President and CEO FirstRain
Penny Herscher leads FirstRain with a passion for growing companies in new markets. As CEO since 2005, she has transformed FirstRain into the leading provider of solutions that find and transform high-value business Web content into actionable intelligence for sales and marketing professionals around the globe.
Before FirstRain, Herscher was CEO of Simplex Solutions, an electronic design automation company serving the global semiconductor industry. As CEO, Herscher grew Simplex from just a few engineers to a profitable, high-growth software company. She led the company to a very successful IPO in 2001 and then through its sale to Cadence Design Systems in 2002. At Cadence, Herscher was general manager of a major division and also chief marketing officer. From 1988 to 1996, Herscher was an early employee and senior executive at Synopsys. She began her career in 1982 as an R&D engineer with Texas Instruments and then Daisy Systems. Herscher holds an M.A. with Honors in mathematics from Cambridge University.
Herscher serves on the boards of JDSU and Rambus. She is also active in the non-profit world and serves on the board of the Anita Borg Institute. She volunteers teaching business classes at Stanford Business School, the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and Santa Clara University, and she is a speaker on leadership and career growth at various industry organizations.