John Walker leaves us

I woke up this morning to the sad news that Autodesk’s founder and first CEO, John Walker, has died. You can find the announcement and brief obituary here.

I can’t claim to have known John very well, despite us living less than 15km from each other in Switzerland. I did spend a very memorable evening with him back in September of 2008, which led to this series of posts about Autodesk’s early history:

Here’s a photo I took of John after we’d talked for a few hours:

John Walker holding an M9900 and the prototype hardcover manual for AutoCAD 2 1

I only interacted with John a few times since that time, one of them being after I posted this Floppy Friday episode covering his early experiments on the Commodore 64.

John was relentlessly curious, highly opinionated and super smart. He lit up like a proud father when talking about his baby (Autodesk), which turned 42 just a few days before he passed….

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