Andon Baltakov, Finance Expert in New York, NY, United States
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Andon Baltakov

Verified Expert  in Finance

Fractional COO and CFO Expert

Location
New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 9, 2022

Andon is a fractional CFO and a fundraising expert for clients of Toptal. Most recently, he devised a novel business plan and a financial model for a sports information company. He also provided advisory services to launch a new social, digital business. Currently, he is working with the CFO of an entertainment enterprise to structure a business model and expand a side video project into a multimillion-dollar film business. Andon is a seasoned strategy executive who worked at the AP, CNN.

Career Highlights

COO
Storyful (Acquired by News Corp)

Education Highlights

Master's Degree
Yale University

Case Studies

Work Experience

Consultant

2019 - PRESENT
Freelance
  • Conducted thorough market research and product analysis, leading to the launch of a new service that put the company on par with its main and entrenched competitor.
  • Conducted market sizing for the launch of a new product.
  • Developed a comprehensive audience growth strategy for a leading broadcaster in the Midwest.
Focus areas: Market Research & Analysis, Corporate Finance, Operations Management, Profit & Loss (P&L), Financial Modeling, Growth Strategy, Excel 2016, Strategy, Business Models, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Data Analysis, Customer Segmentation, Growth Marketing, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Data Analytics, Operations, Google, Data Monetization, Startups, Mobile User Acquisition, Early-stage Startups, Fundraising, Customer Success, Customer Experience, Sales Strategy, Fintech, Transformational Leadership, Operating Models, Three-statement Modeling, Market Research, Product-market Fit, Business Partnerships, Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships, Pricing, Product Branding, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Content Writing, Blockchain, Business Plan Consulting, Board Presentations, Management Consulting, Enterprise Software, Media, IT Strategy, Pitch Decks, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Strategy, Change Management, Staffing, Growth Strategy Consultants, COO, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Business Intelligence (BI), Music Streaming, Music Production, Music, Nonprofits, Fractional CFO, Cash Flow, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Part-time CFO, United States, Consulting, Digital Transformation, Investor Presentations, New Business Development, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Technology, Target Operating Models, Corporate Governance, Vendor Selection, Reorganization, Sourcing, Vendors & Suppliers, Paid Advertising, Business Restructuring, Sales Growth, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Fundraising Consultant, Strategic Planning, Startup Consulting, Stakeholder Interviews, Advertising, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Mobile Games, Gaming, Pitch Deck Consultant, Roadmaps, Business Development, Enterprise SaaS, Competition Research, HR Transformation, Business Transformation, PMO, Business Process Re-engineering, Venture Capital, Due Diligence, Investment Memoranda, Team Leadership, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Crisis Management, Growth, US GAAP, Go-to-market Plans, Financial Reporting, Compliance, B2B Sales Pipeline, Executive Coaching, Thought Leadership, IT Services, Sales Operations, Chief of Staff, Process Design, Digital Marketing, SaaS, Finance Strategy, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation, Team Building, Turnaround

Chief Revenue Officer

2022 - 2023
Underline Science
  • Spearheaded negotiations with Clarivate and EBSCO, driving business development initiatives.
  • Managed all aspects of sales operations, including team building, overseeing a $2.5 million+ pipeline, conducting monthly and quarterly forecasts, budget management, and closing sales deals.
  • Established a marketing strategy to build the brand through social platforms, newsletters, and trade shows, resulting in a 30% increase in followers within six months.
  • Introduced new tools for efficient sales management, such as Salesforce.com, Cognism for lead generation, and MixMax for mass sales campaigns.
Focus areas: Business Development, Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Crisis Management, Growth, US GAAP, Go-to-market Plans, Financial Reporting, Sales, B2B Sales Pipeline, B2B, Sales Operations, Chief of Staff, Process Design, Digital Marketing, SaaS, Finance Strategy, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation, Team Building, Turnaround

