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Michael Murdoch 150x200

Michael Murdoch

  • CEO Emeritus, AppRiver LLC


Mike Murdoch established a long and successful track record as a leader and innovator in the highly competitive high-tech marketplace. As AppRiver’s first CEO and founder, he grew the company from a two-man operation in Gulf Breeze, Fla., into one of the leading cloud cybersecurity and productivity providers in the world, employing more than 260 team members in the US and abroad. With his leadership, AppRiver landed on the Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for a remarkable 11 consecutive years and earned other high industry honors for business growth and performance, customer care and satisfaction, along with community support and philanthropy.

Murdoch founded AppRiver in 2002 on the heels of his first successful entrepreneurial venture, the technology integration company WAVEnet. Recognizing that the Internet would fundamentally change the way businesses consume and pay for software, he and AppRiver co-founder Joel Smith, were pioneers in the Security Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) space. They set out to make enterprise-grade business applications, beginning with anti-spam and virus software, accessible for companies of all sizes. This easy, effective and affordable approach to software delivery led to explosive growth in customers and revenue and earned AppRiver a place alongside industry leaders like McAfee, Symantec and others.

In the years since, Murdoch has overseen the addition of new product offerings that have helped the company maintain its position as a leader in cloud-based email security and business productivity services. As competitors have sold out or shut down, AppRiver has remained profitable since inception. Some 55,000 corporate customers with 10 million mailboxes worldwide are now protected by AppRiver technology. His relentless focus on customer support – trademarked Phenomenal Care – has helped AppRiver retain an incredible 93 percent of these customers year over year. 

In February of 2019, Murdoch and AppRiver co-founder Joel Smith sold their interests in the company to Zix, a Dallas-based cybersecurity company. The deal marked the end of Murdoch's tenure at the company, but not his influence. Emblazoned on the walls of the Support area is his signature quote, “You know the drill!” as a permanent reminder of the high standards he set for himself and his team.

Murdoch is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Florida’s executive program who has earned a host of honors including induction into the Ernst and Young Tech Hall of Fame and being named Ernst and Young’s Florida Entrepreneur of the Year. Two Florida governors have honored Murdoch for innovation and job creation and members of his community chose him to receive the Rotary’s 2015 Ethics in Business award. He also serves on the advisory board for the College of Science and Engineering at the University of West Florida, is a member of Atlanta’s Technology Executive Roundtable, and was a founding member of Innovation Coast, a consortium of technology and knowledge-based companies in Northwest Florida. In 2018, his success landed him on Florida Trend’s inaugural “Most Influential Business Leaders” list.

Murdoch studied business at the University of Georgia and held several progressively more responsible positions in the tech field before launching out on his own. He is a believer in the value of mentoring young entrepreneurs and recently helped found Pensacola’s Cowork @nnex, a collective workspace designed to provide startups affordable office space along with frequent and meaningful interaction with successful business owners.