When former tech CEO Jay Coughlan was 38, he accidentally killed his father. After a hunting trip together, they decided to get a few drinks, but Coughlan's decision to drive them home after drinking cost him his dad's life.
From 1987 through the late 1990s, Coughlan, had been moving quickly up the ranks at Lawson Software, a company comparable to Oracle, going from salesman to executive vice president at the Minnesota-based company, according to company filings.
Ever since taking a college course in his 20s, Coughlan, now 58, wanted to become a CEO. His goal: to reach that status by age 40.
But as he closed in on becoming a CEO, tragedy struck.