Joe Piscopo
Joe Piscopo
Pansophic Systems, Inc.

 
Joseph A. Piscopo retired in 1987 after 18 years as the Chairman and C.E.O. of Pansophic Systems, Incorporated (NYSE: ‘PNS’), a Lisle, Illinois software firm he had founded in 1969 at the age of 24. Previously, Piscopo was a programmer at the Joliet Arsenal (IL), lead programmer at Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago), and Technical Vice President of a small software firm in Chicago.

Pansophic had annual revenues of $230 million, 1600 employees and customers in 60 countries. Its major products, each with over 10,000 licensed mainframe users, were Panvalet, a source program management system, and Easytrieve, a report writer. Pansophic’s first IPO was in 1981, then another in 1983. Its common stock was listed on the NYSE from 1985 until October, 1991, when it was acquired by CA, Inc. (NYSE: ‘CA’) for $300 million in cash.

Mr. Piscopo was an investor and Chairman of Software Artistry, Inc., an Indianapolis software firm (NASDAQ: ‘SWRT’) from 1992-1998. Software Artistry annual revenues were $50 million from its help desk and customer service software products. SWRT completed its IPO in march 1995, then was acquired by IBM’s Tivoli division in January, 1998 for $200 million in cash.

Since 1997 Joseph A. Piscopo has been an angel investor of many private software firms. He is an investor in a number of technology venture funds. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the University of Illinois Foundation in October, 1995.

Piscopo holds A B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1965). He is a graduate of the Owner/President Management (OPM) program at the Harvard Business School (1982). He is 65, resides in Oak Brook, Illinois with his wife, Mary Lou. They have two sons, Philip (38) and Thomas (36).

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QLet's start with the day in 1985 when someone erased all of the data in your company with an electromagnet.

AI got a call one night around New Years' Eve from my data center manager and he said someone just walked through the computer room with a magnet and erased everything on every disk drive in the place.

QHow could that have happened? You were a public company with safeguards in place.

A We're talking about a rather significant electromagnet, not something little - something industrial strength. All our programs were erased overnight.

QHow did you recover?

AAs it happens, we sold a software product that promised security for a customer's software library, so we had backup for all our programs. It took us about two weeks to rebuild everything.

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