Rick Essex is Chief Financial Officer, overseeing all financial aspects of the company, including investor relations, accounting, tax, financial planning and analysis, treasury and capital markets. Rick has more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience holding senior operational and investing roles during his career. Prior to joining Blackboard, Rick served as CFO of Survey Sampling International (SSI), where he was responsible for all financial aspects of the company and played a key role in driving overall corporate strategy. In that role, he led the successful sale of SSI to private equity firm HGGC in 2014 as well as the subsequent merger with Research Now in 2017.
Prior to joining SSI, Rick served as a Principal at Providence Equity Partners, focusing on investments in media, communications and information services. Earlier, he held a variety of roles in private equity, investment banking and public accounting with BCI Partners, Dillon Read & Co (now UBS) and Arthur Andersen. Rick earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. He is married with two children and enjoys all things related to the outdoors.