Christos M. Cotsakos, Ph.D.

Christos Cotsakos

Dr. Cotsakos is an entrepreneur, business and technology executive, military combat veteran, visiting professor and lecturer, venture capitalist and angel investor, executive management and board advisor, national best-selling author and philanthropist.

Dr. Cotsakos is one of the visionaries, architects, and entrepreneurs of e-commerce and e-finance and is a pioneer in the development and mainstream-adoption of personalized digital financial media.

Dr. Cotsakos serves as founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Pennington Ventures, a privately held media, technology, strategic management and advisory company (1999-present). He is also co-founder and chairman of Mutasian Media and Mutasian Entertainment, creative educational entertainment companies for children (2009-present).

Dr. Cotsakos serves as a senior advisor to New Mountain Capital, a leading private equity firm in New York. New Mountain, together with its affiliates, manages private equity, public equity and credit capital with aggregate assets under management totaling $40.0 billion+ and $40.0 billion+ in capital raised (2013-present).

Dr. Cotsakos serves on the board of Cengage Learning Holdings, one of the largest edtech companies in the world for students, professionals and libraries, helping students in more than 120 countries (2023-present).

Dr. Cotsakos serves on the board of Sonrava Health, a national family of health and wellness companies, with approximately 610 offices in geographically strategic areas of the U.S. Dr. Cotsakos also serves as the senior digital marketing technology advisor to the board (2014-present).

Dr. Cotsakos serves as a senior advisor to CCS Medical, the leading provider of collaborative care programs and home-delivered medical supplies for those with chronic conditions, specifically diabetes.

Dr. Cotsakos serves as a senior advisor to Alterna Securities, an investment management company providing wealth management services in the global market.

Dr. Cotsakos serves as chairman of the board of Boulevard Arts, an immersive arts education technology company that enables its customers to virtually experience museums, architecture and cultural sites, and public art installations from anywhere in the world (2014-present).

Dr. Cotsakos serves as a trustee of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Library, the public library of Kennebunkport, Maine, serving as a cultural and intellectual commons for the community, providing free and unfettered access to knowledge and life-long learning through print, electronic resources, activities, programs, and service (2023-present).


In May 2001, William Paterson University named its business school the Cotsakos College of Business in honor of Dr. Cotsakos. William Paterson is one of the state colleges and universities in New Jersey with an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students.

Dr. Cotsakos was invited to be a Distinguished Entrepreneur in Residence at the University, where he taught graduate classes in Venture and Private Equity Finance, Entrepreneurialism and Technology, with a specific emphasis on Block Chain and Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Dr. Cotsakos was invited to become a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (2002-2005).

Dr. Cotsakos is among a team of inventors for Mainstream Holdings and is listed in multiple patent applications covering methods and data structure for obtaining, distributing, managing and utilizing information, including online content and user biographical content in an online networking system. Dr. Cotsakos is also listed in a provisional patent application covering a real-time, trusted blockchain attribution platform.

Dr. Cotsakos co-founded and served as co-managing general partner of ArrowPath Ventures (1999-2003), where he and his co-managing general partner raised over $325 million in venture capital. ArrowPath is an early-stage venture capital firm that focused on early and expansion stage companies developing highly differentiated enterprise and infrastructure technologies.

Dr. Cotsakos served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer (1998-2003) and the original president and chief executive officer (1996-1998) of E*TRADE Group.

Under Dr. Cotsakos’ leadership, the company grew from a development stage start-up to a public company with a peak valuation of $16.01 billion.  In addition, Fortune magazine named E*TRADE as one of the 10 most admired companies in financial services in 2002 and the company and Dr. Cotsakos received numerous industry awards and recognitions for innovation, marketing, and technology. It was also included in both the S&P 500 and the Forbes Super 500 in 2003.

Dr. Cotsakos raised $13 million in private equity to help finance E*TRADE's start-up operations, led the company’s initial public offering and listed E*TRADE on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) under the symbol EGRP in August 1996, raising an additional $53 million. In February 2001, after the company earned $1 billion in revenue, he listed E*TRADE on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol ET.

