Michael Fields is an early pioneer in the technology industry and for over 30 years has excelled at managing large corporations, building businesses and fostering entrepreneurial growth and prosperity. Michael Fields began his technology career in the Air Force in 1964 and after much hard work at companies like ADR, his talent and effort garnered him the position of President of USA Operations at the software giant Oracle. Exercising his entrepreneurial bent, Mr. Fields left Oracle to found OpenVision in 1996, which he subsequently took public and sold to another software giant Veritas in 1997. As a testament to the respect Michael had in the industry he founded OpenVision with $25 million in venture capital, which at that time was the largest funding given to any technology startup.
While Michael Fields enjoyed much personal success in technology, he is equally renowned and respected for his work with startups and entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Fields founded New Vista Capital in 1996 and served as General Partner there, helping small, women and minority-owned firms achieve success. Using his leverage in the investment community along with his extensive experience in the technology field, Mr. Fields worked with dozens of firms throughout his career by providing access to startup capital, office space, advice and executive support. His incubator in Oakland, CA was the home to many startup technology companies to include ViaNovus and Adamation.
While supporting entrepreneurs through New Vista and other avenues, Michael took the role CEO of Kana Software in 2005. His efforts at Kana helped turn the stuggling multi-million dollar company around. His efforts were rewarded in 2009 through the acquisition of Kana by Accel-KKR, a well respected and highly successful private equity firm.
Michael Field's life and career were cut short in October 2010 after a bout with cancer. He leaves behind a legacy of inspiration and serves as a role model to all African Americans who want to pursue success in the field of technology.
Michael Fields has always reached back to help other entrepreneurs. As a successful black man in corporate America, Michael has always tried to use his knowledge and influence to help other African American entrepreneurs achieve success. From his incubator in Oakland, CA to his many ventures with entrepreneurs throughout the country, Michael demonstrates that successful corporate Americans can reach back to help those who will come after them.
Michael Fields is a black man who broke new ground in the technology field. As the first black president of Oracle USA and as the successful founder and venture seller of OpenVision, Michael showed us all that a black man can create and run major software corporations. Many of the young black men who have came behind him use him as a symbol and real world example that the top level of success in technology can be achieved with hard work, dedication and great skills.
On giving back to the community:
"I have the capability to do it," he said. "I certainly have the desire." January 2007 article for the SF Chronicle
Return to Inspirational People