Influencers in the Vendor CommunityBy John Jainschigg | Posted 2008-10-30 Print
From entrepreneurs and academics to CEOs and it Gurus, These influencers come from diverse backgrounds, but have one thing in common: they strive to use technology to improve the world.
Influencers in the Vendor Community
IBM Academy of Technology
In his 37-year career with IBM, Irving Wladawsky-Berger was responsible for identifying emerging technologies and marketplace developments. As chairman emeritus of the IBM Academy of Technology, he is involved in a number of IBM’s technical strategy and innovation initiatives. In 2008, he became a strategic advisor to Citigroup.
When asked, “Where do you see IT going in the next five years,” Wladawsky-Berger replied: “As the physical world integrates IT capabilities, and as IT applications become more realistic, we will be increasingly living in a hybrid world, part physical and part virtual, with close connections between them. It’s important for CIOs to understand the IT changes that will influence their organizations and to get on the learning curve as early as possible, so their organizations can become comfortable with these changes and think how best to integrate them into the business.”
Tom Anderson founded MySpace with Chris DeWolfe, and now serves as president after the acquisition of MySpace by News Corp. As the “first friend” of every new MySpace user, Anderson now has more than 240 million friends.
Marc Andreessen was a co-author of the original Mosaic browser and the founder of Netscape. Following Netscape’s acquisition by AOL in 1999, Andreessen became AOL’s CTO, but soon left to found Loudcloud, a high-availability hosting service. Today, Andreessen runs Ning, an engine that facilitates the creation of social networks.
J. Michael Arrington
Entrepreneur, blogger and Internet influencer J. Michael Arrington founded his first company, Achex, in the late 1990s.
After selling it to Western Union, he became involved with several other startups before founding blogging site TechCrunch, a source of analysis on Silicon Valley and related technology happenings.
Marc Benioff founded Salesforce.com in 1999, with a vision of providing salesforce management applications on demand to businesses at any scale. Salesforce’s success has made Benioff one of the leading visionaries of the on-demand software movement.
In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded online-bookseller Amazon.com. Since then, Amazon has grown into a company that exemplifies the e-commerce paradigm: Its interests extend well beyond books and into durable goods, a variety of media, and diverse Web and computing services.
John Chambers is chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems. He joined Cisco in 1991 as senior vice president, after stints with Wang and IBM. Named CEO in 1995, he presided over the company’s stunning growth from $1.2 billion to more than $40 billion in annual revenues.
In 1977, Larry Ellison founded Oracle under the name Software Development Laboratories. It was renamed Relational Software, and became Oracle with the release of the Oracle 2 Relational Database in 1980. Oracle is now one of the largest suppliers of databases and diverse business applications.
Reid Hoffman was the founder of SocialNet, one of the first social networks. In 2003, he founded LinkedIn, the largest business social network. Hoffman was CEO for four years before moving to his current position as chairman and president.
The author of many books on computer security, notably Writing Secure Code, Michael Howard is senior security program manager at Microsoft.
Mark Hurd is chairman, CEO and president of Hewlett-Packard. He previously spent 25 years with NCR, where he rose to become CEO and drove the company to its most impressive profits.
Jonathan Paul Ive
Jonathan Paul Ive is senior vice president, Industrial Design, at Apple. He is the principal designer of the iMac, Powerbook G4, iPod and iPhone.
The co-founder of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs, also founded NeXT Computer, creating the machine that hosted the world’s first Web site at CERN. When Apple acquired NeXT in 1997, Jobs returned to lead the company. Since then, he has made Apple one of the most profitable companies in the world, building its market share in personal computing and introducing the iPod and the iPhone.
The creator of Lotus Notes, Ray Ozzie is now Microsoft’s chief software architect. He has articulated a go-forward strategy for Microsoft technology that aims to integrate and merge the company’s products onto the Internet in ambitious ways, including providing software as a service.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Larry Page and Sergey Brin met in the doctoral program at Stanford, where Page built the BackRub Web crawler and then converted BackRub data into influence measurements. Page and Brin wrote the PageRank algorithm, which remains the core of Google’s proprietary technology. On leave from graduate school, the pair founded Google in 1998.
After joining IBM in the late 1970s, Sam Palmisano, currently chairman, president and CEO, held positions of ascending importance, focusing on outsourcing and services. He became IBM’s CEO in 2002. Palmisano has been credited with shifting IBM’s focus away from hardware and software to a more profitable service orientation.
Eric Schmidt began his career as an engineer at Bell Labs, Zilog and Xerox PARC. Later, at Sun Microsystems, he headed the initiative that created Java, eventually becoming CTO. In 1997, Schmidt was appointed CEO of Novell. He was recruited to lead Google in 2001 and now shares responsibilities with founders Page and Brin.
Jonathan Schwartz began his career as a business analyst at McKinsey, but changed direction in 1987 when he founded marketing consultancy Lighthouse Design. Sun purchased Lighthouse in 1996, and Schwartz became director of product marketing for JavaSoft. In 2004, he became president and chief operating officer, and, in 2006, he replaced Scott McNealy as CEO.
Jimmy Wales co-founded the Wikipedia open-content encyclopedia in 2001, and shepherded its subsequent growth into one of the world’s most consulted sources of information. He is the president of Wikia, a privately owned free Web hosting service.
While at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg launched the social networking Web site Facebook with fellow students Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Now 24 and CEO of Facebook, he is one of the youngest of the new generation of Internet billionaires.
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