19 June 1924|
|Died||9 October 2006
|Education||B.S. in engineering|
|Alma mater||Weber State College
University of Utah
|Known for||Novell CEO and Chairman|
Raymond John "Ray" Noorda (19 June 1924 – 9 October 2006) was a U.S. computer businessman. He was CEO of Novell between 1982 and 1994. He also served as chairman of Novell until he was replaced in 1994.
Noorda was born in Ogden, Utah, the third son of Dutch immigrants Bertus Noorda and Alida Margaretha van den Berg. He attended Weber State College in Ogden. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy for two years as an electronics technician, working with radar systems. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Utah in 1949. Noorda worked for General Electric from graduation until 1971, after which he worked at a number of California companies.
Noorda was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., he was a Mormon). He married Lewena "Tye" Taylor in 1950, and they were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Among the positions that Noorda held in the LDS Church were counselor in a branch presidency and counselor in a stake Sunday school presidency.
In 1983 Noorda assembled the SuperSet team whose members included Drew Major, Dale Niebaur and Kyle Powell. The team was originally assigned to create a CP/M disk sharing system, but instead came up with a successful file sharing system for the newly introduced IBM-compatible PC. This network operating system was later called Novell NetWare.
Under Noorda's watch, Novell acquired several companies and products with the goal of countering Microsoft's rapid spread into new markets, including Digital Research, Unix System Laboratories, WordPerfect, and Borland's Quattro Pro. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates claimed that Noorda had a "tremendous vendetta" against Microsoft and that Noorda had supported the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust investigations of Microsoft in the early 1990s that led to a consent decree restricting its operating system licensing practices.
Up to his death, Noorda owned the Canopy Group. One of its holdings, Caldera, purchased the Unix assets in 1995 from the Santa Cruz Operation, which had acquired them from Novell. In 1996 it also acquired the Digital Research assets from Novell and immediately brought a lawsuit against Microsoft that largely duplicated the claims that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice had pursued in the early 1990s. The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 2000 with a $275 million payment to Caldera.
Noorda received honorary doctorates from the University of Utah in 1994 and Weber State University in 1995. As a consequence of age and associated health issues (Alzheimer's disease and heart disease), Noorda did not participate in the day-to-day management of Canopy's affairs after 1998.
Noorda was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1995.
- Famous Mormons in Business
- "Obituary: Raymond John Nooorda (1st part)" Deseret News, 13 October 2006.
- "Obituary: Raymond John Noorda (2nd part)" Deseret News, 13 October 2006.
- Lewyn, Mark; Richard Brandt (1993-09-27). "Novell vs. Microsoft: What's Behind the Hate". BusinessWeek.
- Wendy Goldman Rohm (1998), The Microsoft File, ISBN 88-11-73868-7
- Fisher, Lawrence M. (6 April 1994). Longtime Hewlett Executive Named Novell Chief. New York Times
- "Canopy's motion to remove Yarro as director and memo - as text". Groklaw. February 27, 2005.
- Gray, Sadie. The Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article603903.ece
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- "Noorda's Daughter Committed Suicide". Open Source Magazine. March 21, 2005.
- biographical details NNDB bio
- Ray Noorda, computer pioneer, dies at 82 (Salt Lake Tribune, Monday, 9 October 2006)
- Technology pioneer Ray Noorda dies (Canopy press release)
- Good-bye Mr. Noorda (Stephen J. Vaughn-Nichols, Linux-Watch)
- obituary in The Independent (UK) by Marcus Williamson
- Raymond John Noorda at the Wayback Machine (archived July 14, 2010) (canopy.com)
- Surfing a High Tech Wave: A story of Novell's Early Years 1980-1990