Alumnus Interview: Darren Guccione, Entrepreneurial CPA

Alumnus Darren GuccioneA Passion for Innovation

Darren Guccione, CPA
MS in Accountancy ’96

Residence: Chicago

Occupation: CEO and co-founder of Keeper Security, Inc., creator of Keeper, the world’s most popular password manager and digital vault for mobile devices and computers. Keeper is used by more than nine million people in 100 countries and is published in 18 languages. At Keeper, I lead product vision, global strategy, business development and customer experience.

Education: I hold a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I received the Evans Scholarship, Morton Thiokol Excellence in Engineering Design Award and a Distinguished Alumnus Award. My decision to pursue a business degree at DePaul was influenced by my desire to expand my engineering skills with a strong foundation in business operations and finance. I felt the MSA program was optimal because it was very similar to an MBA program and provided the credits I needed to sit for the CPA exam. DePaul introduced me to Professors Don Shannon and Mark Frigo, two of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. I served as a grad assistant to them as I pursued my master’s degree, and they had a tremendous impact on me.

Vital stats: Prior to Keeper, I served as an advisor to JiWire, now called NinthDecimal, which became the largest WiFi ad network in the world. I was formerly the CFO and a primary shareholder of Apollo Solutions, Inc., which I and my partners sold to CNET Networks, Inc. Early in my career, I lived in Asia for several years, where I coordinated product development for Bell Sports, a world leader in the bicycle accessories market. I also served with Arthur Andersen as a management consultant. My wife’s name is Jade, and we have four beautiful children.

What I like best about my job: Creating a product that honors people’s privacy and makes their online lives more convenient. I enjoy working with great people—we push each other to innovate and, most importantly, we love what we do.

The biggest challenge I face in my job is: The ability to stay focused on our core initiatives, as a company, and helping team members do the same; failing at this leads to failure in most companies. The most important thing I do every day is to keep everyone in the company on track and focused.

Advice for new graduates:

• Create something amazing.
• Adopt a mindset of innovation.
• Pursue perfection in every aspect of your product and operation.
• Stay positive. Avoid and/or remove negative energy.
• Hire smart, honest and positive people who have a passion for what you are creating.

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