Monday, October 09, 2006

Uncle Ray Noorda dead at 82

Ray Noorda, the visionary of Novell in the Late 80's and early 90's passed away today at the age of 82 at his home in Orem, Utah.

Ray Noorda led Novell Inc. as CEO from 1983 to 1995 and was a leader in the world of computer networking.

Noorda was widely recognized as the "Father of Network Computing" for his vision of what technology would do to tie together business computing around the world, according to Canopy.

At Novell we knew Mr Noorda as "Uncle Ray". I had an opportunity to meet with Uncle Ray many times at Novell. When I was a new employee in 1990 I was staying late one evening and Ray Noorda came walking through my office looking for his son, Andy, but stopped to talk with me. I didn't know that was Ray at the time and I had a nice conversation with him. Later Andy Noorda was my supervisor. When I first received my CNE certification in 1991, Ray Noorda himself showed up to present me with a CNE Jacket and gave me a hug. (It helped to be working with his son, Andy.)

Ray Noorda was a millionare, but you wouldn't know it. He had a small office with no windows and still drove his old Ford Pickup. He was a man of integrity. I sure do miss those days - they were a lot of fun!

Ray Noorda tried to compete head to head with Microsoft in 1994 by merging Novell with WordPerfect Corporation and buying Borland Paradox. While Novell was focusing on the Application Suite and taking it's eye off Novell's Leading networking products, Microsoft was able to creep in and better it's Networking Products.

Drew Major, a co-founder of Novell, said in a statement that Noorda 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."

Ray Noorda later headed up the Canopy Group as a Utah Venture Capitalist company.

We'll miss you Uncle Ray