James Goodnight

James "Jim" Goodnight (born January 6, 1943) is a businessman and software programmer. He co-founded SAS Institute as a faculty member of North Carolina State University in 1976. Since then he has been the CEO for more than three decades. His leadership style and the work environment he created at SAS, now a multi-billion dollar company, have been studied by other businesses and by academics.

Goodnight was born to Albert Goodnight and Dorothy Patterson in Salisbury, NC, on January 6, 1943. He lived in Greensboro, NC, until he was 12, when his family moved to Wilmington. In his youth, he often worked at his father's hardware store. Mathematics and chemistry were Goodnight's strongest subjects in school, thanks in part, he says, to a "wonderful chemistry teacher" at New Hanover High School.

Goodnight's career with computers began when he took a computer course his sophomore year at North Carolina State University. At the time, he said, “a light went on, and I fell in love with making machines do things for other people.” The following summer he got a job writing software programs for the agricultural economics department. Goodnight is also a member of the social fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. With contributions from other alumni, Goodnight was responsible for the construction of a new fraternity house in 2002.

James Goodnight

Born
January 6, 1943 (1943-01-06) (age 71), Salisbury, NC
 
Nationality
American
 
Other names
James H. Goodnight, Jim Goodnight
 
Alma mater
North Carolina State University
 
Occupation
Entrepreneur, CEO, Statistician, Software engineer, Inventor
 
Net worth
US$7.3 billion