Jeb Long: Besides being one of the Ashton-Tate's People, Jeb also was part of "People That Began The History".
Wayne Ratliff: Besides being one of the Ashton-Tate's People, Wayne also was part of "People That Began The History".
George Tate: In august, 1980 George Tate and Hal Lashlee form Software Plus. The company later changes its name to Ashton-Tate, the Culver City, CA firm that (thought they) bought the rights to the Vulcan Data Base and who turned it into the fabulously popular and commercially successful dBASE II program that continues to have an impact upon the PC industry to this day.
Tate died at age 40 on August 10, 1983 and fortunately never saw his company go down in flames in a suicidal copyright lawsuit against Fox Software in which Ashton-Tate lost because it was discovered they never really owned the rights to the original Vulcan product. In 1987-88 the dBASE II program would become the inspiration for Dennis Faherty's TI-BASE, which is still the data base standard for the TI-99/4A today.
Hal Lashlee: When Wayne Ratliff began marketing his program (Vulcan) to other hobbyists, it came to the attention of Hal Lashlee and George Tate, who were running an early software distribution company out of Tate's garage. They acquired marketing rights and renamed the product dBASE II. George partnered with a marketing professional, Hal Pawluk, in promoting the product. (Lashlee, an accountant, didn't get involved in day-to-day operations.)
Hal Pawluk: He started his business career as an electronic engineer, worked as a high tech magazine editor, then switched to advertising when hired as a copywriter by Jay Chiat, continuing to hone his communications skills at Chiat-Day.
After a stint on the account side at D'arcy-McManus, he founded his own advertising agency specializing in high tech clients and product launches. After selling the agency in 1989, he worked on the client side as Senior Vice President of Marketing in the software industry. In 1998, he relaunched his advertising agency in this current virtual form to provide clients with the best and most appropriate resources for their needs.
Hal was Consultant/Ad Agency at Ashton-Tate Inc during the period of 1980-1984. Created a product and company launch that defined and captured the PC database category for over a decade.
Succeeded with a totally unknown product in a category few potential buyers understood, for a company in a garage and with only a "bootstrap" budget. Defined and preempted the category by naming the product "dBASE II" then using that name as the definition of a PC relational database management system (marketing judo).
Named the company and convincingly positioned it as being much larger than the garage-shop reality, planned and executed all marketing communications strategy and materials. Hands-on approach to success included programming the first dBASE screen generator (in PL/I) and writing easy-to-use user manuals.
Hal was Consultant/Senior Vice President Marketing at Fox Software Inc during the period of 1991-92. Grew share of distributors' sales from under 7% to 22% in one year by developing and implementing new strategies quickly, effectively.
Repositioned product for the end-user, increased store front sales from 6% to 24% share in twelve months against a competitor with an initial market share of 75%. Increased initially nominal corporate penetration to over 60% "considering purchase" in the business market in less than a year. Provided marketing direction, leadership and follow-through to put the company into the mainstream of computing and saw the value of the company increase by $100 million in about a year (sold to Microsoft). Hal Pawluk can be found in Ad\Vantage Pawluk.
Edward M. Esber Jr: Has been managing public companies, including his current position as principal of The Esber Group. He has served as CEO of Pocket Science, Solopoint Communications, is chairman and former chief executive officer of SoloPoint, Inc., a publicly-held communications management products company. Esber has also served as president and chief operating officer of Creative Labs, Inc., Creative Insights (a computer toys firm) and as chief executive officer of Ashton-Tate, and sits on the board of directors of other technology-based businesses.
From the trade magazines came news of the ousting of Ashton-Tate Chairman and CEO Ed Esber in favor of ex-IBM executive William Lyons. Ashton-Tate has posted losses each of the last four quarters, although the last two quarters have been better than the previous two, in which Ashton-Tate lost close to forty million dollars total. Add the financial problems to dBASE's declining market share and the shipping problems plaguing dBASE IV 1.1, and you get a company desperately trying to recover its standing.
A very known quotation by Edward Esber: "A computer will not make a good manager out of a bad manager. It makes a good manager better faster and a bad manager worse faster"
Pat Coggins: Pat was a research engineer at Dynametric, subcontracting to Lockheed, where he was responsible for navigation products on the SR-71 Blackbirds, and a software developer at Ashton-Tate. He has also managed his own consulting company over the last 6 years providing team management, programming and design services on large scale projects such as high speed, distributed processing, ticker plants for Reuters and Quotron which resulted in over 20 patents.
Gerald Wilcox: Jerry has over 25 years in increasingly responsible positions in the area of systems integration and software quality assurance. He received the first Breakthrough Award from TRW for innovative application of microcomputers to a system test problem. He held the position of Director of Product Quality at Ashton Tate where he was responsible for the quality of all products released by the company, which had $400M/yr. in revenue. His latest assignment is as VP of Product Quality and Release Management for Risk Management Solutions, Inc., a software company providing software tools for leading Primary and Re-Insurance companies to manage multi-billion dollar decisions worldwide.