CEO

2020 - 2021
Bulgarian National Radio
  • Eliminated an 11% budget deficit within one year, stabilizing the organization and setting it up for growth. Improved internal control processes to optimize cost structure.
  • Introduced cross-platform programming—from broadcast to digital to broadcast—to increase the reach and scale of the programs. Also introduced a portfolio of 50+ podcast series.
  • Introduced remote content production by enabling content producers with new equipment and software. Enhanced digital storytelling with visual content to boost audience impact.
Focus areas: General Management, Leadership, CFO, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Cash Management, Budgeting, Financial Management, Excel 2016, Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Profit & Loss (P&L), Revenue Modeling, Operations Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Customer Analytics, Growth Marketing, Digital Strategy, Operations, Business Planning, Customer Experience, Transformational Leadership, Operating Models, Market Research, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Content Writing, Media, Staffing, Organizational Design, CEO, COO, Music Streaming, Music Production, Music, Target Operating Models, Vendor Selection, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Sourcing, Business Restructuring, Strategic Planning, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Roadmaps, HR Transformation, HR / Workforce Transformation, Business Transformation, Business Process Re-engineering, Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Crisis Management, Financial Reporting, Executive Coaching, Finance Strategy, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Contract Negotiation, Team Building, Turnaround

COO

2018 - 2019
World Science
  • Revamped the annual financial planning and budgeting process to enable precise resource allocation. Introduced dynamic quarterly forecasting and reporting through QuickBooks.
  • Initiated a new performance management system to enable better talent management. Introduced ADP TotalSource as the new platform to manage all HR functions, including recruitment, onboarding, development, and offboarding.
  • Structured, drafted, and negotiated a co-production agreement with Channel Thirteen/New York Public Media. Advised internal business units on complex business and legal matters.
Focus areas: Finance, Human Resources (HR), Business Operations, Leadership, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Accounting, CFO, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Cash Management, Payroll & Benefits, Cash Flow Modeling, Forecasting, Budgeting, Financial Management, Interim CFO, Excel 2016, Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Profit & Loss (P&L), Revenue Modeling, Operations Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Key Account Management, Business Modeling, Financial Statements, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Data Analysis, Data-driven Marketing, Growth Marketing, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Project Management, Operations, Business Planning, Chief Operations Officer (COO), Customer Experience, Transformational Leadership, Operating Models, Three-statement Modeling, Market Research, Storytelling, Public Relations (PR), Content Writing, Board Presentations, Media, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Strategy, Staffing, Organizational Design, CEO, COO, Nonprofits, Grants, Fractional CFO, Cash Flow, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Part-time CFO, United States, Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Interviews, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Roadmaps, HR Transformation, HR / Workforce Transformation, Business Transformation, Business Process Re-engineering, Venture Capital, Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Crisis Management, US GAAP, Go-to-market Plans, Controller, Financial Reporting, Compliance, B2B, Executive Coaching, Chief of Staff, Digital Marketing, Finance Strategy, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Contract Negotiation, Team Building

