If you use SOLIDWORKS now or used it in the past, one person you have to thank is Vic Leventhal. Vic passed away, October 3rd, 2020 at the age of 74. Vic was the COO of SOLIDWORKS from its inception in 1995 up until 2003, well after the acquisition by Dassault Systemes in 1997.
That quick acquisition, and the huge growth of SOLIDWORKS, was in part due to Vic’s sales strategy, his experience as the former-CEO of a CAD reseller, and the value he had for partners. As Engineering puts it, “The reason was that he invested in developing a competent chain of resellers instead of internally taking on the tough work of establishing the solution commercially on the market.”
Though his ‘sales strategy’ isn’t what I remember most about Vic, it’s why I started using SOLIDWORKS in 1996, and what led me to join a reseller in 2000, starting SolidSmack in 2007, meeting more incredible designers and engineers than I could ever imagine, and forming lifelong friendships with many.
Here’s to you Vic, for the part you had in SOLIDWORKS, the example you set, the encouragement you gave, and what you added to the design industry as a whole. It will never be forgotten.
Here are some remembrances for Vic from the SOLIDWORKS community:
RIP Vic Leventhal. The whole CAD industry has lost a true legend. More powerful than any CAD program was Vic’s incredible way with people. We are sad and shocked. We miss you my friend. @SOLIDWORKS @onshape @3d_printers— Jon Hirschtick (@jhirschtick) October 3, 2020
Vic was such a genuine, approachable, and downright nice person. He will be greatly missed, and loved forever. pic.twitter.com/mH6eQxaUk9— Todd Blacksher (@tahhhd) October 4, 2020
Vic was one of the first people I sought out at SWW every year. A great sense of humor, and someone you could sit and listen to for hours. Also the best emcee ever! pic.twitter.com/pbj3lqMZUm— Richard Doyle (@theusergroupguy) October 5, 2020
#RIP to #SOLIDWORKS co-founder and it's 1st COO, #VicLeventhal 😢😢 He was an incredibly affable man who could fill a convention hall with his spirit. 2020 continues to SUCK in every imaginable way. https://t.co/pMrQATplDw— Eric A. Beatty (@Eric_A_Beatty) October 3, 2020