Michael C.J. CowplandMichael C.J. Cowpland, businessman (b at Bexhill, Sussex, Eng 23 Apr 1943). Cowpland came to Canada in 1964 to work for Bell Northern Research. He received a masters (1968) and PhD (1973) in engineering at Carleton University and was engineering and design project leader at Bell from 1964-68. He was manager of circuit designs for Microsystems International Limited from 1968 to 1973, when he cofounded Mitel Corp with Terry MATTHEWS. Cowpland was also a major investor in one of the first portable PC's (the Hyperion Computer) on the market using the Intel 8088 microprocessor in 1981. This unique machine was one of the first PC's with an integrated communications modem and a built-in software suite which included a text editor for programming and MULTIPLAN, an integrated program with a worksheet, database and problem solver. Cowpland left Mitel in 1985 to found COREL CORP.
Corel introduced its first version of CorelDRAW! in 1989. This computer drawing program has since become the world leader in its field. The program is updated annually. Cowpland has led the company with forceful marketing policies that distribute CorelDRAW! with a rich variety of other programs. Cowpland acquired Novell's business applications in 1996 and now packages Corel with an extensive software suite that includes WordPerfect, a leading product in word processing. He has also introduced successful SCSI (small systems interface) software, desktop publishing software and an extensive library of photo-CDs containing some 20 000 stock photographs.
Cowpland is an active athlete, reaching the men's finals in tennis in the veterans' division at Wimbledon 1995. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Heart Institute, GEAC, the Hummingbird Software Company, the Canadian Advanced Technology Association, and the Ottawa-Carleton Economic Development Corporation, and is a limited partner in the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.
As a company, Corel is the leading sponsor in the Ottawa area, contributing to charities, sports events, arts activities and numerous civic events.