Bednarz and Julie Bort
The economy dashed many a network hope this year but buoyed as many others. In acknowledgement of the industry turbulence and new business conditions, we did not place perennial favorites such as Cisco CEO John Chambers and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on our annual most powerful vendor executives' list. As the heads of network powerhouse companies, their power goes unquestioned. Rather than rehashing their prowess, we focused on the lesser-known people who lead promising niche markets or those charged with executing top vendors' critical plans.
is perhaps the most powerful champion of the wireless
Web. Seeing it as the future for growth at Nokia, he's
thrown the company's considerable engineering prowess
at it from every angle: phones, Java development, security,
standards, wireless LANs and other network equipment
(Nokia has some 20,000 engineers on its payroll.) Along
the way, he's made Nokia a quiet infrastructure powerhouse.
AND CHAIRMAN, SALESFORCE.COM
relationship management software is hot, but expensive.
Enter Benioff and his ASP-model salesforce.com, an alternative he claims is priced
at about 10% of the total cost of ownership of a software
package. Benioff learned the ropes at Oracle, his last
position as a senior vice president. But Benioff doesn't
fit the ruthless Oracle-executive mold he once
even won the True Friend of the User Community Award
from Oracle's International User Group.
AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER, BEA SYSTEMS
a 27-year industry veteran, brings the get-there-first-and-stay-there
attitude he learned as chief of satellite operations
in the U.S. Air Force to his business endeavors. This
summer, he added another first-to-market to his bragging
rights by shipping a version of the WebLogic application
server that supports Web services standards. This helped
cement WebLogic's place as the No. 1 Java 2 Enterprise
Edition Web application server, with 37% of installations,
according to Meta Group. Coleman, who handed over the
CEO hat to co-founder Alfred Chuang in October, now
concentrates on executing his vision for Java development.
That includes finding ways to compete with big-league
software players Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft
one year ago, Dorman became AT&T president, a position
most seasoned telecommunications veterans would jump
at given the chance. And now it seems he's poised for
even more power. C. Michael Armstrong has indicated
that he'll likely retire as CEO in 2002, and most industry
watchers consider Dorman next in line for that job.
(Read full profile)
VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC
RESEARCH, NETWORK ASSOCIATES
November, Network Associates' PGP unit got the ax, with
products such as the Gauntlet Firewall getting snuffed
out or moved into other product groups. But the fate
of that group's head, England, was not dire at all.
In fact, she's taken on the critical role as technology
scout, seeking out potential acquisitions and strategic
partnerships while overseeing the company's research
organization. The poised England frequently makes rounds
on the speakers' circuit and has testified before Congress
on the impact of viruses.
is making the most of Enterasys' fresh start as a Cabletron
spinoff. He's pushed Enterasys into garnering 33.2%
of worldwide modular Layer 3 ports shipped for the third
quarter of 2001, according to Dell's
Oro Group. The rise of respect for Enterasys has much to do with
Fiallo's past as a CIO, a post he held at Cabletron, and before that at power
company Entergy Services. The skills of vending a product are not the same
as consuming it, but when an executive can meld the two successfully, power
is the result. Fiallo has the markings of one who can do so.
AND CEO, SIEMENS INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
ever a door to the U.S. telecommunications equipment
business stood open, it does now, and Floyd aims to
stride through it. A highly regarded network entrepreneur,
he joined Siemens ICN in April with the company's acquisition
of Efficient Networks, which he founded and led. When
the board appointed him CEO five months later, they
made his orders clear: Restructure the $2 billion telecom
equipment provider to grab more of the U.S. market while
Lucent and other competitors are weak. Floyd has restructuring
experience on his side. Three years after starting Efficient,
he shifted its focus from ATM switches and routers for
computer vendors to DSL devices for users.
