Michael J. Saylor

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Michael J. Saylor
Michael J. Saylor photo
Michael J. Saylor in 2022
Born (1965-02-04) February 4, 1965 (age 57)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
OccupationExecutive Chairman and President of MicroStrategy[1]

Michael J. Saylor (born February 4, 1965) is an American entrepreneur and business executive, who co-founded and leads MicroStrategy, a company that provides business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services. Saylor authored the 2012 book The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything. He is also the sole trustee of Saylor Academy, a provider of free online education. As of 2016, Saylor has been granted 31 patents and has 9 additional applications under review.[2]

As of August 8, 2022, Saylor has stepped down as Microstrategy's CEO following the loss 917 million dollars in Bitcoin holdings. Phong Le, president of Microstrategy prior to Saylor stepping down. Saylor led the company as CEO for 33 years.[3]

Life[edit]

Saylor was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on February 4, 1965, and spent his early years on various Air Force bases around the world, as his father was an Air Force chief master sergeant. When Saylor was 11, the family settled in Fairborn, Ohio, near the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.[4][5]

In 1983, Saylor enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on an Air Force ROTC scholarship.[4][5] He joined the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, through which he met the future co-founder of MicroStrategy, Sanju K. Bansal.[5][6] He graduated from MIT in 1987, with a double major in aeronautics and astronautics; and science, technology, and society.

A medical condition prevented him from becoming a pilot,[4][5] and instead, he got a job with a consulting firm, The Federal Group, Inc. in 1987, where he focused on computer simulation modeling for a software integration company.[6] In 1988, Saylor became an internal consultant at DuPont, where he developed computer models to help the company anticipate change in its key markets. The simulations predicted that there would be a recession in many of DuPont's major markets in 1990.[4][6]

MicroStrategy[edit]

Using the funds from DuPont, Saylor founded MicroStrategy with Sanju Bansal, his MIT fraternity brother.[5] The company began developing software for data mining, then focused on software for business intelligence. In 1992, MicroStrategy won a $10 million contract with McDonald's to develop applications to analyze the efficiency of its promotions. The contract with McDonald's led Saylor to realize that his company could create business intelligence software that would allow companies to use their own data for insights into their businesses.[5][6][4][7][8]

Saylor took the company public in June 1998, with an initial stock offering of 4 million shares priced at $12 each.[9] The stock price doubled on the first day of trading.[10] He owns over 39,521 units of the company worth over $14,482,075.[11] By early 2000, Saylor's net worth reached $7 billion, and the Washingtonian reported that he was the wealthiest man in the Washington D.C. area.[4]

In 1996, Saylor was named KPMG Washington High-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year.[6][12] In 1997, Ernst & Young named Saylor its Software Entrepreneur of the Year, and the following year, Red Herring Magazine recognized him as one of its Top 10 Entrepreneurs for 1998.[13] Saylor was also featured by the MIT Technology Review as an "Innovator Under 35" in 1999.[14]

On August 8, 2022, Saylor left his role at CEO and became Executive Chairman of MicroStrategy. Phong Le, the company's president, succeeded him as CEO. Saylor said in a press release, "As Executive Chairman I will be able to focus more on our bitcoin acquisition strategy and related bitcoin advocacy initiatives, while Phong will be empowered as CEO to manage overall corporate operations."[15]

SEC investigation[edit]

In March 2000, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought charges against Saylor and two other MicroStrategy executives for the company's inaccurate reporting of financial results for the preceding two years.[16] In December 2000, Saylor settled with the SEC without admitting wrongdoing by paying $350,000 in penalties and a personal disgorgement of $8.3 million.[17][18][19] As a result of the restatement of results, the company's stock declined in value and Saylor's net worth fell by $6 billion.[20][21]

COVID-19 response criticism[edit]

In a 3,000-word memo to all MicroStrategy employees on March 16, 2020, entitled "My Thoughts on COVID-19," Saylor criticized countermeasures then being recommended against the disease, saying that it is "soul-stealing and debillitating [sic] to embrace the notion of social distancing & economic hibernation" and predicting that in the worst-case scenario, global life expectancy would only "click down by a few weeks." Saylor also refused to close MicroStrategy's offices unless he was legally required to do so. The full content of the memo appeared on Reddit for only a few minutes and was reposted in the Washington Business Journal.[22][23]

Bitcoin investment[edit]

On MicroStrategy's quarterly earnings conference call in July 2020, Saylor announced his intention for MicroStrategy to explore purchasing Bitcoin, gold, or other alternative assets instead of holding cash. The following month, MicroStrategy used $250 million from its cash stockpile to purchase 21,454 Bitcoin.[24]

MicroStrategy later added $175 million of Bitcoin to its holdings in September 2020 and another $50 million in early December 2020. On December 11, 2020, MicroStrategy announced that it had sold $650 million in convertible senior notes, taking on debt to increase its Bitcoin holdings to over $1 billion worth. On December 21, 2020, MicroStrategy announced their total holdings include 70,470 bitcoins purchased for $1.125 billion at an average price of $15,964 per bitcoin.[25] As of February 24, 2021 holdings include 90,531 bitcoins acquired for $2.171 billion at an average price of $23,985 per bitcoin.[26] Saylor, who controls 70% of MicroStrategy's shares, dismissed concerns by observers that the move is turning MicroStrategy into a Bitcoin investment firm or exchange-traded fund (ETF).[27]