Dr. Cotsakos raised an additional $1.5 billion to finance E*TRADE’s growth, infrastructure, technology innovations, and leading brand-building strategy. He initiated the company’s global diversification program by acquiring 18 companies for approximately $3 billion and broadening the company's international products and services portfolio.

After reporting the most profitable year in the company’s history from ongoing operations, Dr. Cotsakos stepped down from his role as chairman and chief executive officer in January 2003 to continue focusing on new venture capital opportunities and worthy causes through his portfolio management company, Pennington Ventures. Dr. Cotsakos serves as Pennington's founder, chairman and chief executive officer, which provides investment and advisory services to executive management teams, boards, venture capital funds and private equity firms. 

Dr. Cotsakos served as global co-chief executive officer, president, and chief operating officer of ACNielsen, the global leader in market research, information, and analysis, with over 12,000 employees worldwide (1992-1996). 

Dr. Cotsakos expanded the company’s reach in Asia, Europe, and Latin America and reinvigorated its brand and market position, re-architected its technology and restored its global profitability.

Dr. Cotsakos was the recipient of Dun & Bradstreet’s Chairman’s Award for Global Leadership in 1993 and the President’s Award in 1995 for his innovative leadership in developing the company’s solution-based technology and expanding the company’s profitable global strategy.

Dr. Cotsakos served 19 years with the Federal Express Corporation (NYSE-FDX), from a fledgling start-up to a market leader in transportation, information, and logistics solutions, where he held a number of senior executive positions in the U.S. and in Europe, Middle East and Africa (1973-1992).

Dr. Cotsakos was instrumental in developing several of the people, service, profit, and technology initiatives that Federal Express is known and respected for today. 

Dr. Cotsakos received the Chief Operating Officer’s Five Star Award for Leadership and Innovation in 1984 and was instrumental in Federal Express receiving the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1990.


FOX Entertainment Group NASDAQ-FOX), a leader in the development, production, and worldwide distribution of feature films and television programs, television broadcasting, and cable network programing.  Dr. Cotsakos chaired both the audit committee and the special committee of independent directors when News Corporation acquired the minority interest in the FOX Entertainment Group.

News Corporation (NASDAQ-NWS), a multinational mass media corporation. Dr. Cotsakos served as the senior media and technology advisor to the chairman, chief executive officer and executive leadership.

E*TRADE Group, USA (NASDAQ-ETFC and NYSE-ET), an online financial and media company. Dr. Cotsakos chaired the Executive Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.

E*TRADE Financial Japan (Nikkei-SBI E*TRADE), a diversified financial services company. Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Audit Committee.

Forte Software (NASDAQ-FRTE), a leader in the integration and development of scalable enterprise-class distributed applications.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Audit Committee and Compensation Committee.  The company was acquired by Sun Microsystems.

Digital Island (NASDAQ-ISLD), a leading global e-business delivery network.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Compensation Committee.  The company was acquired by Cable and Wireless.

Official Payments Corp. (NASDAQ-OPAY), a leading provider in electronic government payments including personal income taxes, business taxes, property and real estate taxes, and utility and education payments acquired by Tier Technologies. Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Audit Committee.  The company was acquired by ACI Worldwide.

National Processing Company (NYSE-NAP), a provider of business transaction processing from point-of-sale credit card processing to e-commerce solutions.  Dr. Cotsakos chaired the company’s Compensation Committee.

Critical Path (NASDAQ-CPTH), a consumer messaging software and services company for mobile operators.

TradeStation Group (NASDAQ-TRAD), a leader in rule-based trading.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Audit Committee and Compensation Committee.

PlanetRX (NASDAQ-PLRX), an online healthcare destination and pharmacy for commerce, content, and community.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Compensation Committee. (NASDAQ-TIXX), a leading business-to-business ticketing service for live events. (NASDAQ-STMP), a leading internet postage company.

Webvan Group (NASDAQ-WBVN), a leading online grocery delivery business.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Compensation Committee.  Dr. Cotsakos was also elected chairman of the board to assist Webvan's executive team and board with its strategic exit alternatives.


