(c) Copyright MassTech Communications, Inc.
The Journal of New England Technology

Last week's completion of Digital Equipment Corp.'s sale to Compaq Computer Corp. made EMC the largest Massachusetts-based company in the computer industry. In the world of electronics and hardware, where companies come and go seemingly without roots, Chairman Richard Egan is to be lauded for making sure the company remains based in the Bay State.

Earlier this year he spearheaded the new 495 Initiative to help give companies in the Metrowest area - like EMC - a voice in planning development,and an outlet to combat roadblocks to expansion. Employing more than 3,000 people in the area, EMC contributed $50,000 to the Initiative.

EMC is booming and contributing to the booming economy all over the Commonwealth. In 1997, the company grew 30 percent, to nearly $3 billion in sales. It plans to repeat that growth rate this year, which means continued growth around its Hopkinton headquarters.

In his speech at the 495 Initiative launch, Egan noted that EMC counted more than $50 million in invoices paid by EMC to local businesses over a recent 18-month span. He added that he wants to work to make sure that companies have access to resources such as skilled workers and the physical infrastructure needed to fuel continued growth in the region. His personal affinity to the area is well known.

"We have the universities and the talent; we have the money to fund companies," he said. "Massachusetts is a very desirable place to live."

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict, Dorchester native Egan entered Northeastern University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1961. He began his professional career that year in Honeywell's Data Processing Division as a design engineer specializing in computer storage systems.

In 1963, he began graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined MIT's Draper Laboratory. There he served as part of the team that developed the Apollo Guidance Computer, designing the Apollo Mission Computer's Memory Systems that guided the Apollo's return to Earth.

Egan's career development also includes three years with Lockheed Electronics Co., a division of Lockheed Aircraft: initially a field sales manager in New England, eventually he rose to marketing manager of the California division. He returned to the Boston area to co-found Cambridge Memories Inc., a developer of add-on memory systems for mainframe computers.

Seven years later he left the then-profitable company at the invitation of Robert Noyce of Intel Corp,. to become general manager of Intel's Commercial Systems Division. After bringing the division from a loss to the company's most profitable position within three years, he returned to the East Coast again.

Egan founded computer storage developer EMC Corp. in 1979 and brought the company public in 1988. Serving as a director since the company's inception, he held the position of president and chief executive officer until January, 1992, when he passed the reins to Michael Ruettgers. Under Egan's direction, it is reported that EMC has pioneered more technological advances in the midrange, mainframe, and open systems computer storage industry than any other independent company. It is now one of Massachusetts' largest companies, with manufacturing and design centers worldwide in Colorado, Ireland, Israel, France, and Canada.

Deeply involved in the local community, Egan is a director at the Massachusetts High Technology Council, Cognition Corp. and Boston Edison; a trustee of the Catholic Schools Foundation and Northeastern University; co-chairman of the Boston Pops and American Ireland Fund; a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and the Semper Fidelis Society; and the director and founder of the Hopkinton Technology for Education Trust.

In a profile in Investor's Business Daily last year, Egan was described as a scrappy salesman and an entrepreneur driven to success by his dislike of failure. Massachusetts has definitely benefited from his convictions.

(c) Copyright MassTech Communications, Inc.

Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.