Richard Tait, the Broughty Ferry-born inventor of the Cranium board game has died aged 58.
He launched the game in 1998 with business partner Whit Alexander. It became an instant best seller and was the first non-coffee product stocked by Starbucks.
Dundee technology entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl, a friend of Richard, described him as an inspiration who maintained strong links with Scotland.
Richard had already spent 10 years in the upper echelons of Microsoft in Seattle when he launched the game.
For the next 10 years, Richard and Whit ran the Cranium business before selling to Hasbro for $77.5 million in 2008.
He then ran a number of start-ups before becoming vice-president and entrepreneur in residence at Starbucks. In recent years he was a partner in venture capital firm, Valor.
Richard began his schooling at Forthill Primary School, Broughty Ferry, before his family moved to the Helensburgh area.
He graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, with an honours degree in computer science before moving to the US in 1987 to study for an MBA at Dartmouth.
The following year he started his decade-long spell at Microsoft where he ran the CD-ROM business and products like Encarta, and started consumer services such as CarPoint and Sidewalk.
In the early 1990s, Richard interviewed and hired Satya Nadella, who is the current chief executive officer of Microsoft.
Chris van der Kuyl first met Richard in he early 1990s when he headed a party from Dundee-based VIS entertainment to Seattle to meet Microsoft executives.
At that time, Chris knew he was from Scotland but was surprised to hear Richard discuss his Broughty Ferry roots and they struck up a great rapport.
The VIS team was welcomed to Richard’s home and Chris and Richard remained friends over the over.
“He was an enthusiast and cheerleader like no other and I always tried to see him every time I was in the Pacific North West,” said Chris.
“I finally managed to get out a few months back and messaged Richard to see if we could grab a coffee.
“Unfortunately, he was in Chicago on business but he called me straight away and we spent an amazing hour catching up on everything we were both up to and planned to meet up later this year.”
Richard, who was married with three children and a stepdaughter, died at his home in Washington state from complications due to Covid.