J. Steven Flannigan
Vice President (retired) | Hewlett-Packard Company
BS Electrical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1968; MS Electrical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1970
Rose Tech Chapter, 1967
Wife – Nancy
Following graduaton from Rose, Flannigan joined Bell Laboratories, where he worked on advanced fault tolerant systems and software for fault isolation and recovery in electronic switching systems including (0+) operator-assisted systems and large long distance electronic switching systems.
In 1971, Flannigan joined Texas Instruments as a Senior Member of Technical Staff. He was heavily involved with the early work in the use of early microprocessor technology to replace large combinational logic circuits with firmware-based control systems. This resulted in several patents on highly portable lightweight thermal printing data terminals, impact printers and bubble memory based data systems.
In 1982, he joined with a small team who left TI to found Compaq Computer Corporation, which developed the first truly compatible PC to the IBM PC. Flannigan was responsible for developing the compatibility software strategy, creating the first compatible BIOS, operating system (MS-DOS) and BASIC software, establishing partnerships with all the leading PC software developers at the time to create and support software on both the IBM PC and the Compaq PC. This strategy allowed Compaq to become the fastest growing company at that time and achieve $1B in sales faster than any company before. He helped develop the first Industry Standard Server, the Compaq SystemPro. Steve also was responsible for the world wide alliance between Compaq and Microsoft, who grew up together in the PC industry and maintained close ties throughout the PC revolution.
When Hewlett Packard acquired Compaq, Flannigan worked through the integration of the companies with the core integration team. He was also responsible for the overall alliance between Hewlett Packard with Microsoft on a global basis until his retirement in 2005.