Sponsored By

Hall of Fame 2016: The Candidates

The Light Reading team has deliberated over this year's Hall of Fame candidates, consulted our friend Jack Daniels and come up with a mixed bag of names. See who's in the running...

April 13, 2016

16 Min Read
Hall of Fame 2016: The Candidates

Since it first opened its doors in 2010, Light Reading's Hall of Fame, which recognizes those individuals (both the famous and the infamous) who have made a notable contribution to the global communications sector, has ushered in a host of major industry names, including Steve Jobs, Bob Metcalfe, John Chambers, Brian Roberts, Martin Cooper, Irwin Jacobs, Niklas Zennström and John Cioffi. (See Light Reading Hall of Fame 2015.)

But who will get the honor this year?

The Light Reading team has created a shortlist of candidates and, in this Prime Reading feature, has provided some background on why they're in the running. We think you'll find the variety of candidates provides food for thought -- and heated debate!

You can have your say too in our reader poll, the results of which provide us with some guidance on what the industry is thinking. (See Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016.)

So, let's take a look at the individuals in contention to join Light Reading's Hall of Fame.

Jay Adelson, Co-Founder, Equinix
Jay Adelson had a vision way back in 1998: Existing data centers would be insufficient to support the rapid growth of the Internet. So Adelson and a colleague co-founded Equinix, offering hardened, commercialized data centers for business. The company has since gone on to pioneer interconnections, becoming increasingly relevant in the cloud era, offering colocation and interconnection services for enterprises, cloud providers, content companies, integrators and more than 1,100 network service providers in more than 145 data centers worldwide. Adelson went on to become a serial entrepreneur, co-founding Revision3, Digg and SimpleGeo. He's currently a Partner at Center Electric, an investment firm specializing in the Internet of Things.

Figure 1: Jay Adelson, Co-Founder, Equinix Jay Adelson, Co-Founder, Equinix

For more on Adelson, see:

César Alierta, Former Chairman & CEO, Telefónica, Executive Chairman, Fundación Telefónica
When he stepped down in April, Alierta had been in charge of the Spanish telecom incumbent for nearly 16 years, presiding over the operator's international expansion, rollout of Internet offerings and recent retrenchment to focus on a handful of core markets. Telefónica is today one of the most heavily indebted operators in Europe, and its market capitalization has fallen to less than one half its value of €100 billion (US$114 billion, at today's exchange rates) in 2007. But Alierta has seen and survived it all -- from the first launches of 3G to the digital transformation that is still ongoing. For sheer staying power and wealth of experience, few other telecom executives today can match up.

Figure 2: Cesar Alierta, Former Chairman & CEO, Telefonica, Executive Chairman, Fundacion Telefonica César Alierta, Former Chairman & CEO, Telefónica, Executive Chairman, Fundación Telefónica

For more on Alierta, see:

Basil Alwan, President, IP/Optical Networks, Nokia
Basil Alwan is one of the best-known names in IP networking, having built up router startup TiMetra, selling it to Alcatel in 2003 for $150 million and then building market share against formidable rivals such as Cisco and Juniper from within Alcatel. He also built up Alcatel-Lucent and now Nokia, where he was one of the few AlcaLu execs to join the Finnish vendor's top table. Alwan is not only an IP technology leader but is also renowned as a great leader in general, commanding total loyalty from his team.

Figure 3: Basil Alwan, President, IP/Optical Networks, Nokia Basil Alwan, President, IP/Optical Networks, Nokia

For more on Alwan, see:

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Polymath, Physicist, Biologist, Biophysicist, Botanist & Archaeologist
The building blocks for the 21st century's most advanced 5G mobile communications were first set in place in colonial India before the 20th century even began. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was working with millimeter waves in 1895 even before Marconi made the scene. Bose was, however, uninterested in patenting his work. A true dilettante, he went on to investigate plants and metal fatigue.

Figure 4: Jagadish Chandra Bose, Polymath, Physicist, Biologist, Biophysicist, Botanist & Archaeologist Jagadish Chandra Bose, Polymath, Physicist, Biologist, Biophysicist, Botanist & Archaeologist

For more on Bose, see:

Ken Brill, Founder, Uptime Institute (now part of the 451 Group)
At a time when data centers were almost all small, bespoke enterprise IT systems, Brill was among the first people to define data centers as a technological category that would grow into a distinct business. He would eventually define a new tier of data center (Tier 4) that established rigorous goals for performance, power output, redundancy and reliability; that definition provided the core of subsequent ANSI standards. He didn't just propose the standards, he was instrumental in helping to achieve them. In 2001, he founded Upsite Technologies, a company that supplied racks and associated products, and in 2007 he received a patent for a system that assured uninterrupted power to data center servers should the main power source fail, helping data centers achieve unprecedented uptimes, losing only minutes a year. He was among the most influential people to warn that Moore's Law might come to an end, with dire consequences for data centers. Brill was sometimes called the father of the data center. He died in 2013.

