Michael Baum’s cybersecurity software program firm, Splunk, simply offered to Cisco for $28 billion. It might need by no means even existed if Steve Jobs did not go to Drexel College in 1983.
On the time, Baum was finding out electrical engineering on the Philadelphia-based college. Jobs appeared on campus for enterprise: placing a partnership with Drexel’s leaders to offer college students with Apple’s brand-new Macintosh computer systems, which debuted in January 1984.
In a speech a 12 months later, Jobs reportedly referred to as Drexel “a pioneer for being the primary college to totally incorporate the Macintosh” into college students’ research. For Baum, now 61, the expertise was eye-opening.
“Steve Jobs satisfied our college to grow to be the primary one to undertake the Mac for all getting into college students. As quickly as I noticed MacPaint and MacDraw, I knew I had to determine how this labored,” Baum instructed U.Okay.-based The Gentleman Journal in 2022.
Baum’s infatuation was “love at first byte,” he added, inspiring him to change his main to laptop science. “Abruptly my mind went, ‘How do these work?'” Baum instructed the BBC in 2020. “So I went headlong into software program.”
After graduating in 1985, Baum began engaged on his first startup, a software program enterprise referred to as Actuality On-line that aimed to foretell inventory market efficiency. He offered the enterprise to Reuters for an undisclosed quantity in 1987, and went again to high school to get an MBA from the Wharton College of the College of Pennsylvania.
Baum went on to ascertain himself as a serial entrepreneur, constructing and promoting a number of software program companies earlier than 2000. He additionally hung out as a Silicon Valley investor and an e-commerce government at Walt Disney and Yahoo.
In 2003, Baum and two mates — Rob Das and Erik Swan — co-founded Splunk, a San Francisco-based firm that helps firms monitor and analyze giant shops of knowledge. Extra lately, Splunk developed cybersecurity instruments that depend on synthetic intelligence to observe machine-generated knowledge for potential threats.
Baum served as the corporate’s CEO till retiring in 2009. When Splunk went public in 2012, it was valued at roughly $1.6 billion. It is unknown how a lot cash he constructed from Cisco’s acquisition of Splunk, however he instructed the BBC in 2020 that he was, on the time, the corporate’s largest particular person shareholder.
In his retirement, Baum has refashioned himself as a vintner: He moved his household to France’s Burgundy area in 2014 and acquired the Château de Pommard vineyard, the place he is at present the proprietor and operator.
The “inquisitive nature” that drove him to be taught extra about Jobs’ Macintosh computer systems “continues to drive me right this moment,” Baum instructed The Gentleman Journal.
“It offers me function, pleasure, and pleasure,” he mentioned.
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