SAN JOSE, Calif., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- SDForum, Silicon Valley's leading source of information and education in the technology community, today announced the success of the 11th Annual Visionary Awards and the five winners of the awards, including Forest Baskett, Diane Greene, Reed Hastings, Dr. Irwin Jacobs and Steven Levy.
SAN JOSE, Calif., June 27 /PRNewswire/ — SDForum, Silicon Valley's leading source of information and education in the technology community, today announced the success of the 11th Annual Visionary Awards and the five winners of the awards, including Forest Baskett, Diane Greene, Reed Hastings, Dr. Irwin Jacobs and Steven Levy.
The award-winners, who have made disruptive changes to the fields of media, energy, virtualization and wireless, shared their unique motivations and aspirations with the 300 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 personae. The ceremony opened with a few words from the Honorable Chuck Reed, Mayor of San Jose and green technology enthusiast.
"Silicon Valley has changed the world," said Mayor Chuck Reed. "We need to change the world again and the people here today are the ones who will make that happen."
Every year since 1998, SDForum has honored outstanding industry leaders who have pioneered paradigm-shifting technologies and fostered the spirit of entrepreneurship. These visionaries have significantly contributed to the development of Silicon Valley as a worldwide hub for technology. Past recipients include Lou Gerstner, Bill Gates, Vint Cerf, Doug Engelbart, John Chambers, Gordon Moore, Walt Mossberg and Ray Ozzie.
"It's terrific that so many great people gathered for the award ceremony," said Forest Baskett, General Partner at NEA. "These people have been instrumental in shaping Silicon Valley, so receiving the visionary honor is very special."
"It means a great deal to me to win this award," said Diane Greene, President and CEO of VMWare.
"It's great to be included among these visionaries," said Reed Hastings, Founder of Netflix. "I don't know if I'm a visionary, but I'm definitely an optimist."
"It's a very special award," said Irwin Jacobs, Chairman of Qualcomm. "I hope the awards encourage more young people to study science, technology and math. We need to draw more young people into technology so they can be the next visionaries."
"I'm humbled and touched to have won this award," said Steven Levy, Senior Writer at Wired. "I'm so privileged to have a front row seat to the changes in technology. If the people you write about honor you, that's just amazing."
The SDForum Board of Directors selected this year's recipients based on their ongoing contributions to changing the underlying rules and improving technology across a broad range of industries.
"It's a rare pleasure that the Silicon Valley community is able to come together and recognize the great minds who have truly helped shape the world around us," said Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO of SDForum. "The annual SDForum Visionary Awards ceremony is a noteworthy occasion where these visionaries are given the recognition they have earned before an exclusive audience of their peers and colleagues."
The winners below were recognized at the SDForum ceremony:
Forest Baskett, General Partner, NEA
Forest Baskett joined NEA in 1999 and focuses on information and energy technology investments. His present board memberships include Agility Design Solutions, Aprius, Arch Rock, Bandgap Engineering, Chelsio Communications, Foveon, Fulcrum Microsystems, Fusion-io, Illumitex, Luxtera, RingCube Technologies, Serious Materials, SiBEAM, Solar Junction and T-RAM Semiconductor. Prior to NEA, Dr. Baskett 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. 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, VMware
Diane Greene is President, CEO and Co-Founder of VMware. Under her leadership, VMware created the market for mainstream virtualization and leads what is now a virtualization software industry. She has held technical leadership positions at Silicon Graphics, Sybase and Tandem and was CEO of VXtreme. Ms. Greene's degrees include mechanical engineering, naval architecture and computer science from the University of Vermont, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, Berkeley, respectively. She serves on the board of VMware and Intuit.
Reed Hastings, Founder, Netflix
Reed Hastings founded Netflix in 1997 and launched the subscription service in 1999. In March 2007, Mr. Hastings was appointed to Microsoft's Board of Directors. Earlier in his career, he founded Pure Software, which he built into one of the world's 50 largest public software companies. Mr. Hastings is an active educational philanthropist and board member of many non-profits. From 2000 to 2004, he was president of the California State Board of Education and has led successful statewide political campaigns for more charter public schools and the easier passage of local school bonds. Mr. Hastings 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, Chairman, Qualcomm Incorporated
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 500 million consumers worldwide for voice and mobile broadband Internet access. He holds 13 CDMA patents. 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. While at MIT, Dr. Jacobs co-authored with Jack Wozencraft a textbook in digital communications called Principles of Communication Engineering. He 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 2006, Dr. Jacobs was named Chair of the Salk Institute's Board of Trustees. He and his wife Joan have been cited by BusinessWeek among the 50 Most Generous Philanthropists in the United States.
Steven Levy, Senior Writer, Wired
Steven Levy has been covering technology and the digital revolution since 1982 in periodicals, on the Web and in books. In June, he became a senior writer for Wired Magazine, where he has been a contributor since its inception. Previously, Mr. Levy 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 has written for other 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."
"Visionaries pursue their dream not for recognition but for the satisfaction of seeing their passion grow into reality," said Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Strategic and Emerging Business. "Microsoft is privileged to have had three of its leaders — Bill Gates, Nathan Myhrvold and Ray Ozzie — recognized by the SDForum for their accomplishments, and we congratulate this year's Visionary Awards recipients."
"Innovation is in the DNA of Silicon Valley," said Henry Tirri, VP and Head of Nokia-NRC Systems Research. "It is a great pleasure to recognize those exceptional individuals who have not been only innovators, but also people who have changed the rules. They are great examples of the special talent Silicon Valley is known for."
The 2008 Visionary Awards ceremony was held at a private home in Atherton and is sponsored by Microsoft, Nokia, Deloitte and DLA Piper.
SDForum has been instrumental in setting the high tech industry agenda for more than 23 years. As a non-profit dedicated to educating and creating relationships within the technology community, SDForum provides the latest insights on emerging technology trends and best business practices through events, specialized services and resources. The SDForum reaches 12,000 software professionals annually, through more than 20 programs a month that promote emerging technologies and business practices. Long-standing relationships in Silicon Valley include technology companies such as HP, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP and Sun Microsystems. In addition, SDForum has support from the City of San Jose, and sponsorship from over 30 venture capital firms, financial institutions, multinational enterprises, international trade organizations and service providers. For more information, visit http://www.sdforum.org.
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