Dennis Hayes (businessman)
Dennis C. Hayes (born 1950) is the founder of Hayes Microcomputer Products, a manufacturer of modems mostly known for introducing the Hayes command set, which has subsequently been used in most modems produced to this day.
He left Georgia Tech in the mid-1970s to work at an early data communications company, National Data Corporation in Atlanta, a company that handled electronic money transfers and credit card authorizations. Hayes' job was to set up modem connections for NDC's customers. In 1977, Hayes started his company "by assembling modems by hand on a borrowed kitchen table." He met Dale Heatherington (born 1948) at National Data Corporation and together they developed and marketed the first high-quality IBM PC modem, and built the company named Hayes Communications around it. While Heatherington left the company early (in 1985) to retire, Hayes ran the company until it filed for bankruptcy in 1998 when the technology was incorporated into the products of competitors.
In 1994, Hayes' share of the modem market was 20% and still "the market leader in modems", but a decline in relation to its previous market share of over 50%.
In 1982, Hayes married Melita Easters. They divorced in 1987 with an estimated $40 million divorce settlement, one of the largest ever in Georgia. The same year of his divorce, Hayes married Mina Chan whom, according to Georgia Trend magazine, he had an affair with in 1986 while still married to Easters. Chan was a director of Hayes's company. From two marriages he has four children.
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- Victoria Shannon (January 7, 1999). "The Rise and Fall of the Modem King". The New York Times.
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