ACNielsen, a leader in global media and research company acquired by VNU.  Dr. Cotsakos was co-chair of the company Executive Committee. The company was acquired by VNU NV.

GlobalLogic, the leading specialist in digital product engineering, integrating design and complex engineering.  GlobalLogic provides product experience, product engineering, content engineering, and system operations and support services to the world's top software, hardware, and consumer brands.  The company was acquired by Hitachi, Ltd.

Blue Yonder Group, a leading software and consultancy company, providing supply chain management, manufacturing planning, retail planning, store operations and collaborative category management solutions in the cloud.  Dr. Cotsakos chaired the Technology, Product, Pricing and Strategy Committee.  The company was acquired by Panasonic Corporation.

Medical Specialties Distributors, a leading distributor of infusion related products, rentals and service for the alternate care market.  Dr. Cotsakos chaired the Digital Innovation Group, Technology and Information Committee.  The company was acquired by McKesson Corporation.

EndPlay, a leading provider of SaaS content management, engagement and monetization solutions for local broadcasters, media, entertainment and consumer packaged goods companies delivered in the cloud. Dr. Cotsakos served as founder, chairman, chief executive officer and president. The company was acquired by the Enterprise Technology Group, Inc.

Inmar, a technology company that operates intelligent commerce networks.  Dr. Cotsakos chaired the company’s Technology and Innovation Committee.  The company was acquired by ABRY Partners, LLC.

Mainstream Holdings, a holding company providing customizable internet technology and digital and social media, engagement and monetization solutions.  Dr. Cotsakos served as founder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of the company.  The company was acquired by Babbalu.

E*Offering, a diversified on-line financial institution. Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company's Audit Committee. The company was acquired by WIT Capital.

Diversified Foodservice Supply, a leading distributor of maintenance, repair and operations parts, supplies, and equipment to the U.S. foodservice industry.  Dr. Cotsakos served as the senior information and technology advisor to the board.

Catalina Marketing Corporation, a leading personalized digital media company, driving lift and loyalty for the world’s leading CPG retailers and brands. Catalina personalizes the consumer’s path to purchase through mobile, online and in-store networks powered by the largest shopper history database in the world. 

DataCard, a leader in secure ID and personalized smart card services.

MySpace Japan, a social networking site.  Dr. Cotsakos chaired the Executive Committee of the company.

Fourth Communication Network, an internet service provider that delivered high speed access for consumers in the lodging industry.

ePlay, a learning, educational, and software company that provided tutorial products to children, teachers, and parents.

OPEN Sports, a leading fantasy sports gaming company.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Compensation Committee.

Jobrivet, a youth employment community that connects job seekers with employers looking for qualified job applicants.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a member of the company’s Compensation Committee.

Cobuna Brands, an early-stage company leading innovation in social commerce for beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands.

Augmentum, a leading provider of value-added software development and solution implementation services to companies worldwide, headquartered in Shanghai, China.  Dr. Cotsakos served as a senior advisor to the company.

Wikipad, a US-based, award winning design and engineering business creating touch screen tablets and mobile game controllers, headquartered in Westlake Village, CA (Gamevice is the company’s major product).  Dr. Cotsakos served as a management and governance senior advisor to the company.


New York Stock Exchange’s Listed Advisory Committee, an advisory council of select NYSE listed company chief executives who provided issues-based counsel for the chairman and chief executive officer as well as the senior management team of the NYSE.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s Corporate Council, a network of business executives who assist in directing both the fundraising and distribution of funds through targeted educational programs associated with Vietnam Veterans.

Corporate Council for the John F. Kennedy Center, America’s national center for cultural and performing arts.

Pepperdine University’s Board of Visitors, a network of prominent business leaders and alumni who counsel Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Through his extensive experiences in start-ups, venture capital, Fortune 1000 companies, board chairs and directorships, and advisory services, Dr. Cotsakos has helped companies raise several billion dollars in public and private equity and debt financing. 