Russ Holt and Randy Groves
PRESIDENTS, DELL'S ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS GROUP
is giving the enterprise server market a double-whammy
in Holt (right) and Groves. Holt, the former vice president
and general manager of Dell's Storage Systems Group,
is credited with turning Dell's storage into a $1.5
billion business, largely by declaring network-attached
storage a commodity market and pricing accordingly.
Groves, the former vice president of Dell's High Volume
Server Systems Group, helped lead Dell to its No. 1
position in Intel-based servers in the U.S. A 21-year
IBM veteran before joining Dell in 2000, Groves was
responsible for developing IBM's Netfinity line.
CEO who takes over for the founder is straddling a bucking
bronco. But Kumar held onto his mount during his first
full year, despite a bitter proxy fight initiated by
a major investor for board control. If that investor
had won the fight, he presumably would have axed Kumar
and Chairman Charles Wang. Kumar is exerting his influence
by trying to reverse CA's bully image. This year Kumar
addressed, at least in part, long-standing complaints
on licensing practices. He created an option to long-term
software licenses in the form of a flexible ASP model
with monthly fees.
CO-CEO AND PRESIDENT, RESEARCH IN MOTION
technical visionary behind RIM, Lazaridis shepherded
the popular BlackBerry wireless device into the corporate
market, where it's been met with almost cult-like devotion.
As of October, RIM claimed more than 12,000 corporate
customers, many of them using the technology to deliver
customized applications to mobile workers. A consummate
engineer, Lazaridis holds several patents for software
code and wireless technology and even has an Emmy for
designs in computer film-editing equipment.
AND CHIEF SCIENTIST, PROCKET NETWORKS
is the golden boy of network engineering, having helped
architect some of Cisco's and Juniper Networks' prize
routing technologies. Industry watchers expect Li to
take on his former employers with the routing technology
they believe is under development at Procket, one of
Network World's 10 start-ups to watch in 2001.
has long claimed a place among network industry visionaries.
As the creator of NetWare, he was the guiding force
behind all Novell technologies. He has since turned
his attention to caching through Volera, spun off from
Novell in February. Major has a loyal user following
and many believe his caching products will eventually
become as popular as NetWare. Besides his work at Volera,
Major is funding a secretive company called XLON Technologies
that is creating ways to move multimedia and other large
files quickly across the 'Net.
DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, CISCO
holds one of the most critical roles coming out of Cisco's
reorganization into major technology groups. He's coordinating
development efforts across all 11 of those groups, finding
synergies across a broad product line and directing
the massive resources available to Cisco. (Read full profile)
CEO AND CHAIRMAN, TIPPINGPOINT TECHNOLOGIES
is one of those multiple-start-up success stories. He
founded Ethernet vendor NetWorth, which Compaq bought
in 1995. He followed that with NetSpeed, a DSL company
he sold to Cisco in 1998. He's back to try his hand
with TippingPoint Technologies, which offers a package
of network products, open development tools and hosted
services that let service providers deploy new networks
and services quickly. TippingPoint is selling into a
hurting market and is financially struggling. Still,
if anyone can make the company work, the golden-touch
McHale can. He moonlights as a partner with venture
capitalist firm Austin Ventures, known for seeding companies
such as SynOptics and EMC spinoff McData.
star has risen so fast and so high that in 2001 he took
on the people that make most CEOs quiver: financial
analysts. Last summer, three Morgan Stanley analysts
questioned the company's accounting practices. No kowtowing
or peacemaking for Nacchio; on a conference call with
the financial community he angrily — and loudly
— defended Qwest. The horns-forward Nacchio is
the image forever locked in our imagination. Even though
the debt-burdened Qwest is struggling to turn a profit,
Nacchio's guts seem well-matched with his business acumen.
