Shirley named CEO of Silicon Valley company

Published 5:59 pm Friday, April 13, 2018

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Greenville native Craig Shirley’s star continues to rise in northern California’s technology-rich environment.

Shirley, a graduate of Greenville High School and Auburn University, was recently named CEO of Oski Technology, a Silicon Valley-based company. The computer science and engineering grad says he discovered his love for technology, a “can-do” attitude and the strength of family and faith while growing up in the Camellia City.

“My father, Harold Shirley, was an entrepreneur and he founded Construction Components when my brother Chris and I were very young. Chris and I began working there when we were in high school,” Shirley says. “It turns out Construction Components had a computer terminal in a tiny closet connected to a mainframe computer in Miami. Later, they purchased a Sun workstation with a 68010 microprocessor—and that set my life on the course it has taken.”

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As for his mom, Eloise, Shirley says she was, and is, his constant cheerleader. “Every day she told me how much she loved me, how proud she was of me, and that I could do anything I set my mind to . . . growing up with this mindset was very powerful thing. Even today, the ‘I can’ voice in my head is a lot louder than the ‘I can’t’ voice—all thanks to my mother’s encouragement.”

Another strong influence on Shirley’s life was GHS math and physics teacher Joseph Cates.

“Mr. Cates gave me the opportunity to compete in countless math tournaments all over the state. He and his wife would drive us all over the place in their baby blue van and we brought home a lot of trophies,” Shirley says. “Other than my family, Mr. Cates had more influence on me than anyone else—even to this day. In fact, my son’s name is Dillon Joseph Shirley in honor of Joseph Cates.”

He also fondly recalls time spent with his extended family at his grandfather Roy Black’s country store in Crenshaw County.

“Granddaddy would give me and all my cousins fireworks and feed us ham sandwiches on Christmas Eve . . . Chris and I kept him up all night in anticipation of Christmas morning. He still managed to drive all over the state to visit relatives on Christmas Day with very little sleep. I always felt so special around Granddaddy.”

Shirley also has good memories of singing with Southside Baptist Church’s youth choir. “We sang every Sunday night and went on singing tours each summer all over the southern U.S.”

He adds with a laugh, “And that’s how I learned my mom wasn’t completely right. I am a terrible singer—and I really did try hard.”

While his singing may leave something to be desired, Craig Shirley’s career in the field of computer technology is definitely on the right track.

Based in the northern California area since 1989, he’s been building sales and technical teams in the Electronic Design Automation industry.  Along the way, Shirley has developed a strong track record for producing compound double digit growth rates with over $600 million in liquidity events and top performing IPOs. His new employer, Oski Technology, is well known for its expertise in functional verification sign-off technology.

“I am excited about transforming Oski’s groundbreaking work into our customers’ competitive advantage,” Shirley says.

“And I am grateful for the support, encouragement and educational background that I received growing up in my hometown.”