As Crowdstrike Shares Soar On Its IPO Day, CEO George Kurtz Joins The Billionaire Ranks

George Kurtz

It’s been a banner day for George Kurtz. The CEO of security software firm Crowdstrike took his company public on the Nasdaq and became a billionaire in the process.

Shares of Crowdstrike soared 70% during trading Wednesday, finishing at $58 a share and giving the company a reported market capitalization of $11 billion. Kurtz owns just about 10% of the company—though some of his shares are pledged as security for a loan, according to the company’s filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. After discounting a portion of the pledged shares, Forbes calculates that Kurtz, 48 years old, is worth just over $1 billion.

Crowdstrike, based in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Sunnyvale, was cofounded in 2011 by Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch offering cloud-based cybersecurity. It gained recognition after it helped uncover the Russian hacks to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Customers include payment processor ADP, web-hosting company Rackspace and Tribune Media. Alperovitch is not listed as a shareholder in the company’s SEC filing.

Prior to cofounding Crowdstrike, Kurtz held executive roles, including worldwide chief of technology, at security firm McAfee. Back in 1999, Kurtz founded a security technology firm called Foundstone Inc. He has a B.S. in accounting from Seton Hall University.

The valuation for Crowdstrike is quite rich, particularly given its significant losses. The company disclosed it posted a net loss of $140 million on $219 million in revenue in the year through January 2019. Forbes contributor David Trainor spells out how Crowdstrike is spending heavily to acquire its customers.

A spokesman for Crowdstrike did not reply to a request for comment.

Kerry A. Dolan – I’m a San Francisco-based Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on wealth. I edit mostly, but also write about how the richest get wealthy and how they spend their time and their money. My colleague Luisa Kroll at Forbes in New York and I oversee the massive reporting effort that goes into Forbes’ annual World’s Billionaires List and the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. The former gets me to use my rusty Spanish and Portuguese. In 2014, I won an Overseas Press Club award for an article I wrote about Saudi Arabian billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; I also won a Gerald Loeb Award with co-author Rafael Marques de Morais for an article we wrote about Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angola’s President. Over 20 years my Forbes reporting has taken me to 17 countries on four continents, from the slums of Manila to palaces in Saudi Arabia and Mexico’s presidential residence. Follow me on Twitter @KerryDolan My email: kdolan[at]forbes[dot] com Tips and story ideas welcome.


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