Vale: David Cohen

Vale: David Cohen

Leading light at Southern Cross Computer Systems, Ipex and Volante and other companies passes away

The late David Cohen
The late David Cohen
Sadly, one of Australia's most humble and quiet IT achievers, David Cohen, passed away on Tuesday, November 25, 2014. David was a friend, mentor and colleague to many in the industry. He leaves a wonderful legacy of tenacity, perseverance and an always inquiring mind.

Our ears still ring from the energy in his voice; to strive for perfection and professionalism, at all times, to do it right the first time, and his forever questioning mind, pushing the boundaries with his professorial peers.

On a personal level he was inclusive and always saw the best in those around him. He never uttered a bad word about anyone. David forged a wide network of friends from his school and university days in South Africa, his community and friends in Australia and his work colleagues. He maintained contact with all of them and was always there as a guiding figure.

Extremely bright, David graduated from the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) receiving many scholarships and awards along the way. He came to Australia from South Africa at the age of 22 and began work with HP Medical Solutions. Recognised as a smart and extremely capable engineer, Davis was then snapped up by Dick Pratt to drive technical innovation for plant production at Visy Industries.

David was very driven and always looking for the next opportunity. He decided that the best way to achieve this was to start his own business, and in 1988 started Toren Communications, a provider of networking solutions.

After running the business successfully for a number of years and positioned in the strategic growth area of technology, he was approached by Ipex to merge and grow and scale the business nationally. Ipex went on to become Australia's largest PC, networking and services organisation winning many large corporate and government accounts, against the likes of IBM, HP, and in later years, Dell.

Together with his partners, David was always reinventing the business and driving growth and profitability. So much so, that David was instrumental in driving Ipex's push into the outsourcing business and winning major contracts with the Federal Government, and in particular, the Group8 Outsourcing contract. This led to Ipex being acquired by the ASX-listed Volante. David continued to work there for a few years before retiring early to spend more time with his young family.

Whilst David may have been in semi-retirement he was never far away from his friends and colleagues. He went on to Chair the Advisory Board for Southern Cross Computer Systems and provide guidance to many others including Gil Hidas in the launch of the electronic filing system, PaperAct.

David was an incredibly astute, intellectual and truly gifted person in every way imaginable. He will be sadly missed by all but his memory will live in our hearts and minds forever. His wonderful smile, chuckle and infectious enthusiasm will continue to burn for all. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to his loving wife Mimi and children Simone and Gideon, who themselves, will carry his flame forever.

“Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character”, Albert Einstein.

Read more: Tabcorp bets on Southern Cross for managed Cloud services

  • This tribute was provided to ARN and written by Mark Kalmus, Mark Buckley and Frank Stranges

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Tags IpexvolanteSouthern Cross Computer SystemsDavid Cohen

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