10 Inspiring Facts about SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie

Business guru Zander Lurie knows a thing or two about growing unicorn companies.

He’s the CEO of SurveyMonkey, a multimillion dollar enterprise established in 1999.

Prior to joining SurveyMonkey, he was the SVP at GoPro and the CFO of CBS Interactive — to describe Zander’s career as successful is an understatement.

Discover 10 inspiring facts about Zander!

1. For Zander, customers are always the top priority.

In an interview with CNBC, Zander said SurveyMonkey currently has 16 million web-based customers.

With so many active members, he reaffirmed that the company is doing everything it can to protect privacy.

“We have a business where we have an incredible amount of data that’s collected everyday…so we pay great heed to our customer’s data,” Zander said.

He also said SurveyMonkey follows international regulations that help protect user privacy.

2. He co-founded the non-profit, CoachArt.

Inspired by his father’s work as a doctor, Zander launched CoachArt in 2001 with Leah Bernthal.

The organization acts as a “transformative arts and athletics community for families affected by childhood chronic illness.”

CoachArt partners with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as Children’s Hospital Oakland, and serves 10,000 kids every year.

3. Zander has been recognized as a top CEO.

Zander was listed as a one of the best CEOs by Comparably in 2017.

He was joined on the list by CEOs from Salesforce, LinkedIn and Google.

Last year, Zander also won the Jimmy Lee Leadership award for his outstanding leadership.

4. He initially went to college to study law.

When Zander first attended Emory University in 1995, he planned on studying law.

But after joining the program, his gut was telling him to go in a different direction.

“About two weeks in, I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t want to be a lawyer,” Zander said during a presentation to Goizueta Business School students.

“Is there a nursing school or a theology school or a business program? How do I get across the street?!’”

That’s when Zander decided to pursue a JD/MBA degree at Goizueta, which linked law and business and eventually led to his interest in finance.

5. Zander took over SurveyMonkey in an effort to keep his friend’s vision alive.

When David Goldberg, SurveyMonkey’s late CEO, passed away unexpectedly in 2015, Zander was heartbroken.

He described David as one of his “closest friends” and mourned alongside the CEO’s family and employees.

Although Zander was serving as a board member for SurveyMonkey and GoPro’s SVP at the time, he ultimately decided to take over as CEO of SurveyMonkey to keep David’s vision alive .

“SurveyMonkey had shown incredible resiliency, and the company’s continued success was very important to me, because it was part of Dave’s legacy,” Zander commented in a recent Harvard Business Review article.

6. Since Zander joined SurveyMonkey, the company has ranked on Forbes Cloud 100 list

Under Zander’s leadership, SurveyMonkey became a member of Forbes Cloud 100 list.

Cloud 100 companies are known as “champions of small business and facilitators of the world’s most important multinational corporations,” according to Forbes.

Out of the 100 business awarded, SurveyMonkey ranked №12 in 2017 and №13 in 2018.

7. Curiosity should be a driving factor in every company, says Zander

Zander believes curiosity is at the core of every business — whether it be with customers or employees — and nurturing that wonder leads to success.

He came to this realization after taking over SurveyMonkey and re-defining the company’s culture.

“Recognizing that curiosity is at the heart of everything we do, we made it our new rallying cry,” Zander wrote in an article for the Harvard Business Review.

“Leaders need to find ways to help employees flex their curiosity. We want people to ask big questions — and we want to celebrate them when they do.”

8. Zander is a feminist.

“It’s more important now than ever for men — particularly those in leadership positions — to help the next generation of female leaders thrive,” Zander recently wrote.

He noted that some of his earliest mentors were women and he wouldn’t have succeeded without them.

Since becoming CEO, Zander has prioritized equality and achieved gender parity at SurveyMonkey with “45% female representation overall, 32% in leadership, 30% in technical and 58% in non-technical roles.”

Although this is a great success, Zander said he still aspires to increase these numbers.

9. Zander is a University of Washington Alum.

Although Zander received his MBA from Emory University, he first went to college at the University of Washington in 1991.

While there, Zander studied and graduated with a degree in political science.

10. He’s a family man.

Zander is mostly known at SurveyMonkey’s CEO, but he’s also a father and husband.

He and his wife, Kristin, live in the Bay Area and have three kids.

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About the Author

Larry Kim is the CEO of MobileMonkey — provider of the World’s Best Facebook Messenger Marketing Platform. He’s also the founder of WordStream.

You can connect with him on Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Originally posted on Inc.com


10 Inspiring Facts about SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie was originally published in Marketing and Entrepreneurship on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.