.
Get perspectives on how the role of CFO is changing.
Get ideas on how to build your career and up-level your skills.

Who should attend?

Always-learning CFOs and aspiring ones.
Controllers, FP&A, and accountants.
Finance professionals.




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