CV of Eric Thomas, L-Soft Founder and CEO, Inventor of LISTSERV

Professional Experience


Founder and President of L-Soft, the first company to develop and sell e-mail list management software in the world. Founded L-Soft with $3,000 and a laptop in order to further develop LISTSERV, the de facto standard of e-mail list management software. Expanded L-Soft from one person to a software company servicing thousands of customers from L-Soft's offices both in the United States and Europe.


Manager of EARN Services at SUNET (Swedish University Network), Stockholm, Sweden. Recruited from Switzerland to join a small team of handpicked experts tasked with making Sweden the leading Internet country in Europe. Jointly responsible for the Internet's core infrastructure in Sweden and, to a lesser extent, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Sole responsibility (at age 23) for the "EARN Services," one of SUNET's five main service divisions at the time.


Senior Systems Programmer at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland (where the World Wide Web was invented). Responsible (at age 21) for an IBM mainframe serving 5,000 users and for a team of six junior programmers; joint responsibility for another six programmers. Developed the industry's first 12Mbps link between an IBM mainframe and a VAX located more than 6 miles away in the particle accelerator's underground facility.


Part-time Systems Programmer for the Ecole Centrale de Paris, a French university. In charge of an IBM mainframe (system maintenance, installation of new products and development of local software). Also trained a new Systems Programmer.


Audit at Fileca, a 350-employee company manufacturing high-technology cables. Suggested the implementation of an administrative data processing system to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Later tasked to write a high-level specification. Worked in a multidisciplinary team with the lead technical role.

Aug 1987

Traineeship at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Designed and implemented a network traffic monitor and improved network drivers with built-in data compression. This project led to a 30% bandwidth increase with unchanged costs.

Jul 1987

Consultant for the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories near Oxford, UK. Designed and implemented a mail gateway between the UK's national network ("Coloured Books") and the Internet.

Apr 1987

Consultant for the IBM Scientific Centre in Heidelberg, Germany. Designed and implemented an RFC822 mail interface for NETSERV, a popular service sponsored by IBM Europe.


Appointed Chairman of the EARN Security Committee, a volunteer position for the (then) largest academic computer network in Europe. The committee included renowned experts representing all the major operating systems used in EARN and was responsible for identifying and addressing the many security issues that arose as the network grew in size and popularity.

Sep 1986

Traineeship at FCB Ivry near Paris. Developed PC software to compute and visualize the power consumption of a battery of sugar centrifuges (used to make sugar from molasses). The software made it easy to optimize the sequencing parameters of the centrifuges, which reduced peak power consumption and led to significant savings.


Created LISTSERV, the first e-mail list management software.


Designed and implemented (at age 15) an interactive programming and presentation language for the Palais de la Découverte (a science museum in Paris). Running on an IBM mainframe, the program controlled the terminals open to the museum's visitors and displayed a series of interactive menus and exercises to introduce the public to rudimentary data processing and game theory. Later tasked with the development of the bulk of the educational contents shown to the visitors.



Electrical Engineering degree from Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité ("Supélec"), a university located near Paris. Supélec is one of the most selective universities in France and only admits 300 students a year. Graduated with the highest Computer Science grade in the history of the university.


French Classes Préparatoires studies at Lycée Buffon in Paris, section M' (advanced theoretical math). There is no graduation exam or degree associated with this program.


French Baccalauréat, section C (math/physics). Graduated with honors.

Language Skills






Basic reading only (German grandfather)


Excellent reading and listening skills, rusty but correct speech and writing


Studied five years in high school, one at the university; limited conversation only


Native, but alas rusty due to limited use. Excellent reading and listening skills, conversational speech, everyday writing




This section does not include material published in connection with a conference or other speaking opportunity.

Dealing With Spam Is Just One of Many Costs of Doing Business, February, 2006
Eric Thomas

Winning the email marketing challenge with quality email campaigns
Catalogue & e-business, Issue 91, October 2004
Eric Thomas

L-Soft facilite la communication par e-mail
L-Soft underlättar e-postkommunikation

Francofil, May 2004 (bilingual article)
Eric Thomas

Workshop Supplement Paper
EU workshop on unsolicited commercial communications or spam – Brussels, October 2003
Eric Thomas, Outi Tuomaala, Françoise Becker

Introduction to the EU Directive 2002/58/EC, also known as the Opt-In Directive and the US CAN-SPAM Act
LISTSERV at Work, Special Opt-in Issue, October 2003
Eric Thomas

Successful E-Mail Marketing Practices
L-Soft White Paper, 2002

Könskvotering behövs inte om vi har rätt attityd
Computer Sweden, November 2001
Eric Thomas

