Bill Blake of D-Wave & Cray Passes Away

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Bill Blake

Bill Blake

We are sad to report that Bill Blake passed away on March 31 after suffering from a heart attack. While many of you will remember Bill from his work as CTO of Cray, Mr. Blake was most recently Executive Vice President of R&D at D-Wave Systems. 

Mr. William C. Blake, Sr., also known as Bill, has been the Executive Vice President of Research & Development of D-Wave Systems Inc. since September 2014. Mr. Blake served as the Chief Executive Officer of Interactive Supercomputing, Inc. since January 10, 2007. Mr. Blake served as the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Cray Inc. from April 30, 2012 to July 31, 2014. He served as Senior Vice President for Product Development of Netezza Corp. until February 2007. He has over two decades of industry experience in the product management and development of high performance computing systems to Netezza. Prior to joining Netezza in 2002, Mr. Blake was with Compaq Computer Corporation for nine years, managing both Compaq’s worldwide High Performance Technical Computing business and its software development group from 1996 to 2002, which included being responsible for compiler development for the Alpha processor; from 1993 to 1996 he was Compaq’s Director for Software Products Development and long-range operating system strategy. He held various key engineering management positions with Digital Equipment Corporation from 1981 to 1993. Mr. Blake served as Vice President of High Performance Technical Computing (HPTC) of Compaq from 1996 to 2002, where he was responsible for the development and marketing of HPTC solutions including Compaq’s AlphaServer SC supercomputers. Under his direction, Compaq’s HPTC business surpassed the one billion-dollar level in 2000 and seized market leadership. In addition, the HPTC business was the market leader in the Life Sciences segment and the supplier providing the majority of high performance computing for the Human Genome effort around the world. Mr. Blake serves as Director of Cluster File Systems Inc. He served as a Director of Cray Inc. from June 8, 2006 to June 7, 2012. He served as a Director of Interactive Supercomputing, Inc. He served as Director of TotalView Technologies, LLC (formerly Etnus Llc) and Terascala, Inc. He is a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. Mr. Blake received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute.

Our condolences go out to Mr. Blake’s family.

Update: Should you wish to convey any condolences or memories of Bill to his family you can send them to

Update: A memorial service will be held on May 30, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St. in Melrose, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.


  1. Rich Colier says

    A loss for Bill’s family, co-workers, and the entire HPC industry. Bill was a leader and champion in the industry and I will miss him very much.

  2. William Camp says

    Bill Blake was not only a great member of our community and a dear friend, he was one of the very best human beings it has been my joy and pleasure to know. I will miss bill terribly.

    Bill Camp