About Me

My name is Rich DeMillo. I am currently Distinguished Professor of Computing and Management at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.  I also direct Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities.

I’ve divided the first forty years of my career between academics, government and business, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be near the epicenter of many of the most important technology revolutions of my generation: the transition to software-intensive systems for military systems, the creative destruction of  100 year-old telephony technology and its virtual replacement by the Internet, the emergence  of open source software as a market force, to mention just a few.

I was Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech during the rebirth of undergraduate education in computer science, Chief Technology Officer at Hewlett-Packard during the HP-Compaq merger, VP of Computer Science Research at Bellcore during the divestiture by the Regional Bell Operating Companies and the invention of e-commerce, Director of Computing Research at the National Science Foundation during the emergence of interdisciplinary research, head of the Software Test and Evaluation Project for the Secretary of Defense when military acquisition specialists were coping with the introduction of computer technology into new weapons systems.

Much of what I’ve learned over the years has been taught to me by great masters who navigated their own colliding worlds and took the time to tell me what to avoid (and what to look for).  Some of what I’ve learned has been the result of horrific failures that I have presided over and magnificent successes that I have been allowed to participate in.  Sometimes I was just a fly on the wall.

It seemed to me to be about time to give back some of what I’ve gained from my teachers and my experience.

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3 Responses to “About Me”

  1. rjlipton Says:

    Good look and have fun…will add you to my blogroll

  2. Yangki Kim Says:

    You said – working with Sanjiv was challenging – because he was aggressive in packaging the company for sale ? What type of management style did Sanjiv have ?

    • richde Says:

      I will have a longer post about Sanjiv later, but the bottom line is that Sanjiv challenged me personally more than any other CxO I’ve ever worked for. Sanjiv has the ability to draw a line in the technology sand that advances a business goal and then challenges you to cross it. This is unlike the R&D investment strategy at HP, which I discussed in a prior post. Maybe it’s a matter of size or company scope (HP has hundreds of business, Bellcore had just a few) or maybe it’s a function of leadership with deep technical and operational abilities. In any event the lesson I learned from Sanjiv was to say to my direct reports: “Here’s what it takes to move the needle. Tell me how you can do it and what it will cost.” That’s challenging for a CTO because there’s no place to hide.


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