HITACHI DATA SYSTEMS
has been the deal maker and execution man in HDS' conversion
into a storage powerhouse. Roberson, a 20-year HDS veteran,
led the Hitachi subsidiary from its roots as a traditional
Japanese manufacturing company into an American-style
vendor of products and services. In August, he harvested
one of the heftiest fruits of that change, when HDS
struck a multibillion-dollar deal that has Sun reselling
Hitachi storage products and the two co-developing high-end
storage for the data center and investing in support
receiving loads of accolades and attention, Ozzie, of
Lotus Notes fame, is notoriously polite. Today, Groove
Networks and its peer-to-peer collaboration platform
has put Ozzie back in the spotlight. Ozzie gives velocity
to Groove, named one of Network World's 10 start-ups
to watch for 2001. The company signed on 200 partners within six
months of shipping in March and some big-name enterprise
AND COO, IBM
years at Big Blue and Palmisano is poised to take over
the top spot that observers say is sure to open when
CEO Lou Gerstner's contract expires in March.
At 60, Gerstner is at the age when all senior IBM executives
have retired over the past 30 years. Palmisano
has been Gerstner's right-hand man since Day 1, and
long considered his heir-apparent.
would be the stereotypical entrepreneur, a cross between
an inventor and an engineer, if he weren't a proven
businessman with a decade-long track record. He is known
for building one data organization after another, first
at Pacific Bell, then US West and then Nokia. Now if
Parrick can avoid the cash crunch that poisoned the
competitive local exchange carrier industry, he has
a shot at creating a serious Ethernet services competitor.
BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS
has proven himself to be the right man for creating
a world-class competitor out of a start-up. Following
his aspiration to be the CEO of a major technology company,
he joined Brocade in 1998. At $24 million in sales,
Brocade wasn't that large, so Reyes made it so, guiding
the company to $513 million in fiscal 2001. He made
a decent profit while doubling investment in research
and development. In the process, he snatched up more
than 60% of the Fibre Channel hub and switch market,
according to research firm IDC.
VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPER AND PLATFORM EVANGELISM,
heads the first and arguably most crucial step in Microsoft's
.Net program. He must educate, convert and nurture more
than 6 million developers on .Net, the bet-the-company
strategy to deliver software as a set of services over
the Internet that Rudder spent four advisory years helping
Gates devise. (Read full profile)
AND CTO, COUNTERPANE INTERNET SECURITY
guru Schneier has long been a power to reckon with in
security circles. He designed the Blowfish and Twofish
encryption algorithms, has penned six books, including
one used as a cryptography textbook, and has openly
criticized Microsoft and other software vendors for
releasing unsafe code. Counterpane, a 24-7 security
monitoring service, is his attempt to practice what
he preaches. He envisions his security monitoring service
as a way out of the software security patch treadmill.
Counterpane has grabbed several significant reseller
partners, including Cisco and NEC Business Network Solutions.
July 2002, Seidenberg gains sole control of the aggressive
regional Bell operating company. Ever ambitous, he is
concentrating on making Verizon a long-distance powerhouse
by winning Federal Communications Commission approval
to offer long-distance services in states where Verizon
is the incumbent carrier. (Read full profile)
AND CEO, SIEBEL SYSTEMS
drive has placed the company on top of the important
CRM software market, an area growing despite the anemic
economy. Aggressive and arrogant, Siebel is a
graduate of the Larry Ellison school of management.
At Oracle from 1984 to 1990, he was among Oracle's top
salespeople, useful experience for the CRM business.
Siebel is now attempting to match his success in CRM
with employee relationship management software.
PRESIDENT, MOBILE DEVICES DIVISION, MICROSOFT
wireless devices grow in complexity and usefulness,
Microsoft has a whole new client to dominate. Success
rests largely with Waldman, charged with crafting the
Pocket PC strategy. He came to this post in January
2000 after a string of accomplishments for other Microsoft
divisions, including at the Macintosh unit he created
in 1996. There he helped Office 98 become the platform's
most popular office suite and Internet Explorer and
Outlook Express to be bundled standard on the Mac. Waldman
has declared that he will extend more desktop functionality
to the Pocket PC, aim it at business users, and eliminate
the need for a separate wireless Internet.