Laroy tells me that it was 1971 November.

I am a poor politician. I record here the only “political coup” that I ever pulled off. The task was to introduce the Tymnet supervisor. This required shutting down Tymnet, manually loading new code in many cities in the middle of the night, and bringing up the supervisor before the lost load of customers became a problem.

Our customers, and our business revenue would suffer if we failed and I and Laroy would be blamed. Ray Wakeman would lose political points. Ray and other parts of the company were a bit at odds which interfered with the normal sort of management solution. There was no resistance to the switchover, merely resistance to doing it “this month”.

Ray Wakeman, who was an accomplished politician, told me what to do. Go around to the key players whose groups had to cooperate in the switchover to the supervisor and sort of indicate that other key players had already agreed to the switchover on a certain upcoming date about two weeks out. There was not indeed much that any of the key payers had to do except send memos officially announcing the switch to their respective groups. The sales organization had to supply someone in each remote office to load the new code late Friday night and stick around to perhaps reload the old code if the new code failed.

Bringing up the new code was a bit more dramatic than we had foreseen but Saturday morning saw the new supervisor doing its thing for the whole network.

It was a coup but in retrospect there were no losers. I think it worked because no one anticipated intrigue from anyone on my management level.

One might argue that this was not a coup for management did not change. Network management did change and a meagre bit of deception was strategic.