Benjamin M. Rosen

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Benjamin M. Rosen
Born (1933-03-11) March 11, 1933 (age 89)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology (B.S.)
Stanford University (M.S.)
Columbia University (M.B.A.)
Known forChairman of Compaq

Benjamin "Ben" M. Rosen (born March 11, 1933) is the former chairman and former acting chief executive officer of Compaq [1][2] and a co-founder of Sevin Rosen Funds.

Early life[edit]

Rosen was born to a Jewish family[3] in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 11, 1933 to Isadore and Anna Rosen.[4] Rosen's father was a dentist and his mother was a secretary.[citation needed] "Benji" as he was called, was the youngest of his parents' three children.[5]

He received a B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1954, and M.S. from Stanford University in 1955, and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 1961.[5]


He worked on Wall Street for 15 years, ending his career as a Senior Technology Analyst and Vice President at Morgan Stanley.[2]

Sevin Rosen Funds[edit]

Rosen co-founded the venture capital company Sevin Rosen Funds in 1981 with L. J. Sevin.[6][7] In this capacity, Rosen invested in Compaq Computer Corporation in 1981, eventually serving as Chairman for 18 years.[4] For four months in 1999, Rosen also served as Acting CEO.[8] As a financier, Rosen backed high tech startup companies including Electronic Arts, Lotus Development, Ansa Software and Silicon Graphics.[9]

In 1985, at age 52, he was described as "a late bloomer who has had five careers" and "chairman and general partner" of the fund.[5]

Rosen Electronic Letter[edit]

Rosen Electronic Letter was distributed via a separate entity named Rosen Research. In 1982, Esther Dyson began working there and, in 1983 she bought the company from her employer, renaming the company EDventure Holdings and the Rosen Electronic Letter newsletter Release 1.0.[10]


In 1999, Rosen was awarded the Founders Medal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He was named a recipient of Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. In 2018, he received Caltech's highest honor, the Robert A. Millikan Medal.[citation needed]


He and his first wife Alexandra are the parents of their two sons, Jeffrey Rosen and Eric Rosen.[5] He is married to Donna Perrett Rosen and also has a step-daughter, Melanie Perret.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Steve Lohr (April 19, 1999). "Compaq Computer Ousts Chief Executive". The New York Times. the longtime Compaq chairman, Benjamin M. Rosen, led the call for Mr. Pfeiffer's resignation.
  2. ^ a b "Benjamin M. Rosen". IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  3. ^ Nauss, Donald W. (March 5, 1997). "They Like Tilting at Windmills - Ben and Harold Rosen helped revolutionize the communications industry by doing what others thought couldn't be done. Now, they want to invent a replacement for the internal combustion engine". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ a b Hamm, Steve (July 26, 1999). "Ben Rosen: The Lion in Winter". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
  5. ^ a b c d Stratford P. Sherman; Margaret A. Elliott (September 30, 1985). "Technology's Most Colorful Investor". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  6. ^ Leonard Sloane (September 28, 1981). "New Venure Capital Firm is formed". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "History". Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  8. ^ Compaq Board of Directors Forms Office of the Chief Executive Under Leadership of Chairman Benjamin Rosen; Eckhard Pfeiffer and Earl Mason Resign as CEO and CFO.[dead link] Businesswire. April 18, 1999.
  9. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (October 23, 2011). "Steve Jobs through Rosen-colored glasses". Fortune Magazine. Archived from the original on October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  10. ^ about which she wrote in 1997: "RELease 1.0 - get it?" Esther Dyson (October 13, 1997). "The Accidental 'Techie'". Newsweek. pp. 79–86.