March 23, 2000 5:45 PM PST

ChiliSoft founder plans to give away most of windfall

Cobalt Networks acquired ChiliSoft for about $70 million in stock today--but the ChiliSoft founder plans to put much of his proceeds to philanthropic use.

Charles Crystle, chairman and former chief executive of ChiliSoft, said today he plans to donate about $11 million of the $15 million he expects from the acquisition toward boosting high-tech education opportunities in Central America.

Crystle stepped down as chief executive in November; he felt he was better suited to run start-ups and was just plain burnt out from trying to run an increasingly large company. "I was just dying," he said. "I weighed over 250 pounds and felt like hell. I was in a bad mood all the time. That was for a year and a half."

Then he took a two-month trip to Central America. "I lost a lot of weight, had a lot of fun and relaxed for two months," he said. But now, "It's time to get back into things."

ChiliSoft makes software that allows Web servers to use Active Server Pages (ASP), a technique developed by Microsoft to assemble Web pages on demand--for example, when generating a list of search results. Microsoft's version, though, only runs on Windows servers; ChiliSoft brings ASP to Linux and several versions of Unix and offers a version for Windows that the company says better stands up to heavy computing loads.

Cobalt, which makes special-purpose servers using the Linux operating system, signed a deal to acquire ChiliSoft. Cobalt will offer the software on its Web servers, the company said. In addition, Cobalt will be able to license ChiliSoft software to other companies wishing to use it.

Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich estimated the acquisition will increase Cobalt revenues by $6 million this year and $12 million the next.

"Cobalt has enhanced its competitive position through the acquisition and remains the unit leader in servers sold to the service provider market," Milunovich wrote in a report today. However, he said Cobalt's attempt to become profitable might be delayed a quarter, as increasing competition forces it to spend more money on marketing.

Cobalt's buy-out of ChiliSoft fits an acquisition pattern that has emerged since November.

Linux is an operating system cooperatively developed by a collection of amateur and professional programmers. It's now backed by major computer sellers as well as several large software companies. Linux competes with Windows and with Unix, on which Linux is based.

The popularity of Linux has led to several strong initial public offerings in recent months. Using their high stock valuations, companies such as Red Hat and VA Linux Systems have been on a buying spree, acquiring others in an attempt to secure as much Linux territory as possible while the market is still young. CNET's Linux Center

Cobalt now has some noted business partners through its acquisition. ChiliSoft's ASP software is used at PSINet and Excite, Crystle said.

Crystle's Central American work will fund non-profit organizations to help build training programs to teach high-tech skills and set up high-tech businesses, he said. "We're interesting in catalyzing positive change. The dollar goes a lot farther in Nicaragua than in the United States," he said.

Crystle isn't totally checking out. He plans on setting up a business incubator in New York to try to set up businesses that can make money through the tremendous popularity of MP3-encoded digital music files.

But meanwhile, he preaches the benefits of benevolence.

"My advice to people who are making a ton of money is to pass on the yacht, rent a boat and put money into social ventures," Crystle said.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Hi! I live in Fresno,Ca. I Have A REAL wrongful conviction to tell.(it's too much to explain in detail),There has to be something done about the justice dept. placing false ads in ADULT magazines where there are NO minors.It seems to me they will stop at nothing to justify extreme laws.Ironically,I am on their side,to a point,but when you CREATE a crime,as the law,it produces "witch hunt"type people,like a wife who says her husband sexually abused their daughter just because she became upset with him,now he is in prison for 25 years! THIS HAS TO STOP! WE (tax payers) are the ones who suffer from this also!In regard to MY situation,I will wait for a response.Thank you. Shane Young
Posted by ajaxspy (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Hi, My name is korun chakma from mizoram,India. I am 12 years old and studying in class-V. My father was death when was too small. I a am helpless child and from poor and backward classes. My mother somehow afford me in studies by cuttiing firewood from the jungle and sell it to the villagers. I want to study more and more as, my community people are mostly illeterate and for which i want to go for higher studies to work for my poor, illeterate and backward people. I need good and free minded people to help me for my studies. Please find a sponsor or a donor for me and thus i will be keeping my dedication in studies. Beside this, I have also two brothers who also like to learn good education but, what to do we very unlucky that we have lost our father untimely. I think, there are people to help us and i firmly believe in god that we will get god father or god mother in one day. I have this site by searching in the internet after long long days. I am still weak in english and i want to know and learn english well. Our school is government school and we have a computer in the school with internet connection. My teachers liked me as i am good in studies and they allow me to use the school's computer. One of my teacher taught me the basic of computer and little in internet chatting. My teachers told me that, they could not afford me because their also getting less money from the government. And they told me, if you want to get help, you can search in the internet and finally i have found this kind website for the child safety. So, I pervently request and pray to come forward to help me in my studies. Please feel free to contact me at. :
Posted by esdip (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.