Give me a CFO who has owned a business before over anyone with a lot of practical experience and a lot of diplomas. The reason is the Chief Financial Officer who has owned businesses understands the business owners risk because they too have been there. Not only do they understand the risks and feel the risks, they can identify the risks more easily and quickly because they have an owners perspective.
Until you felt what it is like to have an unsuccessful sale in retail or to not be able to fill manufacturing orders because you did not have the right inventory or not having enough cash flow to make payroll, or the pressure of employees underperforming you do not really understand. These are just a few of the issues that only business owners worry about and stay up nights thinking about.
Employees and vendors do not worry about these issues nor do they have the owners perspective of these issues. A CFO who owned a business before not only has the financial and business acumen to be productive, but also has a mind set that only a business owner has and can perform like a business partner without owning stock. In short, it gives the business owner another set of business owner eyes and that is invaluable.