Greg Gianforte

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Greg Gianforte
Greg Gianforte crop.jpg
Gianforte speaking in 2006
Personal details
Born (1961-04-17) April 17, 1961 (age 55)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Gianforte
Children 4
Alma mater Stevens Institute of Technology
(BEng, MS)
Religion Nondenominational Christianity
Website Campaign website

Greg Gianforte (born April 17, 1961) is an American engineer, businessman, and politician.

Gianforte and his wife founded RightNow Technologies, customer-experience software company.[1] The couple is known for their philanthropy and relationships with various Christian and conservative groups including Focus on the Family and The Heritage Foundation.[2][3]


Gianforte holds a B.E. in electrical engineering and an M.S. degree in computer science, both earned at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1983.


Gianforte began his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories and was one of the engineers on AT&T's StarLAN Network project.

Gianforte co-founded Brightwork Development, a developer of network management applications.[citation needed] He sold the business to McAfee Associates in 1994. Gianforte went on to serve as North American VP, where the company's North American sales operation grew from $25 million to more than $60 million in revenues in less than a year.

Gianforte founded RightNow Technologies in 1997 which went public in 2004 and was sold to Oracle Corporation for $1.5 billion in 2011.[4] Before the sale, RightNow Technologies employed about 500 people at its headquarters in Bozeman, Montana and over 1000 people in total.[5]

Gianforte is a board member of FICO[6] and chair of the board at Petra Academy, a Bozeman, Montana Christian school.[7]


Gianforte was chosen as the 2014 graduation commencement speaker at Montana Tech, a public science and engineering college in Butte. The choice of speaker resulted in a protest by students and faculty critical of Gianforte's financial support of a museum promoting young Earth creationism and his opposition to same-sex marriage. Gianforte's personal foundation has ties to conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation and religions organizations such as Focus on the Family.[2][8]

2016 Montana gubernatorial election[edit]

On January 20, 2016, Gianforte announced his candidacy for the Republican Party's nomination for Governor of Montana in the 2016 election.[9] However, he had a political practices complaint filed against him after he allegedly started campaigning before registering.[10][11] The complaint was quickly dismissed.[12]

Gianforte ran on a platform that he believed would create a high wage economy in Montana,[13] which was 49th in wages in 2013 by some counts.[14]

In a campaign speech that year, Gianforte stated that Facebook had passed over Montana for a call center because of that state's business equipment tax.[15] Facebook's spokesman Andy Stone said later that no discussions with Gianforte took place and that the tax was not the reason the company didn't locate a call center in Montana.[16]

Steve Bullock, the incumbent Democratic governor, defeated Gianforte in the November general election, 50%–46%.[17]

2017 Montana U.S. House special election[edit]

On March 1, 2017, Republican U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana's at-large congressional district resigned his seat following his confirmation by the United States Senate as United States Secretary of the Interior. Governor Bullock set a special election to finish Zinke's term for May 25 that same day.[18] Gianforte had already announced his intention to seek the seat on January 25, prior to Zinke's confirmation and subsequent resignation.[19] At a March 6 convention, the Republican Party selected Gianforte as their nominee. He will face Democratic musician and former Montana Arts Council member Rob Quist in the general election.[20]

Family Foundation[edit]

In 2006, Gianforte and his wife founded the Gianforte Family Foundation. Gianforte claims it has has donated tens of millions of dollars to various charities[21] and describes as its primary mission to "support the work of Christian organizations engaged in education, poverty, and outreach work" and "protecting the unborn".[22] He, his wife, and his son are the foundation's three board members.[22]

In 2009, the Gianforte Family Foundation helped fund the $1.5 million creationist dinosaur museum in Glendive, Montana.[23]


Gianforte received an honorary doctorate from Stevens Institute of Technology and gave the commencement speech in 2012.[24]

In 2007, Gianforte was awarded an honorary doctorate from Montana State University's College of Engineering.[25]

In 2007, Gianforte was inducted in the CRM Hall of Fame.[26]

Gianforte received the 2003 Stevens Institute of Technology's Stevens Honor Award.[27]

