"I was very creative and curious and wanted to control my destiny. So I wanted to bet on myself, which led me to start my first company."
As soon as I read the above statement, I wanted to learn more about the person who said these words. His name is George Kurtz, and he is a self-taught programmer.
His brilliance in cyber security made him a hot commodity in the field and made him one of the most influential people in cyber security. His wealth exceeds $4 billion, making him the richest person in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
George Kurtz is the co-founder and CEO of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, the founder of Foundstone, and the chief technology officer of McAfee.
George Kurtz grew up in New Jersey and earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from Seton Hall University in 1992. After earning his degree, he worked at Price Waterhouse as a certified public accountant before moving into a new security group.
Kurtz co-founded Foundstone in 1999.
In 1999, he co-wrote a book called Hacking Exposed 7: Network Security Secrets and Solutions. The book established him as an expert in the cyber security field, so he co-founded a cybersecurity company, Foundstone.
Foundstone sells vulnerability management software and consulting services. McAfee acquired Foundstone in 2004 for $86 million in cash. The company continues to operate as an independent consulting division.
After selling Foundstone in 2004, Kurtz became risk manager at McAfee.
Kurtz came to McAfee after the acquisition of Foundstone, where he was CEO. He held various roles at McAfee: senior vice president, risk manager, and more. He has been credited with drafting the company's security risk management strategy.
In 2009, McAfee promoted Kurtz to chief technology officer and executive vice president. In that role, he helped Google, Adobe, and several high-profile companies to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. However, by 2011, he was so frustrated with McAfee's existing technology that he left the company and found a new company, CrowdStrike.
He co-founded CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. in 2011.
CrowdStrike is a leading provider of next-generation endpoint protection, threat intelligence, and services. In 2016, his company was hired to protect the Democratic National Committee servers.
In 2020, CrowdStrike won SC magazine's best security company award, and it was recognized by Fortune magazine as the best workplace in technology. It is worth more than $40 billion, and its revenue exceeded $870 million in 2020—an incredible 82% year-over-year increase.
Have you heard about CrowdStrike before you read this article?