Peter Karmanos Jr.

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Peter Karmanos Jr. (born March 11, 1943)[1][2] is the co-founder and former Chairman and CEO of Compuware Corporation, an enterprise software and services company, and founder of MadDog Technology and General Partner and Fund Manager of MadDog Ventures.[3] Karmanos is also the minority owner and alternate governor of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey franchise. He served as their principal owner from 1994 (when the Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers) to 2018. He also owned the Plymouth Whalers junior hockey club from its establishment in 1990 until 2015, and was the majority owner of the Florida Everblades from 1998 to 2019.

Peter Karmanos Jr.
Born (1943-03-11) March 11, 1943 (age 77)
OccupationFormer CEO of Compuware Corporation
Known forMinority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes
AwardsHockey Hall of Fame, 2015

Early lifeEdit

The oldest of three children, Karmanos Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan to Greek immigrant parents who owned a small restaurant in Detroit called "Pete's", where Karmanos waited tables during his high school years. In 1961, Karmanos graduated from Henry Ford High School and would go on to attend Wayne State University. While attending Wayne State University, Karmanos landed an entry-level job at Mechanical Mailing, helping run the company's newly installed IBM mainframe computer. Shortly thereafter, he would be promoted to senior systems analyst. In 1965, Karmanos took a job as a data processing manager at Giffels & Rosetti, a Detroit architectural firm. He would later become vice president of a Minneapolis-based firm, Technalysis, managing its Detroit office. [4]

Compuware CorporationEdit

In 1973, Karmanos and partners, Thomas Thewes and Allen Cutting, each contributed $3,000 in startup money to found software company Compuware Corporation,[5] with the simple mission to "help people do productive things with computers." In 1977, Compuware launched its flagship software product, Abend-AID, a mainframe productivity tool that helped businesses reduce the time and cost associated with running their IT operations. Along with File-AID, a file and data management tool released in 1981 and the company’s thousands of professional services employees, Abend-AID would be used by countless companies around the world across every industry to solve their Y2K issues by programmatically finding and fixing Y2K-related date issues in hundreds of millions of lines of mainframe computer code.

With the rise of distributed computing systems and the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Compuware would expand its solution portfolio to help customers build, test, and manage business applications hosted in these new environments. The company would be known globally as a leading provider of software productivity tools for enterprise-level IT organizations, becoming the largest technology firm in Michigan and one of the largest software companies in the world.

Compuware went public in December of 1992 at $22 per share under the ticker symbol “CPWR,” setting a then-record for a tech IPO by raising $207 million.[6] Over the next 15 months, Compuware’s share price would rise to $47 and would reach $79.81 per share in 1999 during the boom of the Y2K era. At its height in the early 2000s, Compuware achieved annual revenues of greater than $2 billion with a market cap exceeding $15 billion.

In 2003, Karmanos moved Compuware’s headquarters from Farmington Hills, Michigan to downtown Detroit on the long-vacant site of the former Kern Department store at One Campus Martius. Construction of the 1,088,000 square foot, $350 million high rise began in 2000 and concluded in 2003, with approximately 4,000 Compuware employees moving into the tech company’s new headquarters building the same year. A long-time supporter of Detroit, Karmanos was the first major business leader in the 2000s to move his company to the distressed city, proving a catalyst in enticing more businesses to move to Detroit and the revitalization that has followed in the downtown area as a result.

