Robert William Shaw

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  • "I'm sorry the college pictures of Bob turned out so small...."
    - Gary Thomas
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Aug. 26, 1947 - July 6, 2013

Robert William Shaw died peacefully at his ranch with his family by his side, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Robert lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. In 2002, the family bought a ranch on the Gallatin River fulfilling his childhood dream of one day living in the mountains of Montana. The family moved here permanently in 2004 and Robert continued to commute to Silicon Valley for the next five years. The ranch was a haven for him to relax with his family, good friends, dogs and horses. The family also enjoys a summer residence on Lake Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, where Robert loved piloting his wooden boats and playing golf.

Robert was born in Seattle, Wash., the third of four sons. His father was a mining executive and as a youth, Robert lived in Salt Lake City, the upper Michigan peninsula, and El Paso, Texas, where he graduated from Irvin High School in 1965. Robert attended the University of Texas and after serving in the Marine Corps returned to receive his B.A. in finance.

He began his career in business at Texas Instruments, followed by a senior management position at Price Waterhouse in Dallas – Fort Worth. During that time, he worked in Jakarta, Indonesia, as an oil and gas consultant. On the weekends he would fly over to Bali, a place that would remain forever special to him. He relocated to San Francisco in 1979, passed his CPA exam and married his wife of 33 years, Hollis Lufkin in 1980. Over the next 12 years, Robert was a partner at Coopers & Lybrand, Arthur D. Little and Booz-Allen & Hamilton. In 1992 Robert went to work at Oracle as Executive VP with the responsibility of ramping up its 500 person consulting unit. When he left Oracle in 1998, Robert had transformed the consulting and vertical markets division into a worldwide 15,000 strong, and over $ 2.5 billion department.

Also during his tenure at Oracle, Robert crewed on Larry Ellison's maxi-boat, Sayonara, and raced in numerous regattas around the world including the 1995 Sydney - Hobart Race. Robert's love for racing sailboats included his own boats, a J-24, J-130 and a Farr 40, that he raced under the burgees of the ST. Francis and San Francisco YC's. The friendships he made while sailing always remained some of his fondest. Following Oracle, Robert was CEO of USWeb/CKS, an internet service company developing e-commerce, websites and advertising campaigns for the likes of Apple, Levi's and Schwab. His next leadership role was in 2001 at Arcsight, a security software company focused on the idea of enterprise security management. As CEO he successfully guided the company public in 2008. Robert was a well-liked executive who had a familiar recipe for success: hiring and keeping the right people. He will be remembered for his dedication to his employees, and his "Shawisms" one being, "don't ever come to me with a problem without having at least one solution."

Robert was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma in early 2009 and retired a few months later. He continued his outdoor pursuits of fly fishing, bird hunting, golfing, skiing at Big Sky, horseback riding, boating, and riding his Harley with friends for as long as his health permitted. Most importantly he spent time with his family. He will be forever missed and remembered for his gusto and passion for life, strong work ethic, and devotion to his family.

Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Harry A Jr. and Gladys Reynolds Shaw and brother, Harry A. III. He is survived by his wife, Hollis; sons, Robert Steel and Zachary; daughter, Brinley; brothers, John R. (Sandy) of Tucson, Ariz., W. Ted (Josie) of Wimberley, Texas; aunt, Leta Warmington, of Newport Beach, Calif., and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Robert's family extends their heartfelt appreciation to friends and relatives for their love and support, the Block Medical Center, the Hepatobiliary and Executive Health staffs at UCSF, and Hospice of Southwest Montana, whose care enabled Robert to spend his final weeks at his beloved ranch.

A celebration of Robert's life will be held for close friends and family on Friday, July 19, at 4 p.m. at the Shaw's (RSR) ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Mont.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Bozeman Deaconess Foundation, (memo line: Hospice) 931 Highland Blvd. Suite 3200, Bozeman, 59715 or Camp Mak-a-Dream.
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on July 11, 2013
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