Dr. Cotsakos has also provided senior advisory services and counsel on technology, globalization, organization and development, sales and marketing, mergers and acquisitions, financing, product development and innovation, transaction processing, e-commerce, marketing and media research, media, logistics, corporate governance, and exit strategies at critical junctures in companies' growth cycles.

Dr. Cotsakos served as a technical advisor at President Clinton’s first Cyber Security Summit at the White House.

Dr. Cotsakos served as an advisor to Military in the Information Age, a project on national defense and security systems technology sponsored by the Pentagon.

Dr. Cotsakos served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for the National Democratic Party’s candidate for the President of Liberia. Dr. Cotsakos also served as a Senior Economic and Campaign Advisor for the National Democratic Party's candidate for the President of Liberia.

Dr. Cotsakos is personally engaged in various civic and community activities with the Cotsakos trust. The Cotsakos trust focuses on education, veterans’ affairs, community outreach, and wildlife and environmental preservation.

The Cotsakos trust has provided seed and operating capital for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and its outreach programs including Project RENEW, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's unexploded ordinance removal and awareness program in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam; the establishment of the computer learning center at Hanoi University of Foreign Studies; and Echoes from The Wall, a Vietnam War educational curriculum distributed to 40,000 schools throughout the United States, among other projects.

Dr. Cotsakos enlisted in the military in 1967. He is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran. Dr. Cotsakos (then Sergeant Cotsakos) served in Vietnam as a fire team leader and squad leader with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (known as the Screaming Eagles). Dr. Cotsakos was honorably discharged from active military service. 

Bronze Star Medal with V Device for Valor in Combat

Army Commendation Medal with V Device for Valor in Combat

Purple Heart for Wounds Received in Combat

Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement in Flight during Combat

Vietnam Service Medal

Vietnam Campaign Medal

Combat Infantryman Badge

Parachutist Badge

Good Conduct Medal

Other 101st Airborne Unit Citations & Ribbons

B.A. in Communications (cum laude) with a minor in Theatre and a concentration in Political Science from William Paterson University (1973)

M.B.A. (summa cum laude) from Pepperdine University (Malibu, California, 1983)

Ph.D. in Economics (PSION Award recipient; dissertation of the year) from the University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (London, United Kingdom, 2002)

Dr. Cotsakos also earned a lifetime teaching credential in Industrial Management for the California community school system (1984)

Dr. Cotsakos has been an international speaker on a variety of topics including the global economy, e-commerce, leadership, chaos and uncertainty in the digital environment, landmine awareness, education and removal and veterans’ affairs. He has spoken at venues such as the Davos World Economic Forum, MSNBC’s Summit I and II hosted by Tom Brokaw, and on cable and network television including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, CNNfn, FOX, MSNBC and NBC. He has also provided commentary on nationally syndicated radio and lectures at leading colleges and universities.

Dr. Cotsakos is the national best-selling author of It’s Your Money, which is printed in several languages worldwide. Dr. Cotsakos donated all proceeds from the book to Vietnam veterans’ projects. 

He is currently authoring several additional books on entrepreneurship, marketing, and strategy.

Dr. Cotsakos served on the board of directors of the Enterprise Development Corp. of South Florida (EDC), a nonprofit organization that assists emerging science and technology companies.

Dr. Cotsakos served as a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Dr. Cotsakos served as co-chair of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund with Senator Charles Hagel (R-Nebraska) and James V. Kimsey (Founder and Chairman Emeritus of AOL). Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. (also known as the Wall). Today, through a series of outreach programs, the organization works to preserve the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, promote healing, and educate about the impact of the Vietnam War.

Dr. Cotsakos served as the founding chairman with honorary chairman, Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell (retired), of the Education Center at the Wall. America’s Legacy of Service is a visitor and education facility being built underground near the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials. It will help the millions of annual visitors to The Wall learn about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as the Vietnam War, and will pay tribute to all the men and women who served in all of America’s wars. In 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 1442, which authorized the construction of this visitor center.

Dr. Cotsakos served as co-chair of the Capital Campaign at William Paterson University. The Campaign successfully raised over $40 million for the University.

