Ray Noorda

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Raymond John Noorda
Born(1924-06-19)19 June 1924
Ogden, Utah
Died9 October 2006(2006-10-09) (aged 82)
Orem, Utah
EducationB.S. in engineering
Alma materWeber State College
University of Utah
Known forNovell 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.

Early life[edit]

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.

Personal life[edit]

Noorda was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[1] He married Lewena "Tye" Taylor in 1950, and they were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.[2] Among the positions that Noorda held in the LDS Church were counselor in a branch presidency and counselor in a stake Sunday school presidency.[3]


In 1983, Noorda assembled the SuperSet team whose members included Drew Major, James Bills, 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.[4][5]

Noorda ran Novell until 1993. He was succeeded by Robert Frankenberg in 1994.[6]

Around 1992, Noorda used the term co-opetition to characterize Novell's business strategy.[7][8]

Later career[edit]

Up to his death, Noorda owned the Canopy Group, which he had founded in 1992 through the Noorda Family Trust (NFT Ventures, Inc.).[9][10] 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.[citation needed] The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 2000 with a $280 million payment to Caldera.[11][12][13][14]

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.[15][16]

Noorda was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1995.

Noorda had four sons and one daughter. His daughter committed suicide in 2005.[17] Noorda died on 9 October 2006 at his home in Orem, Utah, at the age of 82.


  1. ^ "Famous Mormons in Business". Archived from the original on 2008-05-14.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Raymond John Nooorda (1st part)". Deseret News. 2006-10-13.
  3. ^ "Obituary: Raymond John Noorda (2nd part)". Deseret News. 2006-10-13.
  4. ^ Lewyn, Mark; Brandt, Richard (1993-09-27). "Novell vs. Microsoft: What's Behind the Hate". BusinessWeek.
  5. ^ Goldman Rohm, Wendy (1998-09-01). The Microsoft File - The Secret Case Against Bill Gates (1 ed.). IDG. ISBN 88-11-73868-7.
  6. ^ Fisher, Lawrence M. (1994-04-06). "Longtime Hewlett Executive Named Novell Chief". New York Times.
  7. ^ Fisher, Lawrence M. (1992-03-29). "Preaching Love Thy Competitor". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  8. ^ Williamson, Marcus (2006-10-09). "Obituary - Ray Noorda - Pioneer of 'co-opetition'". The Independent (UK). Archived from the original on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  9. ^ "Mark Rogers". QuantmRE. Quantm.One, Inc. 2019. Archived from the original on 2020-10-18. Retrieved 2020-10-18. Mark co-founded NFT Ventures with Ray Noorda, chairman of Novell, Inc. and for more than 12 years, managed the portfolio of assets for NFT valued at over $1 billion. He led investment activities in many successful startups primarily focused on technology software and services in Silicon Valley, Utah, Texas and Rhode Island and guided some of the companies through their developmental stages to an acquisition, merger or IPO. On behalf of NFT Ventures, Mark served as interim CEO for several portfolio companies.
  10. ^ "Official Summary of Security Transactions and Holdings - for the period June 11, 1998 thru July 10, 1998 - Reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 1998-12-11. p. 329. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  11. ^ Jones, Pamela (2009-11-23). "Exhibits to Microsoft's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment in Novell WordPerfect Case". Groklaw. Archived from the original on 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2011-10-22. […] exhibits attached to Microsoft's Memorandum of Law in support of Microsoft's cross motion for summary judgment in the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust litigation. We finally find out what Microsoft paid Caldera to settle the DrDOS litigation back in 2000: $280 million. We even get to read the settlement agreement. It's attached as an exhibit. […] The settlement terms were sealed for all these years, but […] now that mystery is solved. […] We also find out what Caldera/Canopy then paid Novell from that $280 million: $35.5 million at first, and then after Novell successfully sued Canopy in 2004, Caldera's successor-in-interest on this matter, an additional $17.7 million, according to page 16 of the Memorandum. Microsoft claims that Novell is not the real party in interest in this antitrust case, and so it can't sue Microsoft for the claims it has lodged against it, because, Microsoft says, Novell sold its antitrust claims to Caldera when it sold it DrDOS. So the exhibits are trying to demonstrate that Novell got paid in full, so to speak, via that earlier litigation. As a result, we get to read a number of documents from the Novell v. Canopy litigation. Novell responds it retained its antitrust claims in the applications market. […]
  12. ^ Wallis, Richard J.; Aeschbacher, Steven J.; Bettilyon, Mark M.; Webb, Jr., G. Stewar; Tulchin, David B.; Holley, Steven L. (2009-11-13). "Microsoft's memorandum in opposition to Novell's renewed motion for summary judgement on Microsoft's affirmative defenses and in support of Microsoft's cross-motion for summary judgement" (PDF) (Court document). United States District Court, District of Maryland. p. 16. Novell, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, Civil Action No. JFM-05-1087. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-05-24. Retrieved 2018-08-03. […] Microsoft paid $280 million to Caldera to settle the case, and $35.5 million of the settlement proceeds were provided by Caldera to Novell as a so-called "royalty." […] Dissatisfied with that amount, Novell filed suit in June 2000 against Caldera (succeeded by The Canopy Group), alleging that Novell was entitled to even more. […] Novell ultimately prevailed, adding $17.7 million to its share of the monies paid by Microsoft to Caldera, for a total of more than $53 million […]
  13. ^ Burt, Thomas W.; Sparks, Bryan Wayne (2000-01-07). "Settlement agreement - Microsoft Corporation and Caldera, Inc. reach agreement to settle antitrust lawsuit" (PDF) (Faxed court document). Case 1:05-cv-01087-JFM, Document 104-8, Filed 2009-11-13; NOV00107061-NOV00107071; LT2288-LT2298; Lan12S311263739.1; Exhibit A. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2018-08-03. […] Microsoft will pay to Caldera, by wire transfer in accordance with written instructions provided by Caldera, the amount of two hundred eighty million dollars ($280,000,000), as full settlement of all claims or potential claims covered by this agreement […] (NB. This document of the Caldera v. Microsoft case was an exhibit in the Novell v. Microsoft and Comes v. Microsoft cases.)
  14. ^ Gomes, Lee (2000-01-11). "Microsoft Will Pay $275 Million To Settle Lawsuit From Caldera". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2019-11-24. Microsoft Corp. agreed to pay an estimated $275 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit by Caldera Inc., heading off a trial that was likely to air nasty allegations from a decade ago. […] Microsoft and Caldera, a small Salt Lake City software company that brought the suit in 1996, didn't disclose terms of the settlement. Microsoft, though, said it would take a charge of three cents a share for the agreement in the fiscal third quarter ending March 31 […] the company has roughly 5.5 billion shares outstanding […]
  15. ^ "Canopy's motion to remove Yarro as director and memo - as text". Groklaw. 2005-02-27.
  16. ^ Gray, Sadie. "Obituary". The Times.
  17. ^ "Noorda's Daughter Committed Suicide". Open Source Magazine. 2005-03-21. Archived from the original on 2019-09-29.

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