Robert A. Byers: Robert is a nationally recognized authority on database management systems for microcomputers. He is currently a partner in Balleisen-Byers, a developer of client/server database products for desktop computers. A former manager of the Mission Control and Computing Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Mr. Byers has held numerous positions of responsibility in the computer and communications industries over the past 32 years. He has served on several government advisory panels for Communications and Data Handling, including the select panel on Data Handling and Avionics for the Space Shuttle and NASA's Planetary Data Systems Working Group.
He was actively involved with the development of dBASE, and often acted as a spokesman for Ashton-Tate prior to their purchase by Borland. He has served as an independent consultant on microcomputer software to several major corporations, and has developed vertical market applications software for the medical and retail business communities. The author of numerous technical papers and several best-selling computer books, he also holds a U.S. patent on Distributed Signal Processing.
His Everyman's Database Primer became a standard and was translated into several languages. An engineer by training, he has a B.S.E.E. from California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, M.S.E.E. from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has done additional post-graduate work in Communications Theory at U.S.C. He has been employed by Ampex Corporation, Bell and Howell, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and JPL.
David Patrick: President and CEO of Ximian with 20 years' experience in the software industry. Most recently, he served as president of worldwide sales and operations for The Learning Company. Prior to that, David was vice president for worldwide sales at the Tops networking division of Sun Microsystems, and before that, the president of Migent International. He has also held a number of senior sales positions at Ashton-Tate. David is a member of the board of directors of Logowire and Thinkingbytes, as well as a member of the Boston CommonAngels, an early stage venture group.
Kevin Harrison: Vice President of Sales of Ximian. With 20 years industry experience, including the past 12 years in leadership roles building sales organizations for early stage software companies, Kevin Harrison is responsible for driving the worldwide Ximian sales strategy and organization, including enterprise, reseller, education, and direct sales channels. Harrison comes to Ximian from QuickBuy, an e-commerce start up company. Previously, at Netegrity, he was instrumental in helping turn the company around from a software distributor/reseller into a leader in the web security market. Earlier, Harrison spent five years as vice president of sales at MapInfo. Early in his career, Harrison also served as a senior sales executive at Ashton-Tate. He also was a senior sales executive at Lotus Development Corporation. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in 1980 from Boston College
Neil Holloway: Neil joined Microsoft in 1990 and has held a number of strategic roles within the company since that date. For two years prior to his current appointment, Neil was Deputy Managing Director together with Director of the Organisation Customer Unit where he was focused on the development and success of Microsoft UK's relationships with its channel, small to medium sized customers, education institutions and the growing number of applications developers using Microsoft's technology. Prior to this, Neil managed the Enterprise Customer Unit and was instrumental in building the NT Server business. In his new role, Neil will be driving forward the successful future of Microsoft in Ireland and the UK.
Before joining Microsoft, Neil was Managing Director of Migent UK, a company operating in the consumer and client server software markets. Neil worked for Migent for 3 years in various Director roles and prior to this, he worked for Ashton Tate as a Business Development Manager.
Perry G. Lawrence: I was in my last year at California State University At Northridge in 1981 when one of my professors ask if I would like to work at a small computer startup. I decided that since there was not a lot of computer companies at that time I would go for an interview. I met Hal Lashlee in his apartment one day. He told me that they had a new computer language that was really easy to use and would I like to work as technical support and write the order entry system for him in that language. I met George Tate and they hired me on the spot. At that they just hired Nelson Tso a few weeks before to do the same. Ashton Tate consisted of George Tate, Hal Lashlee, Nelson Tso and Myself. Wayne Ratliff was the only one working on the dBase language.
For the first year we worked in a apartment and George's garage next store. After a year we moved to Culver City. At that time. We started growing like wild fire. In two years Nelson and myself we put in charge of technical support which contained 15 people. After that George was concerned that if any thing happened to Wayne Ratliff we would be in trouble so he assigned me to Wayne to learn all the source code of dBase II which was written in assembly at the time. I helped Wayne create new versions of dBase II for the next two years.
We later created a development center in LaCresenta Ca. because it was down the street from where Wayne was living at the time. That was when we hired people from JPL one of which was Jeb Long the original creator of JPLDIS which Wayne copied to create dBase. Nelson and myself created all the networking version of dBase III and dBase IV. We were the only ones to create all the networking commands including record and file locking, automatic refresh, transaction processing, and a improved buffering method.
Nelson and myself were the last to turn the lights off when Ashton-Tate was sold to Borland in 1992. Since then Nelson and myself created a consulting company called Castle Consulting and we have been doing freelance computer consulting every since. It was a fun ride and I would not have missed it for anything...