COO

2016 - 2017
Storyful (Acquired by News Corp)
  • Evolved the corporate finance function into a structured unit for financial reporting, AP/AR, accounting, and tax. Revenue grew by 50%, from $8 million to $12 million.
  • Established an efficient business operations unit to manage customer support, account management, and office administration. Managed and negotiated relationships with key suppliers, introduced Salesforce, and reduced OPEX by $250,000+.
  • Supported global HR operations, including recruitment, talent development, people management, and enterprise culture. Employee numbers more than doubled across five locations worldwide: New York, Dublin, London, Sydney. and Hong Kong.
  • Managed the video unit, including content discovery, acquisition, and syndication. Oversaw and delivered a content sales budget of $3 million.
Focus areas: Corporate Finance, Business Operations, Sales, Human Resources (HR), IT, Leadership, Accounting, CFO, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Cash Management, Payroll & Benefits, Cash Flow Modeling, Forecasting, Budgeting, Financial Management, Interim CFO, SaaS, Excel 2016, Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Profit & Loss (P&L), Revenue Modeling, Operations Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Business Modeling, Financial Statements, Go-to-market Strategy, Business Models, Startups, Customer Insights, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Big Data, Data Analysis, Customer Satisfaction, Data-driven Marketing, Customer Segmentation, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Data Science, Data Analytics, Digital Experience Design, Project Management, Operations, Business Planning, Chief Operations Officer (COO), Google Ads, Google, Data Monetization, Mobile User Acquisition, Fundraising, Customer Success, Customer Experience, Sales Strategy, Fintech, Transformational Leadership, Operating Models, Three-statement Modeling, Market Research, Product-market Fit, Business Partnerships, Partnerships, Brand Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Pricing, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Product Branding, Market Sizing, Market Segmentation, Branding, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Brand Building, Content Writing, Business Plan Consulting, Board Presentations, Management Consulting, Enterprise Software, Media, IT Strategy, Pitch Decks, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Strategy, Change Management, Staffing, Organizational Design, CEO, COO, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Fractional CFO, Cash Flow, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Part-time CFO, United States, Technology, Target Operating Models, Corporate Governance, Vendor Selection, Reorganization, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Sourcing, Vendors & Suppliers, Paid Advertising, Business Restructuring, Sales Growth, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Strategic Planning, Startup Consulting, Post-merger Integration, Stakeholder Interviews, PMI, Advertising, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Pitch Deck Consultant, Roadmaps, Business Development, Enterprise SaaS, Competition Research, HR Transformation, HR / Workforce Transformation, Business Transformation, PMO, Business Process Re-engineering, Venture Capital, Due Diligence, Investment Memoranda, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Crisis Management, Growth, US GAAP, Go-to-market Plans, Controller, Financial Reporting, Compliance, B2B Sales Pipeline, Executive Coaching, Thought Leadership, IT Services, Sales Operations, Chief of Staff, Process Design, Digital Marketing, Finance Strategy, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation, Team Building, Turnaround

VP, Product Management

2014 - 2016
ProQuest
  • Set and administered the business unit budget and established cost controls to ensure the profitability of the news business and the whole enterprise. Led and grew a team of product managers and led shared marketing and finance services.
  • Implemented new content packages and pricing bundles to address changing market realities and customer demands. Initiated a rebranding program for the entire news product portfolio of 2,000+ titles, including New York Times, Guardian, and Gannett.
  • Oversaw commercial partnerships with content aggregators, such as Factiva.com, PressReader, and NewspaperArchive, to market their products to the academic markets.
Focus areas: Product Management, Marketing, Sales & Channel Enablement, Leadership, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Budgeting, Financial Management, Excel 2016, Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Profit & Loss (P&L), Revenue Modeling, Operations Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Key Account Management, Business Operations, Business Modeling, Financial Statements, Go-to-market Strategy, Business Models, Customer Insights, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Big Data, Data Analysis, Customer Satisfaction, Data-driven Marketing, Customer Segmentation, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Data Analytics, Digital Experience Design, Project Management, Operations, Business Planning, Google, Data Monetization, Customer Experience, Sales Strategy, Transformational Leadership, Operating Models, Three-statement Modeling, Market Research, Product-market Fit, Business Partnerships, Partnerships, Brand Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Pricing, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Product Branding, Market Sizing, Market Segmentation, Branding, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Brand Building, Content Writing, Edtech Design, Business Plan Consulting, Board Presentations, Management Consulting, Enterprise Software, Media, IT Strategy, Competitive Analysis, Change Management, Staffing, Growth Strategy Consultants, Organizational Design, eCommerce, Product Strategy, United States, Consulting, K-12 Education, Education, Technology, Target Operating Models, Vendor Selection, Reorganization, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Sourcing, Vendors & Suppliers, Paid Advertising, Sales Growth, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Interviews, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Roadmaps, Business Development, Enterprise SaaS, Competition Research, HR Transformation, Business Transformation, Middle East, PMO, Business Process Re-engineering, Venture Capital, Due Diligence, Investment Memoranda, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Growth, Go-to-market Plans, Sales, B2B Sales Pipeline, B2B, Thought Leadership, IT Services, Sales Operations, Process Design, Digital Marketing, SaaS, Finance Strategy, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation, Team Building, Turnaround