Tale of two companies
The Industry Standard Europe, March 2001
Eric Thomas

Sverige – försökskaninen för den nya ekonomin
Computer Sweden, February 2001
Eric Thomas

CRM: rising to the e-mail challenge
Customer Loyalty Today, July-August 2000
Eric Thomas

AIESEC: A World of Opportunities, 1999
Eric Thomas

LISTSERV for the non-technical user
Special edition using Internet email (Chapter 26), 1995
(Book published by Que)
Eric Thomas

History of LISTSERV
Eric Thomas, 1995

The Revised List Processor (LISTSERV@FRECP11)
NetMonth, July 1986
Eric Thomas

Speeches and Presentations

E-post igår, idag och imorgon: möjligheter och visioner
E-postmarknadsföring 2.0, February 22, 2007, Stockholm, Sweden

Framtida sätt att bekämpa skräppost: certifieringstjänster för alla
Internetdagarna, October 24, 2006, Stockholm, Sweden

Ett skattesystem för entreprenörer och tillväxt – en översikt av skatternas utformning i USA
Seminar jointly arranged by ITPS, VINNOVA, NUTEK and STEM,
June 2, 2004, Stockholm, Sweden

Panel debate

Freeing the Internet from Spam – Opt-In, Filtering and Other Approaches
IP-Dagarna, November 19, 2003, Stockholm, Sweden

E-post förr och nu
IP-dagarna, November 19, 2002, Stockholm, Sweden
Keynote speaker

E-postlistor – gör det rätt från början
IP-dagarna, November 21, 2001, Stockholm, Sweden

Customer communication through e-mail lists
HANKEN (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration in Finland) MBA e-commerce module, November 15, 2001, Stockholm, Sweden

E-mail marketing & newsletters – enhance customer loyalty and increase website traffic
THAT'S IT, October 2, 2001, Helsinki, Finland

IT Issues: New Frontiers in E-mail Communication: LISTSERV & Beyond
IBM SHARE, July 25, 2001, Minneapolis, USA

E-mail Marketing: Techniques and Strategies
INTERNET WORLD UK, June 5, 2001, London, England

Nyckeln till en framgångsrik webbnärvaro
Seminar, May 17, 2001, Stockholm, Sweden

E-mail marketing with e-mail lists
INTERNET WORLD MANCHESTER, November 23, 2000, Manchester, England

Nyhetsbrev via e-post
Seminar, November 21, 2000, Stockholm, Sweden

Hur man lyckas med marknadsföring och kundkommunikation via e-post
INTERNET WORLD SWEDEN, November 7-9, 2000, Stockholm, Sweden

Affärskommunikation via e-postlistor – del av en lyckad CRM- och DEM- strategi
SCANDINAVIAN IT WORLD, October 24-26, 2000, Gothenburg, Sweden

E-mail marketing with e-mail lists
ASIAKAS 2000, October 11-12, 2000, Helsinki, Finland

Marknadsföring via e-post
STOCKHOLM MARKETING WEEK/MarkIT, September 27-29, 2000, Stockholm, Sweden

E-mail marketing with e-mail lists
INTERNET WORLD UK, May 23-25, 2000, London, England

Business communication with e-mail lists
INTERNET EXPO/iEX, February 7-9, 2000, Zürich, Switzerland

Internet Suomi, September 22-24, 1999, Helsinki, Finland
Panel debate

The WWW as a Generic Tool Interface – Users' and Programmers' Ideas
TERENA-NORDUnet Networking Conference, June 9, 1999, Lund, Sweden

LISTSERV for the non-technical user
The Network Services Conference 1993, October 13, Warsaw, Poland

Films and Television

L-Soft on Compaq OpenVMS on AlphaServer Systems
Compaq, 2001
Promotional Compaq video featuring L-Soft as a case study Video 2 512kbps.wmv

Business Breakfast Portrait L-Soft
LITV, 2000
Program shown on national television in Germany Breakfast Portrait 512kbps.wmv

Entrée Libre with François de Closets
FR3, 1984
Program shown on national television in France. Eric Thomas and French economist and writer François de Closets debate the IT revolution in France.


Public Hearing
The California Senate Select Committee on E-Commerce, Wireless Technology and Consumer-Driven Programming

Chairman Senator Dean Florez (D-Shafter),
AOL: You Have Certified Mail!
Will Paid E-mail Lead to Separate, Unequal Systems or is it the Foolproof Answer to Spam?

State Capitol, April 3, 2006
Industry representative, vendor's perspective
Eric Thomas, Founder L-Soft & LISTSERV

De byggde Internet i Sverige
(They built the Internet in Sweden)
Book by the Swedish Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-SE), 2003
By Inga Hamngren and Jan Odhnoff

Electronic Mail
Artech House Publishers, 1995
By Jacob Palme

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