Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-CEO of global software company Atlassian, speaks at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney on April 10, 2018.
Chris Hopins | Australian Financial Review | Getty Images
As a co-CEO or producer of collaboration software Atlas, Scott Farquhar has had a rough year, as have many of his industry peers. The company’s share price has lost half its value in 2022 as inflationary fears collided with rising interest rates to hit the market. fast growing technology sector.
But one of the most intense moments of the year had nothing to do with software or macroeconomics.
In April, while in Las Vegas for a corporate conference, Farquhar went with a friend for an evening of good food and entertainment. He just flew in from Sydney, Australia, where he helped build Atlassian 20 years ago.
That night he saved a man’s life.
CNBC learned of Farquhar’s experience after posting separate story on Atlassian and talking to someone with knowledge of the incident. Farquhar later confirmed this version and agreed to be interviewed about it.
Farquhar was in Las Vegas for Team ’22, which Atlassian describes on its website as “the best teamwork experience and the flagship Atlassian conference”. Employees, customers and partners came to learn how the company’s software is being deployed, as well as hear from a range of speakers, including Farquhar and former Disney CEO Bob Iger.
The event was supposed to start on April 5th. Three days earlier, Farquhar had been walking with a friend who had moved to the US from Australia.
The two men had dinner together and then found a table next to the dance floor at the Omnia nightclub at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. The club was full, but thinned out as night fell.
Early in the morning, Farquhar crossed the dance floor on his way to the bathroom. It was then that he noticed a man lying motionless on his back. To Farquhar, this man looked dead. Having taken several first aid courses over a decade as a Scout in Australia, Farquhar gained some knowledge of what to do in such an event.
He knelt down on the floor next to the man and touched his cheek to check if he was breathing. He was not. There was also no visible movement of the chest.
Under strobe lights and loud music, Farquhar began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation until bouncers at the club came up and told him to stop.
Well, then you will, Farquhar recalled.
They told him to continue. A spokesman for Tao Group Hospitality, Omnia’s parent company, said the club does not comment on “incidents involving our guests.”
Farquhar performed the chest presses and breathing exercises that accompany cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He practiced many times, but only on dolls, never on another person.
Party people came to watch. The music stopped. Farquhar lowered his head beside the man and heard gurgling sounds. Some people yelled at Farquhar. Others tried to help. It was stunning, he recalled.
A man arrived wearing plastic gloves and a shirt with medical insignia. The medical worker went down to the dance floor. He began to take tools out of his bag.
Then the man on the floor woke up. He got to his feet. But there was no color on his face, and his breath was hoarse, Farquhar said. The medical staff put the man in a wheelchair and took him away.
“He was the deadest person I have ever seen,” Farquhar said.
Farquhar stood up, trying to process what had just happened.
“Hey dude, you just saved that guy’s life,” the bouncer told him.
Another bouncer came up and asked for Farquhar’s ID. He handed his passport over to the bouncer, who led Farquhar to a dark loading dock outside the club and returned the document.
“All right, get out,” the bouncer said.
Farquhar later called the Las Vegas hospitals to see if any of them were accepting someone who matched his description of the person at the club. He didn’t find a match. CNBC was unable to identify the man.
Farquhar eventually heard that the man had survived his heart attack.
“So I did the right thing,” said Farquhar, whose 22% stake in Atlassian is worth over $10 billion.
As he reconvened with his friend outside the club, Farquhar said he thought he had just saved someone’s life. His doctor-trained friend had no idea what had just happened.
“Yeah, we do that all the time in hospitals,” he replied, patting his hand.
Farquhar remembered his friend asking him if he wanted another drink. He refused.
“I could not have saved this man’s life without my scouting training and I encourage everyone to look for a first aid course near you,” Farquhar wrote in a statement provided to CNBC following the publication of this article. “If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to use them, but you can save a life if you need to.”
On Friday Farquhar, which is already manages the financial, human resources, legal, marketing and sales functions of Atlassian., takes on the additional job of interim CFO. The company is seeking a permanent replacement for James Beer, who has held the position since 2018.