Left to right: Laura Merling, Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Irving Wladawsky-Berger (introduced Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.), Terry Semel, Vinton Cerf, Michael Milken (introduced Terry Semel), Forest Baskett (introduced John L. Hennessy), John L. Hennessy.
On June 20th SVForum hosted the Ninth Annual Visionary Awards at the home of Heidi Roizen and David Mohler in Atherton. This exclusive awards celebration is held each year to honor technology innovators and business leaders who continue to shape the landscape of Silicon Valley through their vision, determination, and leadership. The recipients were Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google; Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.; John L. Hennessy, President of Stanford University; Terry Semel,Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo!.
2006 Visionary Award Winners
Vinton G. Cerf
Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google. In this role, he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies to support the development of advanced, Internet-based products and services from Google. He will also be an active public face for Google in the Internet world.
Cerf is the former senior vice president of Technology Strategy for MCI. In this role, Cerf was responsible for helping to guide corporate strategy development from the technical perspective. Previously, Cerf served as MCI’s senior vice president of Architecture and Technology, leading a team of architects and engineers to design advanced networking frameworks including Internet-based solutions for delivering a combination of data, information, voice and video services for business and consumer use.
Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his colleague, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet. Kahn and Cerf were named the recipients of the ACM Alan M. Turing award in 2004 for their work on the Internet protocols. The Turing award is sometimes called the “Nobel Prize of Computer Science.” In November 2005, President George Bush awarded Cerf and Kahn the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their work. The medal is the highest civilian award given by the United States to its citizens.
Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Cerf was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet.
During his tenure from 1976-1982 with the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related packet data and security technologies.
Vint Cerf serves as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and in 1999 served a term as chairman of the Board. In addition, Cerf is honorary chairman of the IPv6 Forum, dedicated to raising awareness and speeding introduction of the new Internet protocol. Cerf served as a member of the U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1997 to 2001 and serves on several national, state and industry committees focused on cyber-security. Cerf sits on the Board of Directors for the Endowment for Excellence in Education, Avanex Corporation and the ClearSight Systems Corporation. Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum and the National Academy of Engineering.
Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet. These include the Marconi Fellowship, Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology, the National Medal of Science from Tunisia, the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the NEC Computer and Communications Prize, the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award, the ACM Software and Systems Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the Computer and Communications Industries Association Industry Legend Award, installation in the Inventors Hall of Fame, the Yuri Rubinsky Web Award, the Kilby Award , the Yankee Group/Interop/Network World Lifetime Achievement Award, the George R. Stibitz Award, the Werner Wolter Award, the Andrew Saks Engineering Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Leadership Award, the J.D. Edwards Leadership Award for Collaboration, World Institute on Disability Annual award and the Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend medal.
In December, 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year's "25 Most Intriguing People." In addition to his work on behalf of MCI and the Internet, Cerf has served as a technical advisor to production for "Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict." and made a special guest appearance on the program in May 1998. Cerf has appeared on television programs NextWave with Leonard Nimoy and on World Business Review with Alexander Haig and Caspar Weinberger. Cerf also holds an appointment as distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet.
Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He also holds honorary Doctorate degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich; Lulea University of Technology, Sweden; University of the Balearic Islands, Palma; Capitol College, Maryland; Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania; George Mason University, Virginia; Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands; Brooklyn Polytechnic; and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
His personal interests include fine wine, gourmet cooking and science fiction. Cerf and his wife, Sigrid, were married in 1966 and have two sons, David and Bennett.
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. was chairman of the board of IBM Corporation from April 1993 until his retirement in December 2002. He served as chief executive officer of IBM from 1993 until March 2002. In January 2003 he assumed the position of chairman of The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm located in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Gerstner served for four years as chairman and chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco, Inc. This was preceded by an 11-year career at American Express Company, where he was president of the parent company and chairman and CEO of its largest subsidiary, American Express Travel Related Services Company. Prior to that, Mr. Gerstner was a director of the management consulting firm of McKinsey & Co., Inc., which he joined in 1965.
