Michael J. Saylor is an American entrepreneur, executive, inventor, author, and philanthropist. He was born to a military family in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1965 and spent his childhood living on various U.S. Air Force bases around the world. By his teenage years, his family had settled at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio—the birthplace of aviation and home of the Wright brothers. He graduated from high school first in his class, served as both class marshal and valedictorian, and was voted most likely to succeed by his peers.
Mr. Saylor attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a full Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. While at MIT, he was a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, and obtained dual degrees in aeronautics and astronautics as well as science, technology and society. In his free time, he played guitar in a rock band and learned to fly gliders. Mr. Saylor became fascinated by the application of computer simulation technology to public policy and business strategy, eventually writing his thesis "A Mathematical Model of a Renaissance Italian City State" while studying system dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
In 1987, Mr. Saylor graduated with highest honors from MIT. Having already successfully completed flight officer training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he learned to fly, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He joined the Air Force Reserve and began a career in consulting, with a focus on constructing computer simulations to support strategic decision-making at companies such as DuPont, Dow, and Exxon.
In 1989 at the age of 24, Mr. Saylor combined his passions for technology, business, and the use of computer simulations to launch MicroStrategy. The company was founded on his vision of helping enterprises deliver intelligence everywhere. By harnessing the power of graphical operating systems and client server computing, and pioneering a new approach to business intelligence called relational online analytical processing (ROLAP), the company grew steadily, going public in 1998 (NASDAQ: MSTR). Under his leadership, MicroStrategy has emerged as a global leader in enterprise analytics and mobility software, serving thousands of organizations around the world.
Mr. Saylor is a named inventor on more than 40 patents. In addition to being credited as the inventor of relational analytics, he led MicroStrategy into the fields of web analytics, distributed analytics, mobile analytics, cloud computing, mobile identity, and IoT. He was also the creator and founder of Alarm.com (NASDAQ: ALRM), one of the first home automation and security companies, and Angel.com (sold to Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories for $110 million in 2013), one of the first cloud-based interactive voice response service providers.
Mr. Saylor is the author of the book The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything, published by Perseus Books in 2012. The book anticipated the impact of mobile, cloud, and social networks on worldwide political and economic development, along with the rise of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google as transnational technology leaders that would destabilize the status quo across most industrial and political domains. The Mobile Wave appeared on both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Best Seller lists. In 1999, Mr. Saylor established The Saylor Foundation, which has donated millions to philanthropic causes including children's health, refugee relief, education, environmental conservation, and support for the arts. The foundation runs the Saylor Academy (Saylor.org), which offers free college education and continuing professional development courses to students worldwide. To date, it has provided free educational services to more than 225,000 students. In both 2015 and 2016, Mr. Saylor participated in the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy.
Mr. Saylor travels 175,000 miles per year to more than 60 cities and 25 nations to share his perspectives on enterprise analytics and mobility with technology and business audiences. Throughout his travels, he engages companies, organizations, and governments to discuss the ways that MicroStrategy can help them realize the vision of intelligence everywhere.
Mr. Epstein has been a member of the Board of Directors of MicroStrategy since January 2006. From June 2007 until his retirement in mid-2015, Mr. Epstein was the president and chief executive officer of Takeda Lace, Inc., a company that provided consulting services on all aspects of the textile business and engaged in trading and distribution for various Asian textile manufacturing firms. Since his retirement, Mr. Epstein has been acting as an independent investor. From May 2002 to October 2007, Mr. Epstein was president and chief executive officer of Takeda Lace USA, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based textile manufacturer Takeda Lace Co., Ltd. From October 2001 to May 2002, Mr. Epstein pursued various business opportunities, including serving as a consultant for Warnaco Inc., an apparel manufacturer. From June 1978 to October 2001, Mr. Epstein served in various positions at textile manufacturer Liberty Fabrics of New York, Inc., concluding his tenure as division president and chief operating officer. Mr. Epstein received a B.S. in Psychology from Columbia University and did coursework at the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Mr. Graham has been a member of the Board of Directors of MicroStrategy since April 2014. Mr. Graham is currently President of CrossHill Financial Group, Inc., a private merchant bank and advisory firm that he founded in 1988, and has been a General Partner of CrossHill Georgetown Capital, L.P. since 2000 and CrossHill Debt II, L.P. since 2004. Prior to that, Mr. Graham was a Principal with Kidder, Peabody & Co. and held positions with Merrill Lynch & Co. and Arthur Young & Co. (which later became part of Ernst & Young LLP). Mr. Graham was a member of the board of directors of TNS, Inc., a former New York Stock Exchange-listed, global data communications and interoperability solutions company, from 2003 until the company’s acquisition by Siris Capital Group, LLC in February 2013. While a member of the board of directors of TNS, Inc., Mr. Graham served as Chairman of the audit committee through 2011, and as Chairman of the board of directors from 2012 to 2013. Mr. Graham also served as a member of the board of directors of Speedus Corp. from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Graham also previously served as a member of the board of directors of Credit Management Solutions, Inc., a former Nasdaq-listed, credit processing software company, and several private companies. Mr. Graham received a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Mr. Patten has been a member of the Board of Directors of MicroStrategy since November 2004. In 1996, Mr. Patten founded RRG and has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer since inception. RRG is an independent international consulting firm specializing in the development and implementation of enterprise-wide cost control strategies that heighten operational controls, increase transparency, ensure cost compliance and extend cost accountability for RRG's geographically diverse client base. Mr. Patten received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University.
Mr. Rickertsen has been a member of the Board of Directors of MicroStrategy since October 2002. Mr. Rickertsen is currently Managing Partner of Pine Creek Partners, a private equity investment firm, a position he has held since January 2004. From January 1998 to January 2004, Mr. Rickertsen was Chief Operating Officer and a partner at Thayer Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm. From September 1994 to January 1998, Mr. Rickertsen was a managing partner at Thayer. Mr. Rickertsen was a founding partner of three Thayer investment funds totaling over $1.4 billion and is a published author. Mr. Rickertsen serves as a member of the boards of directors of Apollo Senior Floating Rate Fund Inc. and Apollo Tactical Income Fund Inc., each of which is a closed-end management investment company, Berry Plastics Group, Inc., a global manufacturer and marketer of value-added plastic consumer packaging and engineered materials, and Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation, an integrated producer of value-added primary aluminum products and rolled aluminum coils. From April 2003 to January 2010, Mr. Rickertsen was a member of the board of directors of Convera Corporation, a publicly-traded search-engine software company. From September 2004 to September 2008, Mr. Rickertsen was a member of the board of directors of UAP Holding Corp., a distributor of farm and agricultural products. Mr. Rickertsen received a B.S. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.