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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Cassidy Smirnow Apryse

Cassidy Smirnow

Chief Executive Officer


Location: Denver

Founded: 1998

Industry: Software

Beginning her career as a geologist, Cassidy Smirnow realized she didn’t love being cold and wet all the time. Wanting to shift gears, she sought to enter a new industry where she fell in love with technology and software development. While working in project management, business development and operations, Smirnow developed a love for both the technology industry and its customers.

She continued a 20-year career in software with startups, all the way to Fortune 500 companies. Ultimately, in early 2022, Smirnow was offered her first CEO opportunity at Apryse (formerly PDFTron) based on her experience and ability to take a fast-growing company to the next level.

For over 20 years, Apryse has powered some of the world’s leading technologies. What started as a single business has evolved into a global organization with an expansive product portfolio. The firm is considered a leader in document processing and delivers inventive solutions enabling the creation, editing, merging, extracting and smart classification of documents.

Since assuming the role of CEO, Smirnow has successfully expanded the company’s offerings, grown its global footprint, added exceptional talent and strengthened the culture of collaboration and ingenuity. In just a few years, Smirnow has propelled the company to achieve 20+% growth while launching new products, including Xodo and Fluent.

“Ultimately, to become successful, a leader needs to build a great team of leaders and empower them throughout the organization,” said Smirnow. “You want your team to always do their best work and challenge themselves, but they need to feel motivated and supported.”

Having passion and fostering a collaborative environment with open communication is critical to leading well, she said. It’s why Smirnow shares her passion and her enthusiasm for the industry with her staff and fellow leaders.

“Cassidy is passionate about empowering high-growth companies to scale,” said her staff. Her work has garnered recognition as one of Calibre One’s 2023 Top 25 Women Leaders in PE-Backed Software and serves on the board of Wonderbound, a nonprofit American dance company in Denver.

Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey, Smirnow said she would tell her younger self to always say YES. “Whether saying ‘Yes’ means being asked to be part of a project or initiative that may not fit your specific job description or a project that you may not own, these opportunities provide learning experiences that can help propel a career by supplying the tools and skills that can help you prepare for your next career phase,” she said.

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Did you know?

Listening! Having fine-tuned listening skills is imperative as a CEO. It’s important to not only hear employee or client feedback, but actively listen to it and put an action plan in place where needed. For example, Apryse has developed fireside chats, where I get together with employees, listen to their concerns and suggestions surrounding specific topics, and engage with them meaningfully to ensure they are heard so we can work together to find a solution.


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