From: "Eric Waddell" ct: IDMS History Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 00:50:49 -0700
I read, with interest, The History of IDMS (IDMS/SQL News - Dec 1999) You failed to mention the negative impact that David Chapman had on Cullinet. It was David who heralded the death knell of the company. (Use this if you'd like - I was employed by Cullinet Canada between 1982 and 1987.)
Prior to coming on board, John Cullinane had been desperately trying to find a successor. He had other interests - namely the JFK Library in Boston. (John was friends with the Kennedy's... in fact one of the last sales conferences (1987) was held in Hyannisport and good old Ted dropped by to invite Cullinet people over to the compound for tennis.
John had been trying to groom internal people but no one was really suitable. Frank Chisholm, Executive VP, was the strongest of the team, but was far too aggressive for his own, and the company's good. Bob Goldman, who had been President for a few years, was weak.
Then came Chapman. John spoke of him as a savior. He was a Data General alumni and taught at the Sloan School of Management. John dropped him into place and promptly disappeared. Chapman then proceeded to squander the company's $80 Million war chest and future Gold Course on all sorts of strange business applications. The first big one was a company based in Mississauga, Ontario called Cancor. They had a VAX applications development product. Ron Zambonini, now with Cognos, was the project leader at the time. Unfortunately, Tom Corr, who started the company, was a V.P. of Cullinet for a few months, but dropped after it was found out that he had been running the company as a tax scam. He was arrested at Pearson International Airport on his way to the Cullinet annual sales conference in Boston in 1986.