In October 2020, Saylor disclosed he personally held 17,732 bitcoin at an average purchase price of $9,882. As of October 2021, he had not sold any bitcoin.[28]

Between October 1 and November 29, 2021, MicroStrategy bought 7,002 bitcoins for about $414.4 million in cash at an average purchase price of $59,187, bringing its total holdings to 121,044 bitcoins.[29][30]

The Mobile Wave[edit]

In June 2012, Saylor released The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything, published by Perseus Books, which discusses trends in mobile technology and their future impact on commerce, healthcare, education, and the developing world.[31] The book appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list, where it was ranked number seven in hardcover non-fiction books in August 2012,[32] and was ranked number five in hardcover business books on the Wall Street Journal's Best-Sellers list in July 2012.[33]

Saylor Academy[edit]

In 1999, Saylor established The Saylor Foundation (later named Saylor Academy), of which he is the sole trustee. Saylor.org was launched in 2008 as the free education initiative of The Saylor Foundation.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leadership". microstrategy.com. MicroStrategy. 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Patents by Inventor Michael J. Saylor". Justia.com. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  3. ^ Roth, Emma (August 2, 2022). "MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor steps down to "focus" on Bitcoin as chairman". The Verge.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Harry Jaffe (1 March 2000). "The Seven Billion Dollar Man". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mark Leibovich (6 January 2002). "MicroStrategy's CEO Sped to the Brink". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e Jeff Glasser (15 July 1996). "From the Ground Up and Up". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  7. ^ Chuck Salter (31 March 2000). "People and Technology – MicroStrategy Inc". Fast Company. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  8. ^ Stewart Alsop (8 September 1997). "Now I know how a real visionary sounds". CNNMoney.com. CNN. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Initial Public Offerings Key Data". NASDAQ. 11 June 1998. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  10. ^ Mark Leibovitch (9 August 1998). "A Journey Into the Secret Heart of Capitalism". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  11. ^ "Michael Saylor Net Worth (2019) – wallmine.com". wallmine.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  12. ^ Stan Hinden (6 July 1998). "Transforming information into another public utility". New Straits Times. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Michael Saylor". The Washington Post. 21 June 2000. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Michael J. Saylor, 34". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  15. ^ Sigalos, MacKenzie (August 2, 2022). "MicroStrategy CEO Saylor moves to chairman role, focusing on strategy and bitcoin". CNBC. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  16. ^ David S. Hilzenrath (14 April 2000). "SEC Investigating MicroStrategy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  17. ^ Debra Lau (18 December 2000). "Forbes Faces: Michael Saylor". Forbes.com. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  18. ^ David S. Hilzenrath (15 December 2000). "Saylor, Associates Settle Fraud Charges". The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  19. ^ "SEC Brings Civil Charges Against MicroStrategyand Three Executive Officers for Accounting Violations". sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 14 December 2000. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  20. ^ David Plotz (23 March 2000). "Michael Saylor MicroStrategy's cult leader". Slate. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  21. ^ Catherine Yang (8 February 2004). "MicroStrategy's Second Wind". Businessweek.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  22. ^ Medici, Andy (19 March 2020). "MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor questions 'dizzying' national response to coronavirus outbreak in lengthy staff email". Washington Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  23. ^ Wong, Julia Carrie; Strauss, Daniel (18 March 2020). "The tech execs who don't agree with 'soul-stealing' coronavirus safety measures". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  24. ^ Medici, Andy (11 August 2020). "MicroStrategy buys $250M in Bitcoin as CEO says it's superior to cash". Washington Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  25. ^ "MicroStrategy Announces Over $1B in Total Bitcoin Purchases in 2020". MicroStrategy. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  26. ^ "MicroStrategy Acquires Additional 19,452 Bitcoins for $1.026 Billion". MicroStrategy. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  27. ^ Medici, Andy (14 December 2020). "MicroStrategy just raised $650M — and it's investing it all in Bitcoin". Washington Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  28. ^ "MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor's 17,732 BTC Holdings Now Worth $1.1B". finance.yahoo.com.
  29. ^ Ponciano, Jonathan (November 29, 2021). "Bitcoin's Biggest Corporate Investor Buys Another $414 Million As Omicron Variant Puts Crypto Prices Under 'Serious Pressure'". Forbes.
  30. ^ Shumba, Camomile. "Michael Saylor's MicroStrategy buys another 7,002 bitcoins for $414 million - keeping its promise to keep adding the crypto". Businessinsider. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  31. ^ Carol Ross Joynt (27 June 2012). "MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor's "The Mobile Wave" Examines the Implications of Mobile Technology". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  32. ^ "Best Sellers — Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. 5 August 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  33. ^ "Best-Selling Books, Week Ended July 15". The Wall Street Journal. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  34. ^ "About the Saylor Foundation". saylor.org. Saylor Foundation. Retrieved 21 February 2013.

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