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A HISTORY OF COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS: 1968 -1988

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Art Carr

Art Carr

At the time of this interview, Art Carr was President of the scientific computer workstation start-up Stellar Computer Inc. While Carr was no longer involved in computer communications, he had been an important executive in the early formation of the Data Communication industry. After serving in the United States Navy (1951-1955), Carr joined Remington Rand Univac as a field technical specialist working out of Boston. He next joined Computer Control Corporation (C3) Honeywell (1961-1968) where he rose to Director of Marketing. He joined Codex Corporation in Manesfield, MA in 1968 as vice-president of Marketing. In 1970, Carr became President, chief executive officer and director. After the acquisition of Codex by Motorola, Inc. in 1979, Carr was appointed vice-president of Motorola. In 1982, he became executive vice-president and general manager of the Information Systems Group, a position he held until he left Motorola in 1986. His responsibilities included Codex, Universal Data Systems and the minicomputer manufacturer Four-Phase Systems. In 1986, Carr joined Stellar Computer in Newton, MA as President. He was also a founder, vice-president and director of the Independent Data Communications Manufacturers Association (IDCMA) from 1971-1982. He had been a member of the Board of Directors of Interlan and joined the Board of Wellfleet in 1987.

Carr resisted the idea of sitting for an interview. When I argued that I had already interviewed others, rather than being persuaded, he said that was all the more reason it was not necessary to talk to him. But an interview of Carr was essential, as were interviews with the Presidents of Codex’s principal competitors: Paradyne (Robert Wiggins) and Racal-Milgo (Matt Kenney). Fortunately he finally agreed, subject to it being brief. So when I arrived at Stellar Computers in Newton, I was not sure how successful I would be. His secretary announced my arrival, and then asked that I have a seat. Soon thereafter, I was escorted into his office, where I was greeted coolly, yet politely. His sparsely appointed office reflected that of an entrepreneurial executive who was used to managing a tight cash flow. I set the tape recorder up and began. It went slowly until he remembered the date: it was the same day eighteen years ago when he learned that James Cryer, the President of Codex, and the man who had hired him, had unexpectedly died. Carr leaned back in his chair, reflected for a few moments, then buzzed his secretary and instructed her to clear his schedule, then turned back to me. I could not have asked for a more patient, and thorough, interviewee.

Keywords: Codex, Motorola

Art Carr Interviewed by James Pelkey 4/6/88