Orange County Business Journal

Wonderware Founder Morin Passes

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dennis Morin, a leader in Orange County’s burgeoning software scene in the 1980s, died earlier this week after battling cancer.

He was 65.

Morin’s legacy dates back to 1987 when he started Wonderware Corp. in Irvine with longtime technology executive Phil Huber.

Wonderware was a pioneer in utilizing the then-new Windows software to monitor the activity of the machinery on the factory floor. He was listed by Intech, the magazine of the International Society of Automation, as one of the 50 most important people in the history of industrial automation, along with the likes of Thomas Edison and Bill Gates.

Morin made millions when Wonderware went public in 1993, raising $32 million in its initial public offering.

He left the company in 1995.

Three years later Wonderware, now based in Lake Forest, was bought by the predecessor to Britain's Invensys PLC for $375 million.

Wonderware still has a sizeable presence in Orange County, with some 500 employees and an estimated $200 million in yearly sales.

In 2009 Morin rejoined Huber in launching Irvine-based BeamItDown Software LLC, which made applications for Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

Morin, who lived in the famed Rock House in Laguna Beach, kept a rather low profile in OC technology circles after Wonderware, embarking on a few short stints at local startups.

"Dennis was a special spirit, technically brilliant, but more than anything else, a man who knew how to live life to its fullest," said Orange County Business Journal Publisher Richard Reisman, a longtime friend

.