• Sep 26, 1953
    (b.) -
    Jun 21, 2013
    (d.)

Bio/Description

An American businessman who co–founded Citrix Systems, he was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Dr. Guillermo and Costantina Iacobucci. His father, a biochemist, moved his family to the U.S. in 1960 to work first for E.R. Squibb & Sons (a predecessor to pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb), and then Coca-Cola. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.Sc. degree in Systems Engineering. He later served on the school’s Engineering Advisory Board. He began his career at IBM in 1979 where he played a role in the company’s entry into the commercial software and personal computer business. He moved up the ranks to eventually lead the joint IBM-Microsoft design team responsible for IBM DOS and OS/2, thus launching an early milestone in the evolution of multi-tasking personal computer operating systems, used in automated bank teller machines, public transit ticket machines and supermarket checkout systems. In 1989, he was offered a job at Microsoft as chief technical officer of its networking group. Instead, he left IBM to raise $3 million in capital to pursue continued development in server-based computing. He co-founded Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) and led the company as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer through all of its market and product development phases. He appointed Texas Instruments veteran Roger Roberts as Chief Executive and hired five engineers away from IBM. Under his leadership, Citrix grew rapidly and was named to both the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500. In 1997, he led the company to sign a five-year joint development agreement with Microsoft to include Citrix's multi-user capabilities within Microsoft Windows NT Server. He served as Chairman of Citrix through 2000, when he retired to pursue his vision of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)–flying aircraft. The young company took two years to develop its first product, which was called Citrix Multiuser OS/2, so named because it would work with his former project. The software allowed more than one user at a time to tap into the operating system through a central server computer. Days before Citrix was to ship its first product, Microsoft announced that it would drop OS/2 in favor of its new operating system, Windows. The decision sent Citrix into a tailspin - its new product was instantly rendered obsolete - but the company retrenched to make a Windows version instead. In 2000, he stepped down as Chairman, but in 2002, he came out of retirement to co-found and serve as President and CEO of DayJet Corporation, an on-demand airline service that sold individual seats via a time sensitive pricing scale and utilized the Eclipse 500 very light jet, with the mission of bringing inexpensive, accessible per-seat, on-demand jet travel to more people and communities. He and his engineering team built a breakthrough computer system for solving highly complex optimization problems for DayJet, which forged a five-year strategic agreement with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to pioneer the next generation of air transportation technologies. But after a successful launch in 2007, DayJet was forced to cease operations in 2008 when it was no longer able to secure its planned growth capital. Between 2002 and 2007 he was a member of the SCO Group's Board of Directors. In 2011, he founded VirtualWorks, which helped manage data across many platforms, in response to data sprawl, an outgrowth of the information age that he helped to create. He served as President and CEO until May 20, 2013, when he stepped down for personal health reasons. In 1998, he was recognized as the top entrepreneur in the world for the CNN, USA Today, and Ernst & Young "International Entrepreneur of the Year" award. In 2005, Newsweek included him in its list of "10 Big Thinkers for Big Business", and in in 2007, he was named to Business 2.0 magazine's list of the "50 Who Matter Now". He sat on the Engineering Advisory Board for Georgia Tech, his alma mater. He served as a technology judge at the state and national level for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, and he was active in Junior Achievement at the local, state and national levels. He died of pancreatic cancer on June 21, 2013 at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, U.S. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Lee; his three children, Marianna, William and Michelle; his mother, Costantina; brother, Billy; and three grandchildren.
  • Date of Birth:

    Sep 26, 1953
  • Date of Death:

    Jun 21, 2013
  • Noted For:

    Leader of the joint IBM-Microsoft design team that launched the modern era of multi-tasking personal computer operating systems
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: