Rick Crandall serves as an independent director and advisor to a number of companies ranging from large to small, public and private. In addition to his technology background, he has extensive experience in corporate governance, marketing and corporate strategy in various industries that are or are transitioning to becoming more dependent on technology. He was a CEO of a public international tech company for over 25 years; he is a businessman who has stayed current with new uses of technology and trends.
Rick’s background ranges from enterprise software to banking and financial self-service technology, digital media retail marketing, medical equipment and the application of biotech to nutraceuticals.
He is often in a “go to” role, being tasked with special Board needs such as chairing Board strategy committees and IT committees. He has a passion for being an enabler of strategic transformation and operating at the boundary between the Board’s role and management.
He is Chairman of Donnelley Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: DFIN; Chicago, IL), a $1 billion international market leader that enables corporations, their advisors and financial institutions such as mutual funds, investment managers and broker/dealers worldwide to produce, manage, distribute and translate financial information to investors and documents and electronic communications to regulators in a manner that complies with regulations primarily from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Rick is also a member of the Board of Directors and Chairs the Cyber Committee of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC, Colorado Springs). The NCC is a private/public organization whose mission is to research, educate and to enable workforce development in cybersecurity nationally. Rick has co-authored the NCC Cyber for Executives certification course in cybersecurity oversight for executives and corporate directors.
He is the founder and (since 1995) continuing Chairman of the Enterprise Software CEO Roundtable, the definitive group of the CEO’s of the software industry’s 50 larger firms meeting in person twice yearly.
Rick is Chairman of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, one of the signature cultural elements of the “Aspen Experience.”
Crandall is past-Chairman of Novell, Inc. He oversaw the sale of Novell to a trio of private equity firms and simultaneously a portion of its patent library to a consortium of Microsoft, Apple Computer, Oracle and EMC.
During the period 1995 – 2003, Crandall helped Gideon Gartner create Giga Information Group, one of the nation’s premier technology research and advisory firms that went public in the late 1990’s. From 2002 – 2003 he was Chairman of Giga (ref: https://www.rickcrandall.net/wp/corporate-board-member-giga-chairman/ ) and he oversaw its sale to Forrester Research.
He was the founder of Comshare, Inc. in 1966 originally as a pioneer of computer timesharing services, the predecessor to today’s cloud computing. He took Comshare through one of the earliest public offerings in the tech industry, and then guided it through one of the few total strategic transformations to software products ranging from decision support to business intelligence and executive information systems. Crandall had one of the longest tenures (28 years) as CEO in the software industry; he expanded into 20 countries with over 55% of its revenue from outside the U.S. (ref: https://www.rickcrandall.net/wp/invention-of-graphical-executive-information-systems-eis/ )
Crandall was the technology advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2003 to 2008. He served as Chairman of ITAA, the association for the computer software and services industry. He served on the ITAA Board for over 20 years and chaired its strategic planning committee for 12 years.
For 12 years, he was (“foreign country person”) Board member of Beacon Information Technology, one of Japan’s largest software companies and assisted in its attempts to break out beyond its local Japanese borders.
In the year of the 25th anniversary of the birth of the software industry, Crandall was selected as “One of the 5 Leading Pioneers of the Computer Industry” (ref.: ICP Business Software Review; Oct. 1986). Crandall received the 1992 Outstanding Entrepreneur Award from the University of Michigan Business School and Harvard Business School Alumni groups.
In addition to Donnelly Financial and the NCC, he presently serves on the Board of Directors of:
Pelstar – Executive Chairman; Chicago-based leading brand manufacturer (Health o meter) of medical equipment. Pelstar won Private Company Board of the Year Award for 2016 (see: https://www.rickcrandall.net/private-company-boards-of-the-year-2016-named-pelstar/ )
Actv8.me (Beverly Hills, CA) – innovator of interactive television and a new generation of advertising in a strategic partnership with Valassis transforming retail marketing by connecting relevant consumers to TV shows and other display media with synchronized “second screen” applications that create customer engagement and motivate purchasing both on line and in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Virun [Walnut, CA] – innovator, patent owner and bio-tech manufacturer enabling breakthrough means to incorporate oil-based health, energy and diet supplements into clear beverages including waters and colas, leaving them clear, with unaltered taste and aroma and with long shelf-lives at room temperature.
ChannelNet [Sausalito, CA] – ChannelNet is a pioneer and a leader in delivering software and services for digital customer acquisition and retention by enabling a seamless multichannel sales environment online and offline.
WP Engine (Austin, TX) – leading, fast-growth company providing enterprise-scale WordPress software, support services, security and hosting for SMB and larger enterprises.
Crandall attended the University of Michigan where he received a BS Electrical Engineering, BS Mathematics and a Masters in Industrial Engineering, 1966.
He is a New York City native and now lives in Aspen, CO where he is an avid mountain climber having summited all 58 mountains over 14,000 feet in the Rockies. His first book on the climbing experience, initially with his dog, Emme, will be a book entitled The Dog Who Took Me Up a Mountain published by HCI Books and available Oct 8, 2019. See www.RickCrandallBooks.com
Crandall has also written several books and magazine articles on early mechanical inventions, perhaps the most exotic of which he still collects, namely rare antique automatic music machines (see: https://www.rickcrandall.net/wp/music-machines/ ).
He is married to Pamela Clavette Levy.
Crandall’s place in the history of the computer industry can be found in several articles at https://www.rickcrandall.net/wp/computer-history/