People In The Spotlight

Smashing through barriers to set up a $2bn tech firm

Therese Tucker

The BBC’s weekly The Boss series profiles a different business leader from around the world. This week we speak to Therese Tucker, founder and chief executive of US financial software business BlackLine.

To set up and grow BlackLine Therese Tucker spent her retirement savings, maxed out her credit cards, and took out a second mortgage on her home.

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Meanwhile, two friends lent her money so that she could pay her staff’s wages during the leanest months. That risk – to Ms Tucker and her friends – paid off.

BlackLine, which was launched in 2001, is today worth more than $2bn (£1.6bn). And Ms Tucker’s personal fortune is estimated at $380m.

This makes her one of the richest self-made women in the US, according to Forbes magazine.

Because Los Angeles-based BlackLine doesn’t sell any consumer products, it is not a company many people will have heard of. It is, however, used by more than 2,200 firms around the world, which it provides with cloud-based accounting software.

With annual revenues of $177m in 2017, and 800 employees, its clients include Coca-Cola, eBay, Philips and Under Armour.

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