ROC Software CEO
Compton dies at 40
Leading advocate of HP 3000 community leaves family,
datacenter vendor as legacy
Danny Compton, CEO of ROC Software, a company that
has one of the largest groups of HP 3000 customers, died on November
17 in Austin, Texas. Compton was 40 when he died of a systemic
infection which followed surgery to install a pacemaker.
Compton had created ROC with his wife Wendy and two
other partners in 1999, taking on the HP 3000 software products and
customers from Tivoli Software that didnt fit into
Tivolis future plans. ROC opened its doors with support for
Formation, but soon had acquired all of the products which were at
the heart of former HP 3000 software firm Unison-Tymlabs: Maestro,
BackPack, Spoolmate and more.
Compton had passed over ROCs key management
duties as of last year. ROCs board of directors has named Janet
Slack to replace Compton as CEO; shes served as president of
the company since 2002 and CFO since 2000. Mike Broadway had taken
over Comptons duties as Chief Technical Officer in 2003.
Slack said the loss of Compton to the business he
helped to found is not as great as the loss his friends
As far as the business goes, we dont
really have changes were making, she said. Danny
put a great management team in place and were continuing to
execute to plan. The biggest thing were trying to deal with
right now is the loss of a good friend.
Compton was a co-founder of ROC with his wife of 21
years. He had a lifelong history of starting companies, beginning
with an enterprise at age 9 where he sold coffee in the lengthy gas
lines of the 1970s in Southern California where he grew up. Doctors
believed Compton, who was born with a serious congenital heart
defect, wouldnt live to see the end of grammar
In interviews Compton showed a sense of humor and a
spirit of enthusiasm which helped fuel his entrepreneurial drive. He
expressed a desire to get to work early on everything in his life,
from starting his family to learning job skills. At 14 he walked into
a print shop and discovered the staff had left for the day without
locking up. Compton called the owner to report, and when asked what
he wanted as a reward said that hed like to learn the printing
business. Compton graduated from high school early and did his high
school computer coursework on an HP 3000.
Its my belief that you figure out what
you want in life and go after it, he said.
ROC wanted to take on thousands of customers in its
acquisition, creating another MPE supplier seemingly overnight from
the ashes of Unison and Tymlabs. As 3000 providers began to adapt to
the reality of the Transition era, Compton said he stood fast on the
path of 3000 development, rather than the pursuit of migration
products and services.
I said if ROCs going that way, Im
not working here Oh wait, I own the place, he
Compton helped expand the scope of ROCs
business to include non-3000 systems in customer sites but at
the same time the company added datacenter solutions for MPE/iX. ROC
stepped in to provide scheduling software that communicated with the
HP 3000 and Unix systems on an equal footing. Early this year the
company completed an acquisition of Seay Systems, makers of spooler
software for Unix systems. The acquisition increased ROCs
customer base from around 3,000 companies to more than 4,000.
But Compton dedicated himself to more than business
success. He and his wife established the Nettie Lou Inman Foundation,
named after Dannys mother, dedicated to charitable giving for a
wide variety of causes such as the Kids Heart Camp and the Hill
Country Ride for AIDS.
Compton is survived by his children Raymond, Tabbatha
and Steven. Memorial donations can be made to Childrens
Hospital, 4650 Sunset Blvd. MS#29, Los Angeles, CA 90027; Camp Del
Corazon, 11615 Hesby Street, North Hollywood, CA 91601; Texas
Childrens Hospital, Office of Development, PO Box 300630 Mc
4-4483, Houston, TX 77230; and Camp Taylor, PO Box 1722, Modesto, CA