Joe Costello To Get Back Into EDA?

There’s a lot of buzz these days, but what’s really going on behind the scenes?


While other writers in this world rely on gossip, there is a lot more that can come from hard work and paying attention. Perhaps one of the most famous and charismatic people from the EDA world is Joe Costello – former CEO of Cadence and still missed by many. Until recently he was CEO of a company called Orb Networks, a streaming company that allowed music, videos and photos to be accessed across the Internet from your PC’s hard drive. Nice concept, and they had some nice products, but they failed to make a commercial success of it. Back in August, the company folded and it is thought that Qualcomm acquired the company assets.

So, what has Joe been doing since then? Well, not much until two days ago when he started to get friendly with a lot of my contacts on LinkedIn (These of course are the only ones I can see, so he could have been making a whole bunch more connections that I don’t know about). Many of them are old Cadence buddies who have since left, and many of those hold influential positions in startup companies. He is contacting marketing and sales people, technologist who are in semi-retirement, standards people, VCs. One thing that is quite amazing is that he was not already connected to many of these people, but that probably is simply explained by the fact that LinkedIn was a new concept when Joe left EDA. What it does tell me is that Joe is coming back and currently is looking for possibilities. Could it be that he wants to be in EDA again? Could it be that Joe wants to make a new, powerful EDA company out of a lot of the smaller players — just as he did to create Cadence back in the late ’80s?

Another possibility is that Joe was on the board of directors of Oasys. This is a company recently bought by Mentor Graphics. Could there be something big in the works here between Mentor and Joe?

It’s a valid question — what will Joe be doing in 2014?


Lou Covey says:

If that’s true he’s not doing a very good job of it. His Linkedin page still has him as CEO of Orb, which, as you point out, is nonfunctional now. He tested his popularity by participating in the Oasys rollout at DAC a few years ago … and almost no one paid attention (of course, I remember that particular DAC was very poorly attended). Today, Joe is part of the legend and myth of EDA not the reality. The reasons he turned his back on the industry are even stronger today. but he is sitting on a nice pile of money still and has enough free time to figure out what this “social media thing” is, so that’s why he’s making contacts. “Anyone want some of my money? Drop me a line. I might be interested.”

garydpdx says:

I have seen conflicting advice on whether to keep your last official title on LinkedIn if you are between gigs, or use a descriptive functional title to indicate that you are looking (or not at all). Also, there are (were?) two entries that you have (had?) to modify in order to change your headline and title. It has been a couple of LI platform revisions since I had to do that.

Someone at Joe’s level is usually more discreet and he probably has more going on, in the background, than seen via his public face on LinkedIn! 🙂

JoeG says:

I really doubt Joe wants anything more to do with EDA. I think he and Gary were happy to help transfer the Oasys technology over to Mentor….and that’s it.

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