On this day in history: Celebrating Rick Smith and Axon’s 29th Founder’s Day
Sep 07, 2022
Rick Smith is the founder and CEO of Axon Enterprise, formerly TASER International. Rick graduated from Harvard University in May 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Just 7 months later, two of his childhood friends, Todd Bogers and Cory Holmes, were shot and killed by a civilian in a road rage incident in Scottsdale, AZ. This event changed the course of Rick’s career, and the course of public safety.
Intent on creating a less-lethal weapon for conflict resolution, Rick earned an MBA in finance from the UChicago Booth School of Business and an MBA in International Finance from Belgium’s University of Leuven. On September 7, 1993, 29 years ago today, Rick founded AIR TASER, Inc, which would become Axon, in a garage. The flagship product? The TASER energy weapon.
Watch Rick talk about how to make weapons safer on Freethink.
A COMMITMENT TO PROTECT LIFE
In the nearly three decades that have followed the founding of Axon, product offerings have expanded beyond TASER energy weapons to a full ecosystem of hardware and software. But the impetus for each of these offerings remained the same as the original TASER energy weapon: each project that Axon works on directly ties back to Rick’s mission to protect life.
Through each phase of Axon’s history, Rick has remained at the helm, ready and available to guide the company in our work and ensure that work is guided by the company’s overarching mission. Just as importantly, Rick has identified and advocated for key leaders who he believes embody the spirit of a founder, ensuring the company remains strong and capable throughout its growth. A truly strong founder is more than their early days. A great founder knows that it is their duty to not just have a vision, but to put the building blocks in place for that vision to be fulfilled beyond their time at a company. Rick Smith is a great founder. We are thankful for all he continues to do for Axon, and for the building blocks he continues to put in place for the future.
Happy Founder’s Day, Rick.
AXON’S CORE VALUES
Today, Axon maintains six core values that guide us in our work and ensure we are connected to Rick’s vision and our core mission to Protect Life:
- Be Obsessed
- Aim Far
- Win Right
- Own It
- Join Forces
- Expect Candor
For more information or to find a career at Axon, please visit axon.com/careers