“Father of network computing” and venture capitalist Ray Noorda died Oct. 9 at his home in Orem, Utah, at the age of 82. A 21-year veteran of General Electric, he had spent 12 years as a management consultant when he came across troubled start-up Novell Data Systems in 1982. Thirteen years later, when he retired as CEO, the company’s headcount had grown 700-fold,
from the teens to the thousands, and Novell NetWare had become the dominant force in LAN technology.
Noorda founded the Canopy Group (now Canopy Ventures) after leaving Novell in 1995; the company has invested in more than 100 companies, primarily in Utah. In a statement on
Canopy’s Web site, Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. noted, “He launched what would become Utah’s technology sector.”