Technology Pioneer Ray Noorda Dies
Visionary Entrepreneur and Former CEO of Novell Forged Enduring Legacy of Innovation and Achievement
OREM, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ray Noorda died today following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 82 years old.
“Ray Noorda was a man of vision and one of the early leaders of the software industry. In all of my experiences with him, he was a man of integrity and a gentleman.”
Noorda was best known for his leadership, exemplified in his position as CEO of Novell Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVL) from 1983-1995. The growth of Novell tracked the growth of the personal computer as the company’s famous NetWare became the first networking software installed in hundreds of thousands of business and government offices around the world.
Known as the “Father of Network Computing,” Noorda drove Novell from 17 employees to more than 12,000. His management innovations included the development of the modern channel structure for software sales. Using his innate ability to create partnerships, Noorda built a tiered distribution strategy, where manufacturers and resellers thrive together in providing products and services to end users. Noorda also pioneered technology “coopetition” – alliances of technology competitors that develop common standards to grow the overall market for their products.
Throughout his life, Ray’s primary goals were based on the lessons he learned as a depression-era boy: to create good jobs for as many people as can work, to provide quiet philanthropic assistance to those who cannot and to direct any personal gains towards achieving these important ends.
Michael S. Dell, Chairman of the Board of Dell, Inc., and Kevin B. Rollins, President and Chief Executive Officer, said the following:
“Ray Noorda has made an impact on our industry that will last for many years. He helped turn Novell into a major player in the network operating system market during his tenure. He was known for letting anyone make a mistake once, as long as they got it right the next time. He helped drive the extension of the PC by building a successful file sharing system for the newly introduced PC that is now the de facto standard in Local Area Networks. He created the term coopetition. And, he created many friends, including us, who will have fond memories of his contribution, his leadership in our industry and his drive to succeed.”
Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., said, "Ray was one of the innovators of the Utah Miracle. He launched what would become Utah's technology sector. He has left behind a monumental legacy and we are all in his debt. He will be deeply missed."
Drew Major, co-founder of Novell, Inc., said, “Ray was a great mentor to all of his employees and gave us all opportunities to grow. With his integrity he built a trust and a bond in the early Novell years that empowered us together to go out and change the world. Not only was he respected and appreciated by those who partnered with him but also by those who competed against him. Ray Noorda left a legacy of connecting computers, and people, and companies together.”
Larry Sonsini, Chairman, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and former member of the Board of Directors, Novell, Inc., said, “Ray Noorda was a man of vision and one of the early leaders of the software industry. In all of my experiences with him, he was a man of integrity and a gentleman.”
The son of Dutch immigrants, Noorda’s Depression-era childhood included jobs picking cherries and herding sheep in small-town Utah. After graduating from the University of Utah with an engineering degree, Noorda began his business life as an electrical engineer with General Electric. After a lengthy career with GE, Noorda started a series of stints as a turn-around technology CEO, leading to his appointment as the chief of then-tiny Novell.
After his retirement, Noorda devoted his energies to the Canopy Group, an early-stage venture capital firm that has invested in over 100 companies, and extensive philanthropic activities.
Noorda is survived by his wife of 56 years, Tye, four children and thirteen grandchildren.
For further information, see http://www.canopy.com/raynoorda.