Dr. Cotsakos is the fourth of five children of Greek parents. 

Dr. Cotsakos and his wife, Tami Cotsakos, both grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. They attended Paterson’s public schools (Dr. Cotsakos: PS 15 and Mrs. Cotsakos: PS 21 and PS 26) and are graduates of Eastside High School (1965 and 1967, respectively). Mrs. Cotsakos has a B.S. in Music from William Paterson University (1971) and Dr. Cotsakos’ daughter, Suzanne, has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University (2002), a B.F.A. in Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art University (2004), and an M.B.A. from the Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson University (2009).  Suzanne is also an active member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). 

Tami and Suzanne Cotsakos are successful serial entrepreneurs.

Dr. Cotsakos enjoys spending time with his family and friends, mentoring entrepreneurs, reading, writing, teaching, participating in Chanoyu (the Japanese tea ceremony of the Urasenke School of Tea), creating new business opportunities, building media engagement and monetization platforms, developing innovative technology solutions, analyzing big data, advising executive management and boards, and developing educational, civic, and community projects.

100 People Who Have Changed the Way Americans Think About Money (Worth September 2001)

25 Most Influential Personalities in Financial Services (Future Banker May 2001 and May 1999)

The Online Finance 40 (Institutional Investor April 2001)

Executive of the Year (Hellenic American Bankers Association March 2001)

The CIO 100 (CIO August 2000)

The E-Establishment: The Top 50 Technology Leaders (Vanity Fair April 2000)

The Financial Online Elite (Institutional Investor April 2000 and September 1997)

Powerful Wall Street Pioneers (Wall Street Journal December 1999)

The 50 Most Important People Shaping Technology Today (Time Digital October 1999)

The 25 Most Influential People in Electronic Business (Business Week September 1999)

Power 50 – The Most Influential People in Financial Services (American Banker May 1999)

The 25 Most Powerful People in Networking (Networld January 1999)

Entrepreneur of the Year USA (Entrepreneur of the Year Institute November 1998)

Entrepreneur of the Year California (Entrepreneur of the Year Institute June 1998)

The Top 50 Cyber Elite (Time Digital October 1998)

The New Entrepreneurial Elite (Inc. December 1997)

Top 10 Visionary CEOs (Communications Week February 1997)

Thirty Who Matter in Technology (Forbes ASAP October 1996)

President’s Award for Excellence and Leadership (Dun & Bradstreet 1995)

Chairman’s Award for Global Leadership (Dun & Bradstreet 1993)

Chief Operating Officer’s Five Star Award for Leadership and Innovation (Federal Express 1984)

Doctor of Humane Letters (American College of Thessalonica; Thessalonica, Greece July 2003)

Doctor of Humanities (Hellenic College; Brookline, Massachusetts May 2002)

Doctor of Laws (Pepperdine University; Malibu, California April 2002)

Doctor of Business Administration (Drexel University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2002)

1st Honoree for Lifetime Achievement (US Army Medical Command Japan Association, 2008)

Unexploded Ordinance Humanitarian Award (Quang Tri Province, Vietnam April 2005)

Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award (American Hellenic Institute, Inc. March 2002)

Hellene of the Year Award (Hellenic Medical Society December 2001)

Man of the Year Award (Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce October 2001)

Sons of Pericles Supreme President Award (Order of the Sons of Pericles July 2001)

Ellis Island Medal of Honor (National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation May 2001)

Greek Orthodox Youth Scholarship Patron Award (New Jersey Greek Orthodox Foundation November 2006)

Forever Worthy in Community Service Award (Saint Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church November 2000)

Eastside High School Hall of Fame (Eastside High School; Paterson, New Jersey May 2012)

Psion Award (Dissertation of the Year; Management School, University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine; London, United Kingdom April 2003)

Legacy Award (William Paterson University; Wayne, New Jersey November 1999)

Distinguished Alumnus Award (Pepperdine University; Malibu, California August 1999)

For further information, please contact:

Julianne Miles
Senior Advisor/Partner
Pennington Ventures

RBI Logo edited

GBFI edited

SBDC edited