CNBC's Jon Fortt, left, seated with Citrix Systems CEO Kirill Tatarinov.

Kirill Tatarinov grew up in the former Soviet Union, the son of a government computer architect. The family didn’t swallow state propaganda: His grandfather once spent ten years in a Soviet gulag.

To achieve his dreams, young Kirill would have to get out and move to the other side of the world.

Tatarinov is now the CEO of Citrix Systems, a tech company with tools that make it easier to share information and get work done from anywhere. His journey to this point — to leading a company with a $13-billion-dollar stock market valuation — includes stops in Israel and Australia, working for startups and for Microsoft.

It also included a wake-up call about what it really takes to drive a company toward success.