Karmanos served as Compuware's CEO until June 20, 2011, when he became executive chairman.[7] Karmanos retired from Compuware on March 31, 2013, but maintained a consultant role within the company.[8] Compuware terminated his post-retirement consulting agreement, effective October 1, 2013.[9] Karmanos subsequently sued Compuware for wrongful termination, and for improperly stripping him of vested stock options. In 2015, an arbitrator ruled that Compuware must pay $16.5 million to Karmanos, which represented the largest arbitration award for an employment case in Michigan history.[10] The Michigan Court of Appeals subsequently upheld the arbitration award in 2016.[11]

MadDog Technology and MadDog VenturesEdit

Following his retirement from Compuware, Karmanos, along with several partners, launched Mad Dog Technology in 2014[12] and MadDog Ventures in 2017, acting as a venture operator and investor focused on companies that develop and market cloud-based business applications that disrupt existing industry models and help monetize underutilized information. Located in Birmingham, Michigan, MadDog Technology, through its venture arm affiliate, MadDog Ventures, provides both capital and operating expertise to help businesses grow and meet their full potential. The MadDog portfolio companies include Resolute Building Intelligence, a provider of building-performance analytics software, and Lenderful, an online lending platform. The firm also holds investments in other, non-MadDog portfolio technology companies. Karmanos is currently a General Partner and Fund Manager of MadDog Ventures.

Hockey venturesEdit

Karmanos co-founded the Detroit Compuware Hockey organization in the late 1970s with Thewes. The organization has included all levels of hockey from recreational to youth AAA and junior A. The Ontario Hockey League awarded an expansion franchise on December 11, 1989, to be known as the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors. The team later became the Detroit Junior Red Wings, Detroit Whalers and then Plymouth Whalers following a relocation to nearby Plymouth.[13] In 2015, Karmanos sold the Whalers to the owners of Flint's Perani Arena and Event Center, and the franchise was renamed Flint Firebirds.[14][15] He also sold the Plymouth arena to USA Hockey.[16]

Karmanos, his Compuware partner Thewes, and former player Jim Rutherford purchased the Hartford Whalers in 1994. Following the 1996-97 season, the franchise was moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and renamed the Carolina Hurricanes. Since their arrival in North Carolina, the Hurricanes have captured three division titles (1999, 2002 and 2006), two Eastern Conference championships (2002 and 2006) and the Stanley Cup in 2006, with Karmanos eagerly donning his skates, hoisting the Cup, and skating around with it briefly after the game seven win.[17] For his day with the Stanley Cup, he brought it to Compuware headquarters in Detroit and allowed employees to get their photo taken individually with the Cup.[18]

Karmanos also sponsors youth hockey programs in Michigan. Under his backing, Karmanos' youth hockey teams have accumulated numerous state, national and international tournaments.

On January 11, 2018, it was announced that he had sold controlling interest in the Hurricanes to Thomas Dundon, while retaining a minority interest.[19] He sold the Florida Everblades in August 2019.[20]


An active philanthropist, Karmanos and his wife, Danialle Karmanos, established the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan in 2015,[21] which offers a supportive, home-like environment for expectant mothers looking for a safe, natural childbirth experience with leading training and research.

Karmanos donated money to the Michigan Cancer Foundation, which was renamed the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995 in memory of his first wife, Barbara Ann Karmanos, who died of breast cancer in 1989. Since then, Karmanos, along with his wife, Danialle, has continued to actively support KCI, both personally and through corporate philanthropy.[22]

In addition to the Karmanos Center for Natural Birth and KCI, Karmanos and Danialle Karmanos also dedicate their efforts in philanthropic endeavors such as education and the arts. In 2017, they donated money in support of undergraduate student scholarships at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit.[23]. In 2014, Karmanos and his wife, Danialle, endowed, in perpetuity, a scholarship that will be given annually to a student from the Metro Detroit area to study for a semester at the American College of Greece in Athens.[24] They are also founding donors of the Detroit Public Theatre.[25]

Other philanthropic endeavors include the Detroit Zoo, the Belle Isle Conservancy,[26] Alzheimer's Association, Michigan Humane Society, Dutch Symphony Orchestra, Grace Centers of Hope, and many other worthy charities.

