10 questions for Entrust CFO David Wagner

Name: David Wagner

Age: 47

Time with company: 15 years

Education: Undergraduate degree in accounting and MBA from Pennsylvania State University

Company headquarters: Dallas

Number of countries: 10

Number of employees total: Approximately 340

Number of employees the CFO oversees: 60

About the company: Entrust is a privately-held company that offers identity-based security software to customers that include 4,000 government agencies and businesses in 60 countries. The website is http://www.entrust.com/index.php

1. Where did you start in finance and what experiences led you to the job you have today?

I actually started in finance as a high school intern. My first job was to transition a company's internal monthly reports from mainframe reports to VisiCalc spreadsheets. I got to where I am today by accepting the job opportunities that allowed me to learn the most. I am a big believer in continual learning. What you can learn is more important than what you make. The money works itself out in the long run.

2. Who was an influential boss for you and what lessons did they teach you about management and leadership?

My first boss, when I was only 18, was probably the most influential for me. I learned to team with technical people and managers in order to help them focus on financial outcomes. I've also learned great deal from my current CEO, Bill Conner, who is a strong leader.

3. What are the biggest challenges facing CFOs today?

I think the biggest challenge is being able to manage change. There is a lot of volatility in the market, and technology is changing quickly. In my career at Entrust alone, we have managed through being a division of a large multinational company, to being a small private company, to going public and back to being private again. Each owner of our business has had different objectives. We have also managed through a transition from being a perpetual software company to a company that earns more than 60 percent of its revenue through subscriptions. It is important to clearly communicate the financial impact of the change to help an organization achieve its goals.

4. What is a good day at work like for you?

A good day is a day when I get to work with the sales team and our customers to create value.

5. How would you characterize your management style?

I hope that I am characterized as empowering, but also as having high expectations for the people on my team.

6. What strengths/qualities do you look for in job candidates?

I really focus on fit. I like to find candidates who will be in a position to do what they do best when they are hired.

7. What are some of your favorite interview questions or techniques to elicit information to determine whether a candidate will be successful at your company?

One of my favorite questions to ask the candidate is to give me specific examples of when they demonstrated a behavior or attribute that I think is critical to their role in our organization. I ask follow-up questions until I am comfortable that I am getting an answer that reflects who the candidate really is and how they really work.

8. What is it about your current job, at this particular company, that sets it apart from other chief finance positions?

Change, the change I mentioned earlier and the fact that what Entrust does -- securing information -- makes a real difference in the world.

9. What do you do to unwind from a hectic day?

I'm a runner. I love to run alone and I love to run with friends. When I run alone, I can really think. It provides a great perspective.

10. If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?

I love what I do. I suspect I'd be doing a similar job for another company.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business managementCFO CareersEntrust

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?