Open source desktop company Ximian yesterday named Mitchell Kapor to its board of directors. Kapor was the founder of Lotus Development, the designer of Lotus 1-2-3, and president and CEO of Lotus from 1982 to 1986.
Since leaving Lotus, Kapor has been the founder and chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Massachusetts Commission on Computer Technology and Law, two nonprofit groups. Kapor served as a partner of venture capital firm Accel Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., from 1999 to 2001, and continues as a venture consultant there.
“Ximian is one of those rare companies that combines breakthrough technology and a robust business model,” Kapor said. The company was founded by Miguel de Icaza, lead developer of Gnome – the Gnu Object Model Environment – which has been adopted by Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard as the default user interface for their Unix operating systems. Gnome is a frequently used option on the Linux OS as well.
“Mitch has the insight to effectively contribute to the companys product and technology strategy,” said David Patrick, Ximians CEO and president. The Boston firm offers a set of desktop applications on top of the Gnome user interface.
Kapor worked as a product manager of Personal Software, one of the pioneers of end user software applications that produced the VisiCalc spreadsheet. Kapor was the designer of VisiPlot and VisiTrend, companion products to VisiCalc.