Awards and honorsEdit

In 2015, Karmanos was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder Category - defined as an individual who has contributed to the development of the game of hockey, moving the game forward.[27]

In addition to his selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Karmanos has collected a number of major awards during his career as a hockey builder, including the Lester Patrick Award (outstanding service to hockey in the U.S.) after the 1997-98 season, the Bill Long Award in 2010 for outstanding contributions to the OHL and the USA Hockey Distinguished Achievement Award in 2012.[28] He is also a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.[29]

Karmanos was honored by City Year Detroit with the Idealist in Action Award for 2013.[30]

In 2000, Karmanos received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wayne State University.

In recognition of Compuware’s stock-price leadership, Karmanos was awarded Mitchell and Company’s CEO 100 Award for 1998.

Karmanos' initiative and business prowess were recognized in 1989 by the Institute of American Entrepreneurs, which named him Entrepreneur of the Year.[31]

Personal lifeEdit

Karmanos resides in Metro Detroit with his wife, Danialle, who authored the 2013 book, Pete Karmanos – A Life in Progress.[32] The two were married in July 2005 and have four sons. Karmanos also has three sons with his first wife, Barbara Ann, as well as nine grandchildren.[33]


  1. ^ Inc, Leadership Directories; Company, Monitor Publishing (November 9, 1994). "Corporate Yellow Book: Who's who at the Leading Listed U.S. Companies". Monitor Publishing Company. Retrieved November 9, 2017 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Adams, Alan (2011). "100 People of Power and Influence". The Hockey News. 64: 18.
  3. ^ "Mad Dog Ventures raises $26.7 million in first fund". Crain’s Detroit. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "10 things you may not know about Pete Karmanos Jr., who retires from Compuware on Sunday". March 27, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "10 things you may not know about Pete Karmanos Jr., who retires from Compuware on Sunday". March 27, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  6. ^ "10 things you may not know about Pete Karmanos Jr., who retires from Compuware on Sunday". March 27, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  7. ^ "Karmanos stepping down as Compuware Corp.'s CEO". June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ "A golden parachute will gently carry Pete Karmanos into retirement",, March 29, 2013
  9. ^ "Departure of Directors or Certain Officers". September 30, 2013. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "Mad Dog". Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "Appeals court upholds Karmanos' $16.5 million arbitration award". Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "Peter Karmanos starts new company – Mad Dog Technology – in Birmingham". January 30, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  13. ^ "Hurricanes' Karmanos a true hockey builder". Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  14. ^ McMann, Aaron (February 2, 2015). "It's official: Ontario Hockey League approves Plymouth Whalers' move to Flint". The Flint Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  15. ^ McMann, Aaron (March 16, 2015). "'Flint Firebirds' unveiled as name for Flint's new OHL team". The Flint Journal. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  16. ^ "USAH Foundation Completes Compuware Arena Purchase". March 31, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Peter Karmanos Jr". Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  18. ^ "Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 15". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  19. ^ Smith, Michael (January 13, 2018). "Dundon Becomes Majority Owner of Hurricanes". Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "Hertz Arena, Everblades being sold to Naples businessman David Hoffmann". Naples Daily News. August 5, 2019.
  21. ^ "Karmanos family helps others to have a calm, natural place to give birth". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  22. ^ "Karmanos Cancer Institute 20th Annual Partners Events honor Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr". 62 CBS Detroit. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  23. ^ "Karmanoses Donate $1 Million to Detroit School". The National Herald. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  24. ^ "Peter and Danialle Karmanos $200,000 Gift to Greek America Foundation". Greek America Foundation. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  25. ^ "Detroit Public Theatre - Support". Detroit Public Theatre. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  26. ^ "Belle Isle Conservancy - Donate". Belle Isle Conservancy. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  27. ^ "Legends of Hockey – Induction Showcase – Peter Karmanos Jr". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  28. ^ "USA Hockey Distinguished Achievement Award". Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  29. ^ "Hurricanes' Karmanos a true hockey builder". Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  30. ^ "Ripples of Hope 2013". Hour Detroit. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  31. ^ "Peter Karmanos Jr". Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  32. ^ "Danialle Karmanos pens book about husband Pete". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  33. ^ "Peter Karmanos Jr". Retrieved July 10, 2020.

External linksEdit