CNN Digital, Senior Director Business Operations

2012 - 2014
WarnerMedia
  • Devised the business and product strategy for digital video distribution across CNN. Oversaw the development and launch of CNN’s digital video syndication network, the video affiliate network (VAN).
  • Revamped CNN’s video syndication business: found a strategic partner to bridge a technology gap; worked with product development to build the supporting infrastructure; and partnered with ad sales to execute an aggressive revenue plan.
  • Played a vital role in stabilizing and growing traffic to CNN Digital’s video products on CNN.com, mobile apps, YouTube channel, and syndication partners by 90%. Exceeded annual revenue targets by 20%.
Focus areas: Marketing Analytics, Business, New Products, Digital Video, Leadership, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Excel 2016, Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Revenue Modeling, Strategic Planning & Execution, Key Account Management, Business Operations, Business Modeling, Go-to-market Strategy, Business Models, Customer Insights, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Big Data, Data Analysis, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Segmentation, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Data Science, Data Analytics, Digital Experience Design, Project Management, Operations, Business Planning, Google Ads, Google, Data Monetization, Mobile User Acquisition, Fundraising, Customer Experience, Sales Strategy, Transformational Leadership, Market Research, Product-market Fit, Business Partnerships, Partnerships, Brand Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Pricing, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Product Branding, Market Sizing, Market Segmentation, Branding, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Brand Building, Content Writing, Business Plan Consulting, Board Presentations, Management Consulting, Media, IT Strategy, Pitch Decks, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Strategy, Change Management, Staffing, Growth Strategy Consultants, Organizational Design, Product Strategy, Business Intelligence (BI), United States, Technology, Target Operating Models, Vendor Selection, Reorganization, Sourcing, Vendors & Suppliers, Paid Advertising, Sales Growth, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Interviews, Advertising, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Roadmaps, Business Development, Enterprise SaaS, Competition Research, HR Transformation, Business Transformation, Middle East, PMO, Business Process Re-engineering, Venture Capital, Due Diligence, Investment Memoranda, Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Growth, Go-to-market Plans, Sales, B2B Sales Pipeline, B2B, Thought Leadership, Sales Operations, Process Design, Digital Marketing, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation, Team Building

Deputy Director, Strategic Planning

2005 - 2012
The Associated Press
  • Led a cross-departmental team to develop AP’s video strategy that positioned its TV news agency (APTN) as a leading digital video news player. Formulated the business strategy and implementation plan.
  • Coordinated and managed AP’s biennial corporate strategic planning process. Developed a corporate strategy framework that guided eight cross-departmental teams in developing strategic plans for their business units.
  • Directed the daily operations of the strategic planning and business analysis function, set up and oversaw competitive analysis, and conducted analyses on current and prospective business models.
Focus areas: Leadership, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Excel 2016, Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Strategic Planning & Execution, Business Modeling, Go-to-market Strategy, Business Models, Customer Insights, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Big Data, Data Analysis, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Segmentation, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Data Science, Data Analytics, Project Management, Business Planning, Google Ads, Google, Data Monetization, Customer Experience, Sales Strategy, Transformational Leadership, Market Research, Business Partnerships, Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships, Pricing, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Product Branding, Market Sizing, Market Segmentation, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Content Writing, Business Plan Consulting, Board Presentations, Management Consulting, Enterprise Software, Media, IT Strategy, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Strategy, Growth Strategy Consultants, Product Strategy, Business Intelligence (BI), United States, Consulting, Digital Transformation, Vendor Selection, Reorganization, Sourcing, Vendors & Suppliers, Paid Advertising, Business Restructuring, Sales Growth, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Strategic Planning, Stakeholder Interviews, Advertising, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Roadmaps, Business Development, Competition Research, Business Transformation, Middle East, Business Process Re-engineering, Venture Capital, Due Diligence, Investment Memoranda, Team Leadership, Team Management, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Growth, Go-to-market Plans, Sales, B2B Sales Pipeline, B2B, Thought Leadership, Sales Operations, Digital Marketing, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation
2003 - 2005

Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA)

Yale University - New Haven, CT, USA

1992 - 1996

Bachelor's Degree in Economics

University of National and World Economy - Sofia, Bulgaria

Finance

Corporate Finance, Profit & Loss (P&L), Revenue Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Accounting, CFO, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Modeling, Cash Management, Cash Flow Modeling, Forecasting, Budgeting, Financial Management, Data Analysis, Fundraising, Three-statement Modeling, Market Research, Pricing, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Business Intelligence (BI), Cash Flow, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Due Diligence, Investment Memoranda, Controller, Financial Reporting, Finance Strategy, Blockchain

Output Software

Excel 2016

Industry Expertise

Mobile User Acquisition, Early-stage Startups, Music, Nonprofits, Technology, Venture Capital

Geographic Expertise

United States, Middle East

Data & Analysis Software

Intuit QuickBooks, Tableau, NetSuite

Other

Strategy, Negotiation, Market Research & Analysis, Operations Management, Strategic Planning & Execution, Leadership, Business Operations, Key Account Management, Sales, Human Resources (HR), Product Management, Business Planning, Branding, Growth Strategy, Business Strategy, Payroll & Benefits, Interim CFO, SaaS, Business Modeling, Financial Statements, Go-to-market Strategy, Business Models, Startups, Customer Insights, Customer Analytics, Customer Analysis, Big Data, Customer Satisfaction, Data-driven Marketing, Customer Segmentation, Digital Strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy, Data Analytics, Project Management, Operations, Chief Operations Officer (COO), Google Ads, Google, Data Monetization, Customer Success, Customer Experience, Sales Strategy, Fintech, Transformational Leadership, Operating Models, Product-market Fit, Business Partnerships, Partnerships, Brand Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Market Sizing, Market Segmentation, Storytelling, Communication, Public Relations (PR), Brand Building, Content Writing, Business Plan Consulting, Board Presentations, Management Consulting, Enterprise Software, Media, IT Strategy, Pitch Decks, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Strategy, Change Management, Staffing, Growth Strategy Consultants, Organizational Design, CEO, COO, eCommerce, Product Strategy, Music Streaming, Music Production, Grants, Fractional CFO, Inventory, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), Part-time CFO, Inventory Management, Consulting, Digital Transformation, Investor Presentations, New Business Development, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Target Operating Models, Corporate Governance, Vendor Selection, Reorganization, Sourcing, Vendors & Suppliers, Paid Advertising, Business Restructuring, Sales Growth, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Fundraising Consultant, Strategic Planning, Startup Consulting, Post-merger Integration, Stakeholder Interviews, PMI, Advertising, Market Research Analyst, PowerPoint Design, Mobile Games, Gaming, Pitch Deck Consultant, Roadmaps, Business Development, Enterprise SaaS, Competition Research, HR Transformation, HR / Workforce Transformation, Business Transformation, PMO, Business Process Re-engineering, Team Leadership, Team Management, Board Decks, Annual Planning, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Crisis Management, Growth, US GAAP, Go-to-market Plans, Hedge Funds, Compliance, B2B Sales Pipeline, B2B, Executive Coaching, Thought Leadership, IT Services, Sales Operations, Chief of Staff, Process Design, Digital Marketing, Revenue Analysis, Financial Analysis, Performance Improvement, Turnaround Management, Contract Negotiation, Team Building, Turnaround, IT, Marketing, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Growth Marketing, Data Science, Digital Experience Design, Product Branding, Edtech Design, K-12 Education, Education, Sales & Channel Enablement, Marketing Analytics, Business, New Products, Digital Video, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Slack, Adobe Suite, Omniture, Google Analytics, Economics, Product Development, Financials, Project Review, Consumer Behavior, General Management, Finance

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