SVP Product, Oracle

Chris Stone

I started out as a developer/product manager at Data General (remember them? Minicomputers) and helped create the original office systems software (where “blinking cursor in amber” was a feature). Frustrated with how difficult it was for computers to distribute information, Richard Soley and I formed an organization that created a new industry around object-oriented computing. We created a software standard called CORBA (the predecessor to web services, SOA, distributed computing, blah blah). Still used today. That was fun.

In the mid 90’s, along with Eric Schmidt (GOOG / Sun Java guy) I ended up being Executive Vice President of Novell -Corporate Development, CTO, and started a Venture Capital team inside Novell with the first investment being Red Hat Software (95x return). I was deeply involved in the success of Linux and Open Source (founded the Open Source Business Conference now owned by IDG, produced the early versions of support licenses indemnifying users and assigned developers to numerous open source projects in the 90’s). I actually attended the meeting where it was named “Open Source” (at Netscape’s headquarters). Then, on to become Vice Chairman and co-CEO of Novell focusing on new products for Networking, data management, Directory Services, operating systems (acquiring SuSE, Ximian (GNOME) and others), and Identity Management. I was CEO of 3 startups involved in hosted services/supply chain, supercomputing and document management, A Venture capitalist investing in 28 startups, Chief Products Officer at Acquia and now SVP of Product Development at Oracle.

An entertaining tidbit of my career was being a key witness, along with Sun Microsystems and Netscape, for the European Union Microsoft anti-trust trial (and winning) and then being spuriously sued by SCO (Linux in Unix) for over $3b. I’ve managed from 3 to 3,000 people and helped create billions in market capitalization. I have yet to ski with Elvis.