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12/19/2005
12:55 PM
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MIT Entrepreneur Survives Execution-Style Shooting

Serial high tech entrepreneur and former MIT professor John J. Donovan Sr. is recovering at his home after being hit by three shots Friday.

Who shot John J. Donovan Sr., well-known serial high tech entrepreneur and former MIT professor?

That is what Donovan, 63, recovering at his home in Boston's North Shore, and police investigators are pondering Monday. Four shots were fired at Donovan Friday night as he left his Cambridge Executive Enterprises office near the MIT campus in Cambridge, the Associated Press reported.

Three shots hit him, two in his stomach while a third hit his metal belt, probably saving his life, according to Cambridge police. Donovan couldn't give much of a description of his assailant other than to say the shooter was a male and he was white.

Donovan's injuries are not considered life-threatening. Cambridge police have not named any suspects.

Donovan has been embroiled in a bitter battle with four of his five children. In addition, like many of the high tech firms started during the 1990s, several imploded when the high tech investment bubble burst, leaving many angry investors in Donovan's companies. Donovan managed to get out of many of his start-ups and has a fortune estimated at $100 million.

His best know firm was Cambridge Technology Partners, which once had annual sales of $600 million and a stock market valuation of more than $1 billion. The firm was acquired a few years ago by Novell.

Another Donovan firm was Business@Web Inc., which was headed for a time by former Klaus Besier, former CEO of SAP America. His current firm, Cambridge Executive Enterprises, specializes in high tech training for executives. Donovan is known as a spellbinding speaker, who can boil down high tech subjects into understandable English.

In 2003, Donovan reported that a rifle had been fired at his house.

A bitter feud with his children has resulted in Donovan claiming that the children were trying to evict him from his home.

After he was shot early Friday evening, Donovan called for help. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital when he spent the night before being released Saturday. Police in Donovan's hometown of Hamilton, Mass. are investigating a report of a break-in at his home Friday night.

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