Rod Canion

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Rod Canion
Rod Canion - SiliconCowboys-MFF16.jpg
Rod Canion at the 2016 Montclair Film Festival.
Born (1945-01-19) January 19, 1945 (age 73)
Houston, Texas
Alma mater University of Houston
Occupation Co-founder of Compaq Computer Corporation

Joseph Rodney "Rod" Canion (born January 19, 1945) is an American computer scientist and businessman, known for being the co-founder of Compaq Computer Corporation where he served as its first President and CEO.[1][2]

A native of Houston, Canion graduated from the University of Houston in 1966 and 1968 with bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering with an emphasis on computer science.[3] Before co-founding Compaq in 1982, Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto had been senior managers at Texas Instruments. The three co-founders received backing from venture capitalist Benjamin M. Rosen, who became chairman of the board of Compaq.[1]

During Canion's tenure as Compaq's CEO, the company set records for the largest first-year sales in the history of American business and reached the Fortune 500 and the $1 billion revenue mark faster than any other company in history.[3] Canion was a shy man so he took lessons to polish his speaking style at the request of Ben Rosen, Compaq's chairman.[4]

In 1991, Canion was dismissed by Compaq's chairman, Benjamin M. Rosen.[5][6]

In 1992, Canion founded Insource Technology Group with Jim Harris and Ronald L. Fischer and served as its chairman until September 2006.[7] In 1999, he led the initial investment round for Questia Media, Inc., which provides an online research library.[8] He became chairman of the board and later helped the company raise $150 million.[8] He is a member of the Board of Directors of AMVESCAP, BlueArc, and Young Life, and HealthLink, is Director Emeritus of the Houston Technology Center, and is a member of the Board of Advisors for Sternhill Partners.[9][10][11]

In 2013 Canion published a memoir about his career in Compaq and his view of how he and others changed the IBM PC compatible industry beginning with the Compaq Portable, slowly outgrew IBM and created the Extended Industry Standard Architecture bus along with "the gang of nine" in 1988.[12] In 2016, a documentary film "Silicon Cowboys" was made, also based on the story of Compaq.[13]

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