I don’t typically expect much from IBD, but I found this to be a really helpful profile of Crowdstrike CEO and Co-Founder George Kurtz: https://www.investors.com/news/management/leaders-and-succes…
Some bits that impressed me: Instead of celebrating CrowdStrike’s (CRWD) IPO in 2019, Kurtz set out at once to meet 100 of the company’s customers in 100 days. “One hundred was the goal, and we exceeded it.”
Me: That customer focus is really important.
Kurtz knows this all too well. He spent seven years at McAfee (now owned by Intel (INTC)), one of the most well-known desktop security companies. He also co-wrote the bible on security, “Hacking Exposed,” which has sold more than 600,000 copies since its release in 1999.
Me: I knew he was at McAfee. I didn’t know about the book (which gave him the money to start his first company, which was acquired by McAfee).
“He’s the most intense, focused and driven person in the company,” said Sameer Gandhi, a partner at Accel, a venture capital firm that first invested in CrowdStrike in 2013, two year after it was founded. Gandhi now serves on CrowdStrike’s board of directors. “His gear goes beyond most people’s,” Gandhi added.
Kurtz “has deeper experience in the security category” than most experts, said Rob Owens, an analyst at Piper Sandler. That knowledge enables him “to recognize areas (in the market) that are ripe for disruption.”
Raised in a middle-class family in Parsippany, N.J., Kurtz set his sights on a business degree at college. He graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in accounting. But he was also a self-taught programmer.
“I was very creative and curious and wanted to control my own destiny,” he said. “I wanted to bet on myself, and that led me to start my first company.”
Me: The combination of experience, drive, intelligence, communications ability, and curiosity make for a powerful CEO mix. All I had really known of him before was the aggressive ego that comes across on the conference calls. This helped me see a more nuanced picture and one that gave me more confidence both in him and in Crowdstrike.