The Belgian technology pioneer Jan Callewaert, Stephen Wilhite, the inventor of the ‘poison’, the Dutch database expert Martin Kersten and IBM engineer Fred Brooks are examples of people active in the ICT sector who will have died in 2022. In this in memoriam we reflect on our departed colleagues.
January to June 2022
Belgian technology pioneer
Jan Callewaert, the founder and long-time CEO of Option (wireless technology), passed away on February 1. He was barely 65 years old. The West Flemish Jan Callewaert was one of the Belgian technology pioneers. He studied commercial engineering and philosophy at KU Leuven. He started his career at Bull and later became a director at Ericsson.
Inventor of ‘the poison’
Stephen Wilhite, who developed the popular gif file format in the 1980s, died on March 14 at the age of 74. Gifs are now mainly used on social media for reactions and jokes, but the American had very different intentions with it at the time.
Ex-cio Brussels Airport
Jos Poelmans, the cio of Brussels Airport for almost twenty years, exchanged the temporary for the eternal on 30 May. He was barely 66 years old. Poelmans studied computer sciences at KULeuven and also obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration in the early 1980s. He started his career at ING as a systems engineer and research and development manager.
Former CEO of KPN
William Dick passed away on June 19 at the age of 83. Under his leadership, the state-owned PTT (Post, Telegraphy, Telephony) was spun off and floated on the stock exchange in 1994 as Koninklijke PTT Nederland (KPN). The postal company was split off in 1998, after which the remaining PTT Telecom continued as KPN.
On June 29, chief executive officer died John Visentin from Xerox at the age of 59 unexpectedly due to complications from a long-term illness.
July to December 2022
Professor of information science
prof. dr. ir. Hans Wortman passed away on July 6 at the age of 71. As professor of Information Science in Eindhoven and Groningen, Wortmann became well known in the field of production logistics and the application of lean and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. He was also chairman of the Lean Management Network (LMN) foundation.
Also on July 6, we passed away Martin Kersten at the age of 68. He was affiliated with Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), emeritus professor of computer science at the University of Amsterdam and co-developer of the open source system MonetDB, his brainchild.
Turtleneck designer Steve Jobs
On August 5, the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake passed away at the age of 84. He built a fashion empire and rose to fame as the designer of the iconic turtleneck sweater that the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs used to wear.
Technical brain IBM System/360
On November 17 Fred Brooks go to heaven. He turned 91 years old. Brooks was renowned for his innovative work in computer design and software engineering. The American was one of the technical brains of IBM’s compatible 360 computer project in the 1960s. The shared design across machines was described in a paper written by Brooks and his colleagues Gene Amdahl and Dutchman Gerrit Blaauw entitled ‘Architecture of the IBM System/360’. In 1975 he wrote a standard work on software projects: ‘The Mythical Man-Month’. The New York Times published an extensive memorial.
Top manager Microsoft Belgium
Crystal Wyns passed away on November 18. She suffered from breast cancer. Wyns has had a great career at KPMG, Oracle, Deloitte, Adobe and Microsoft. She was only 48 years old.