Jim Goodnight

podcast Jim Goodnight

Jim Goodnight
  • Language: eng
  • Published: 20 May 1997
  • Duration: 11:55

James (Jim) Goodnight is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SAS Institute Inc., the largest privately-owned software company in the nation. He is the wealthiest person in North Carolina and one of the wealthiest men in the world, with a net worth of $7 billion. The son of a hardware store owner, he moonlighted as a computer programmer while at North Carolina State University. Goodnight "fell in love with computers" in the one computer course he took at NC State in his sophomore year. The following summer he got a job writing programs for the agricultural economics department. A few years later, while working on his master's degree, his curiosity was piqued over the prospect of man being sent to the moon. His programming skills helped him land a position with a company building electronic equipment for the ground stations that would communicate with the Apollo space capsules. He went on to earn his doctorate in statistics at NC State, where he was a member of the faculty from 1972 to 1976. Goodnight developed software for data warehousing, mining and analysis. In 1976, he founded SAS (Statistical Analysis System), and over the years, expanded to business analytics software products now installed in more than 50,000 sites in over 100 countries around the world that generate $1 billion in annual revenues. Goodnight has meantime established a family of 11,000 fiercely loyal employees on a secluded 300-acre wooded campus in Cary, North Carolina, the utopian ideal of the corporate environment. Together with his wife, Ann, he co-founded Cary Academy in 1996, an independent college preparatory day school for students in grades six through 12, with the goal of creating a model school for integrating technology into all facets of education. Jim Goodnight participated in the 1997 Achievement Summit in Baltimore, Maryland and spoke to the student delegates about his personal secrets to success in life and business.