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Robert Shaw

Death Notice
  • "I'm sorry the college pictures of Bob turned out so small...."
    - Gary Thomas
  • "Bob and I were best friends in college. I was his "Big..."
    - Gary Thomas
  • "Robert, I will never forget working with you at ADL. You..."
    - Vicki Baker
  • "Robert will always be remembered as a good friend and..."
    - Randy Baker
  • "Blessed are the mourned for they shall be comforted.... ..."
    - Indria Hollingsworth

Robert William Shaw

8/26/1947 - 7/06/2013


Robert William Shaw, a long-time Bay area resident and executive, died peacefully at his ranch in Montana after a courageous battle with cancer.


Robert was born in Seattle, WA.,the 3rd of 4 boys. His father, a mining executive, moved the family to Salt Lake City, upper Michigan peninsula and El Paso, TX where Robert graduated from Irvin High School in 1965. He attended The University of Texas and served in the Marine Corps. He returned to UT to receive his BA in Finance 1969. He began his business career at Texas Instruments followed by a senior position as an oil and gas consultant for Price Waterhouse in Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX. He worked in Jakarta, Indonesia, for 2 years consulting for the Oil Minister. On the weekends he would travel to Bali, a place that would remain forever special to him. In 1979 Robert relocated to San Francisco, passed his CPA exam and settled in Tiburon. He married his wife of 33 years, Hollis Lufkin, in 1980. In 1981 they lived in Peru for 3 months while Robert consulted for its national oil company.


Robert, Hollis and their children were active in the community, Reed School District and were members of the Tiburon Peninsula Club, Marin Country Club, and the San Francisco and St. Francis YC's where Robert sailed competitively in the J -24 and Farr 40 fleets. In 1996 he raced his J-130 to Hawaii in the Pacific Cup. The family moved to their ranch near Bozeman, Montana , in 2004, fulfilling a childhood dream of Robert's to live in the mountains.


Following his employment at Price Waterhouse, Robert was a partner at Coopers & Lybrand, Arthur D. Little, and Booz-Allen & Hamilton. In 1992 Robert joined Oracle as Exec. VP responsible for ramping up Oracle's 500 person consulting unit. When he departed six years later he had transformed the consulting and vertical markets unit into an autonomous, worldwide, 15,000 strong, and over $ 2.5 billion operation. During his tenure at Oracle he also crewed on Larry Ellison's maxi- boat, Sayonara, and competed in many regattas around the world including the 1995 Sydney - Hobart Race.


In 1998 Robert became CEO of USWeb/CKS, one of the largest internet professional service firms, developing websites, advertising campaigns and e-commerce applications for the likes of Apple, Levi's, and Schwab. His next leadership role was in 2001 when Robert became the CEO of ArcSight, a security software firm focused on the the idea of enterprise -level security management. He successfully guided the firm's IPO in 2008. Robert had a familiar recipe for success over the years; hiring the right people and keeping them. He learned early on that you are only as good as your employees. He will be remembered for his "Shawisms", one being that: "don't ever come to me with a problem without also having at least one solution."


Robert retired in March 2009 following surgery for bile duct cancer.


He continued to enjoy the outdoor pursuits of fly fishing, skiing at Big Sky, horseback riding, bird hunting, golf and piloting his wooden boats on Lake Coeur d' Alene, ID. Most importantly he spent time with his family.


Robert will be forever missed and remembered for his gusto and passion for life, strong work ethic, and his devotion to his family.


Robert is preceded in death by his parents: Harry A. Jr. and Gladys Reynolds Shaw, and older brother, Harry A. III He is survived by his wife, Hollis, sons: Robert Steel and Zachary, daughter: Brinle brothers: John (Sandy) of Tucson, AZ. and Ted (Josie) of Wimberley, TX., Aunt: Leta Warmington of Newport Beach, CA. and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.


The family extends their heartfelt appreciation to their friends for their love and support, The Block Medical Center, UCSF Hepatobiliary and Executive Health staff and Hospice of Southwest Montana whose care allowed him to spend his final wees at his beloved ranch.


A celebration of Robert's life will be held for close friends and family on Friday, July 19, at 4pm at the Shaw's ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana.


The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Bozeman Deaconess Foundation, (Memo Line: Hospice) or Camp Mak-a-Dream.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on July 12, 2013
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