On June 25th, 2008, 300 attendees at the SVForum 11th Anniversary Visionary Awards ceremony, by invitation-only, were treated to a unique perspective of the tech luminaries, who have made disruptive changes to the fields of media, energy, virtualization and wireless, shared their unique motivations and aspirations with the attendees. Unlike other invite-only award events, the recipients were introduced by their colleagues, spouses and friends, resulting in candid and humorous glimpses at the personalities behind their industry personas. The ceremony was opened with a few words from Chuck Reed, mayor of San Jose and green technology enthusiast.
Each year SVForum honors industry leaders who have pioneered innovation and fostered the spirit of entrepreneurship. These visionaries and distinguished business leaders have greatly contributed to shaping Silicon Valley. Past recipients include Donna Dubinsky, Lou Gerstner, Bill Gates, Doug Engelbart, John Chambers, Gordon Moore, Ray Ozzie and Vint Cerf.
The SVForum Board of Directors selected this year’s recipients based on their ongoing contribution and commitment to improving mobile, media and entertainment technology. The 11th Anniversary Visionary Award Winners are:
Forest Baskett, NEA
Introduced by: Scott Sandell, NEA
Forest joined NEA in 1999 as a Venture Partner and became a General Partner in 2004. Forest focuses on information and energy technology investments. Present board memberships include Agility Design Solutions, Aprius, Arch Rock, Audience, Bandgap Engineering, Chelsio Communications, Conviva, Foveon, Fulcrum Microsystems, Fusion-io, Illumitex, Luxtera, RingCube Technologies, Serious Materials, SiBEAM, Solar Junction, T-RAM Semiconductor, and Wi-Chi. He also serves as an advisor to Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP), Tableau Software and Telegent Systems. Previous board memberships include, among others, Aeluros, Atheros Communications (NASDAQ: ATHR), E2O, Nanochip, Newisys, and SiTime. Forest also previously held an advisory position with FineGround, PolyServe, ReShape and SMIC. Prior to NEA, Forest was Senior Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer of Silicon Graphics Inc. He founded and directed the Western Research Laboratory of Digital Equipment Corporation from 1982 to 1986 before joining SGI. Prior to that, he was a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University from 1971 to 1982. He also spent two years at Los Alamos National Laboratory building an operating system for the original Cray-1 computer and a year and a half at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center as a Principal Scientist doing VLSI research. At Stanford, he worked with Andy Bechtolsheim on the SUN workstation project, with Jim Clark on the Geometry Engine project, and with John Hennessy on the MIPS microprocessor project. Dr. Baskett received a BA in Mathematics from Rice University, a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Diane Greene, President and CEO of Vmware
Introducer: Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, VMware
Diane Greene is President, CEO and co-founder of VMware. Under Diane's leadership, VMware created the market for mainstream virtualization and VMware definitively leads what is now a virtualization software industry. Diane has held technical leadership positions at Silicon Graphics, Sybase and Tandem and was CEO of VXtreme. Diane's degrees include mechanical engineering, naval architecture and computer science from the University of Vermont, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California Berkeley, respectively. Diane serves on the board of VMware and Intuit.
Reed Hastings, Netflix
Introduced by: Tim Haley, RedPoint
Reed Hastings founded Netflix in 1997 and launched the subscription service in 1999. Netflix grew to one million subscribers in less than four years, and surpassed 6.3 million subscribers in December 2006.
In five consecutive surveys over three years Netflix has been independently ranked number one in customer satisfaction across all of ecommerce by ForeSee Results. In the fall of 2005, Netflix was the winner of Fast Company's national Customers First Award, with Reed appearing on the cover of the October issue.
Also in 2005, Time magazine added Reed to its "Time 100" list of the one hundred most influential global citizens. Newsweek wrote that "Netflix revolutionized the way we watch movies."
In March 2007 Reed was appointed to Microsoft board of directors.
Earlier in his career, Reed founded Pure Software, which he built into one of the world's 50 largest public software companies. After a successful public offering and a number of acquisitions, Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997.
Reed is an active educational philanthropist and board member of many non-profits. In addition, he was President of the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. He has led successful statewide political campaigns for more charter public schools and easier passage of local school bonds.
Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983 and an MSCS degree from Stanford University in 1988. He holds several patents. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland.
Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, Qualcomm
Introduced by: Dr. Richard Atkinson, Emeritus
Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs is chairman of QUALCOMM Incorporated, a company he co-founded in 1985. As CEO through 2005, he led the commercialization of CDMA mobile wireless technology, now adopted for all third-generation cellular communications and used by over five hundred million consumers worldwide for voice and mobile broadband Internet access. He holds thirteen CDMA patents, contributing to QUALCOMM’s portfolio of more than 5,700 issued and pending U.S. patents. QUALCOMM has been named for 10 consecutive years to the Fortune list of The 100 Best Companies to Work For, ranking 8th in 2008.
Dr. Jacobs previously served as co-founder, CEO and chairman of LINKABIT Corporation, leading the development of Very Small Aperture Earth Terminals (VSATs) and the VideoCipher® satellite-to-home TV system. LINKABIT merged with M/A-COM in August 1980, and Dr, Jacobs served as executive vice president and a member of the board of directors until his resignation in April 1985. Over 35 San Diego communications companies trace their roots to LINKABIT.
From 1959 to 1966, Dr. Jacobs was an assistant, then associate professor of electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 1966 to 1972 he served as a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). While at MIT, Dr. Jacobs co-authored with Jack Wozencraft a textbook in digital communications Principles of Communication Engineering. First published in 1965, the book remains in use today.
Dr, Jacobs received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Cornell University and master of science and doctor of science degrees in electrical engineering from MIT in 1957 and 1959, respectively.
In November 2006, Dr. Jacobs was named Chair of the Salk Institute’s Board of Trustees.
Steven Levy, Wired
Introduced by: John Markoff, NY Times
Steven Levy has been covering technology and the digital revolution since 1982, in periodicals, on the Web and in books. In June, he will become a senior writer for Wired magazine, where has been a contributor since its inception. Previously, he was a senior editor and chief technology writer for Newsweek, where his duties included writing "The Technologist" column, which also appeared in the Washington Post. He has been a columnist for Popular Computing, Rolling Stone, and Macworld, and written for many publications, including Esquire, the New Yorker and the Sunday New York Times Magazine. His books include Hackers, Artificial LIfe, Insanely Great, Crypto, and The Perfect Thing.
Fresh Dialogues Review of the Visionary Awards