Robert M. Price (business executive)

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Robert Price
Born (1930-09-26) September 26, 1930 (age 90)
EducationDuke University (BS)
Georgia Institute of Technology (MS)
Known forCEO of Control Data Corporation

Robert M. Price (born September 26, 1930) is an American computer scientist and business executive. After graduation from Duke University in 1952, he moved to California and worked as a computer programmer at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and the Convair division of General Dynamics Corporation. He began work for the Control Data Corporation in 1961 as a Mathematician Staff Specialist. His responsibilities there included software sales and services, international sales, and several executive positions, culminating with serving as President and Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to 1989.

He also led the founding in 1985 of the National Center for Social Entrepreneurs. He was chairman and CEO of International Multifoods Corporation during 1996-97, now part of Smuckers. After retiring from Control Data, he taught business strategy at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for 15 years, and he has also taught at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke. Price is President and CEO of PSV, Inc., offering services in technology commercialization, corporate strategy, and human resource management.


Price joined Control Data in 1961 as a Mathematician Staff Specialist, became Director, International Operations in 1963, Group Vice President, Services in 1972, and President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 1980. Price led Control Data's early strategic expansion into international operations and marketing as well as the strategic move into information and systems integration services.[1] Price succeeded the Company's founder, William C. Norris, as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Control Data Corporation (now Ceridian Corporation). He retired in 1990 after 29 years with Control Data.[2]

In 1985 Price led a consortium of corporations and individuals in the founding of the National Center for Social Entrepreneurs (NCSE). The Center's mission is to encourage entrepreneurship throughout the non-profit sector, and to help individual non profits create or expand social purpose business ventures. He serves as Chairman of NCSE. Price served for many years on the Board of the United Way of the Greater Minneapolis Area.

Price taught in Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for 15 years and is an Adjunct Professor in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke. He has published in the California Management Review and various business publications. He has been a guest lecturer of numerous colleges and universities, including Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management; University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management; and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

He has served on the advisory board of New York University's Courant Institute; Duke's Fuqua School of Business; Georgia Tech's College of Arts and Sciences. As a member of the Education Committee of the Business Roundtable, he served as an advisor to New Mexico's State Department of Education and helped found the New Mexico Governor's Business Executives for Education.

Selected publications[edit]

"Commitment Without Involvement." Harvard Business Review 62 no. 5 (1984): 162-171

"Supercomputers Propel Technology." Vital Speeches of the Day 54 no. 14 (1988): 435-438 (delivered at the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute Luncheon in Washington, D.C. on February 25, 1988)

"Computers in the '90s." Vital Speeches of the Day 56 no. 17 (1990): 530 (delivered at the Minnesota Executive Speaker Series, February 13, 1990)

"Executive Forum: Technology and Strategic Advantage," Harvard Business Review (April 1996) case study

"Technology and Strategic Advantage," California Management Review 38 no. 3 (Spring 1996): 38-56.

"Technology and Strategic Advantage," IEEE Engineering Management Review 26 no. 2 (1998): 26-36.

The Eye for Innovation: Recognizing Possibilities and Managing the Creative Enterprise. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005 ISBN 030010877X

"When the Alligator is About to Bite." Directors & Boards 30 no. 4 (2006): 26-30.

"Infusing Innovation into Corporate Culture" Organizational Dynamics 36 no. 3 (2007): 320-328.

"Sowing the Seeds of Innovation." Leader to Leader Issue 43 (Winter 2007): 7-12.

Building the Control Data Legacy: The Career of Robert M. Price. Edited by Thomas J. Misa. Minneapolis: Charles Babbage Institute, 2012 ISBN 1300058188


  1. ^ Oral history interview with Richard C. Gunderson, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
  2. ^ "Robert Price".

External links[edit]