Gianforte was named Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 2003.[28]

CRM Magazine awarded Gianforte the "2003 Influential Leader".[29]

Personal life[edit]

Gianforte and his wife, Susan, live in Bozeman, Montana, and together they have four children.[30] The Gianfortes' attend Grace Bible Church, a nondenominational church in Bozeman, and Gianforte is known for donating for several Christian and conservative groups.[3][31]


  1. ^ "Native & Newcomer". Sky. Delta Airlines. 2011. p. 114. ISSN 0734-8967. 
  2. ^ a b "Faculty, students to boycott Tech graduation over speakers". Billings Gazette. March 27, 2014. ISSN 2372-868X. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Fraser, Jayme (March 27, 2016). "Gianforte's charitable giving reveals social conservatism not discussed in campaign". Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  4. ^ Frier, Sarah (October 24, 2011). "Oracle Buys RightNow for .5 Billion to Add Cloud Services". Bloomberg. 
  5. ^ Flandro, Carly (February 3, 2011). "RightNow grows to more than 1,000 employees". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Greg R. Gianforte - Executive Bio, Compensation History, and Contacts - Equilar Atlas". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Board of Directors". Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Faculty at Montana Tech protest selection of commencement speakers who promote creationism". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  9. ^ Lutey, Tom (January 20, 2016). "Gianforte declares candidacy for governor in Billings". Billings Gazette. ISSN 2372-868X. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. 
  10. ^ Carter, Troy. "Political practices complaint filed against Gianforte". Retrieved August 29, 2015. 
  11. ^ Talwani, Sanjay. "Complaint alleges that Gianforte campaigned before registering as a candidate". MTN News. Retrieved August 29, 2015. 
  12. ^ Carter, Troy. "Campaign Complaint Against Gianforte Dismissed". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  13. ^ Gianforte, Greg. "High Tech is creating high wage jobs in Montana". Better Montana Jobs. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  14. ^ DeMay, Daniel. "The bottom line: Tax return data puts Montana wages near bottom of nation, again". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  15. ^ Great Falls Tribune. "Gianforte unveils ‘406 Tax Relief' plan." 4/18/2016. Date Accessed: 4/21/2016
  16. ^ Associated Press. "Facebook disputes claims of Montana candidate." 4/21/2016
  17. ^ "2016 General Election". Montana Secretary of State. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 
  18. ^ Lutey, Tom (March 1, 2017). "Zinke sworn in as Interior secretary; Montana prepares for special election". Billings Gazette. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  19. ^ Dennison, Mike (January 25, 2017). "Gianforte officially enters the race to succeed Zinke". KTVH-DT. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Gianforte wins Republican nomination for Montana's US House election". Associated Press. NBC Montana. March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  21. ^ Associated Press. "Gianforte releases tax returns showing income of $220 million over 10 years." Billings Gazette. 1/3/2016. Date Accessed: 2/4/2016
  22. ^ a b "About Us". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  23. ^ Healy, Donna (October 18, 2009). "Dinosaur museum presents biblical view of origins: A faith-based Creation". Billings Gazette. ISSN 2372-868X. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Greg Gianforte and Jeong Kim Announced as Stevens Institute of Technology's 2012 Commencement Speakers". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  25. ^ Schmidt, Carol (April 3, 2007). "Four to receive MSU honorary doctorate degrees". MSU News Service. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  26. ^ magazine, the Editors of CRM (1 September 2007). "The 2007 Market Awards: Hall of Fame". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  27. ^ Stevens Institute of Technology's Stevens Honor Award Archived 2004-09-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ "Ernst & Young Names RightNow Founder Greg Gianforte Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year; Innovation, Outstanding Business Performance, and Personal Commitment Cited in Software Category Award Presentation. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  29. ^ CRM Magazine 2003 Influential Leader[dead link]
  30. ^ "About Greg". Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  31. ^ Noon, Alison (December 29, 2015). "Religion Central to Gianforte's Life, But Not His Campaign". Flathead Beacon (through AP). Retrieved September 29, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Rick Hill
Republican nominee for Governor of Montana
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