A native of Mineola, New York, Mr. Gerstner received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Dartmouth College in 1963 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1965. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from a number of U.S. universities. Mr. Gerstner is a director of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and a member of the advisory boards of DaimlerChrysler and Sony Corporation. He is vice chairman of the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of The Business Council, and a fellow of the America-China Forum. In past years he served on the Boards of The New York Times Company, American Express Company, AT&T, Caterpillar, Inc., Jewel Companies, Melville Corporation, and RJR Nabisco Holdings Co.
A lifetime advocate of the importance of quality education, Mr. Gerstner recently created a Commission on Teaching to develop specific policy recommendations to deal with the teaching crisis America is facing. From 1996 to 2002 he co-chaired Achieve, an organization created by U.S. Governors and business leaders to drive high academic standards for public schools in the United States. At IBM he established Reinventing Education as a strategic partnership with 21 states and school districts which utilize IBM technology and technical assistance to eliminate key barriers to school reform and improve student performance. He is co-author of the book Reinventing Education: Entrepreneurship in America's Public Schools (Dutton 1994). He has received numerous awards for his work in education, among them the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education - Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Distinguished Service to Science and Education award from the American Museum of Natural History.
In recognition of his efforts on behalf of public education, as well as his business accomplishments, Mr. Gerstner was awarded the designation of honorary Knight of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in June 2001.
John L. Hennessy
John L. Hennessy joined Stanford’s faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He rose through the academic ranks to full professorship in 1986 and was the inaugural Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1987 to 2004. From 1983 to 1993, Dr. Hennessy was director of the Computer Systems Laboratory, a research and teaching center operated by the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science that fosters research in computer systems design. He served as chair of computer science from 1994 to 1996 and, in 1996, was named dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, he launched a five-year plan that laid the groundwork for new activities in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. In 1999, he was named provost, the university’s chief academic and financial officer. As provost, he continued his efforts to foster interdisciplinary activities in the biosciences and bioengineering and oversaw improvements in faculty and staff compensation. In October 2000, he was inaugurated as Stanford University’s 10th president. In 2005, he became the inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professorship. A pioneer in computer architecture, in 1981 Dr. Hennessy drew together researchers to focus on a computer architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer), a technology that has revolutionized the computer industry by increasing performance while reducing costs. In addition to his role in the basic research, Dr. Hennessy helped transfer this technology to industry. In 1984, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors. In recent years, his research has focused on the architecture of high-performance computers. Dr. Hennessy is a recipient of the 2000 IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the 2000 ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, the 2001 ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, the 2001 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award, a 2004 NEC C&C Prize for lifetime achievement in computer science and engineering and a 2005 Founders Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has lectured and published widely and is the co-author of two internationally used undergraduate and graduate textbooks on computer architecture design. Dr. Hennessy earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Terry S. Semel is the chairman and chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc, a leading global Internet company. Semel is focused on providing the strategy and vision that will allow Yahoo! to attain its goal to be Internet's leading global consumer and business services company. A globally-respected media and entertainment executive, Semel was named Yahoo!'s chairman and CEO in May 2001. Previously, Semel spent 24 years at Warner Bros., most noted for his role as chairman and co-chief executive officer where he and his partner, Robert Daly, helped build Warner Bros. into one of the world's largest and most creative media and entertainment enterprises. Like Yahoo!, Warner Bros. reaches billions of worldwide consumers through its vast stable of properties. Semel is credited with building Warner Bros. from a single revenue source generating less than $1 billion to nearly $11 billion total revenues from multiple, diverse businesses in 50 countries. Prior to Warner Bros., Semel was in charge of Walt Disney's Theatrical Distribution division and previously in charge of CBS' Theatrical Distribution division. Semel is currently on the Board of Directors of Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Television and Radio. In 2005, Semel was granted the UCLA Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the university, and the Yale Legends in Leadership Award. Semel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University and an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Emerson.