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:
- Part 1 – Autodesk's early history
- Part 2 – AutoCAD's architecture & APIs
- Part 3 – Autodesk's eco-system and strategy
- Part 4 – Past and future opportunities
Here’s a photo I took of John after we’d talked for a few hours:
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….