Back to top

Chapter 6 - Networking: Arpanet 1969-1972

6.4 IPTO Management Changes - 1969

In September 1969, just as the project seemed to take off, Taylor resigned from IPTO. As Taylor had orchestrated, Roberts became the next director. The transition proved seamless, as Roberts had by then already been given most of his new responsibilities. However, with each new responsibility, he was challenged to make time available for Arpanet. His solutions: to assign some of the Arpanet workload to Wessler and simply work more hours himself. A person less competent, committed, or able to maintain such a punishing schedule, would have had to concede active involvement with Arpanet. But not Roberts. In fact, the additional authority and budget power that came with the directorship gave Roberts even more clout to command the attention and cooperation of the sites connecting to the Arpanet - leverage that would become critical as Roberts pushed to get Arpanet not only up and running, but indispensable to the fabric of the ARPA community.