Figure 5: Ken Brill, Founder, Uptime Institute Ken Brill, Founder, Uptime Institute

For more on Brill, see:

John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer & Group President, AT&T Technology & Operations
John Donovan is known as the public face and driving force behind AT&T's aggressive move to transform its networks and operations. Donovan heads the organization that is promising to virtualize 75% of AT&T's network functions by 2020, and is aggressively embracing open source, new methods of working and innovative new companies in the process.

Figure 6: John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer & Group President, AT&T Technology & Operations John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer & Group President, AT&T Technology & Operations

For more on Donovan, see:

Ulf Ewaldsson, Group CTO, Ericsson
Ericsson has demonstrably realized that being a leader in radio access network (RAN) technology, while a great starting point, is not enough in the ramp-up to a 5G world. As the individual driving the vendor's technology roadmap, Ewaldsson has not only put the giant Swedish firm at the forefront of next-generation wireless access technology development but broadened the company's R&D focus and annual investment of more than $4 billion to encompass cloud, virtualization, video and the all-important field of network and applications management.

Figure 9: Ulf Ewaldsson, Group CTO, Ericsson Ulf Ewaldsson, Group CTO, Ericsson

For more on Ewaldsson, see:

Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS
After developing some initial software analysis systems (SAS) with fellow researchers at North Carolina State University, Jim Goodnight co-founded SAS in 1976. One of the first and among the most successful to commercialize analytics, he's been at it for 40 years, at the forefront of the industry or close to it all along. Analytics would become the basis of everything from network operations to customer service to cloud networking to advertising technology. Moving forward, analytics will be a foundational capability of the Internet of Things and of artificial intelligence, including the race to develop AI-based personal assistants that some of the biggest, most influential technology companies in the world (e.g., Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc.) are currently engaged in. Goodnight co-authored Managing for Creativity with Richard Florida, contending that companies prosper when they make the best use of their creative capital. SAS has consistently been cited among the best companies to work for.

Figure 7: Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS

For more on Goodnight, see:

Reed Hastings, Co-Founder & CEO, Netflix
A former Marine, high school math teacher and software tycoon, Hastings has done more to revolutionize the way the world watches TV than probably anyone else. Hasting started Netflix as a DVD rental company with Marc Randolph (good Trivial Pursuit question) in 1997, after running up a $40 late fee for a misplaced rental film. A decade later, the company started streaming content over the Internet and now has 75 million subscribers in 190 countries around the world, generating nearly $6 billion in annual revenue. Hastings has also turned Netflix into a powerful policy player, influencing Washington's debates over net neutrality, open set-top boxes and media mega-mergers. For instance, his strong opposition to Comcast's proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable helped sink that deal last year, while his support of Charter Communications's pending acquisition of TWC and Bright House Networks has helped clear the path for its expected approval.

Figure 8: Reed Hastings, Co-Founder & CEO, Netflix Reed Hastings, Co-Founder & CEO, Netflix

For more on Hastings, see:

Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Google
As the lead developer of Google's data center infrastructure, Urs Hölzle has helped develop and push for innovations that have influenced the design of data centers the world over, including being a key advocate for open systems and the approach now known as SDN. A prominent early accomplishment at Google was developing a data center architecture that cut the power consumption of Google's facilities in half, an unprecedented leap in data center efficiency. A subsequent innovation was the G-Scale Network, which addressed linking the company's far-flung network of data centers. The G-Scale Network's reliance on the OpenFlow protocol was a powerful endorsement of open source software, and the network implementation was among the first, largest implementations of SDN. Hölzle has also been a leading advocate for alternative energy sources, lately becoming a champion of photovoltaics.

Figure 10: Urs Holzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Google Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Google

For more on Hölzle, see:

Aamir Hussain, CTO, CenturyLink
Aamir Hussain came to CenturyLink as CTO in 2014 and made an immediate impact on the legacy carrier operation, launching an ambitious overhaul to create an IT-based services company running on a network cloud. Prior to joining CenturyLink, he held senior leadership roles at Liberty Global, Covad, TELUS and Qwest.

Figure 11: Aamir Hussain, CTO, CenturyLink Aamir Hussain, CTO, CenturyLink

For more on Hussain, see:

Hedy Lamarr, Actress & Inventor
Austrian-born Hedy Lamarr is best known as a glamorous actress in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s, but her impact on wireless today may turn out to be her most enduring legacy. Lamarr initially trained as a chemist, and tried to help the US as it entered World World II by developing a system -- with composer George Antheil -- of spectrum-skipping radio guidance for torpedoes. The pair were awarded a patent in 1942, although the navy didn't use the technology until 1962. The frequency-hopping technology, however, found a second life, as a building block for CDMA, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Figure 12: Hedy Lamarr, Actress & Inventor Hedy Lamarr, Actress & Inventor

For more on Lamarr, see:

John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile US
John Legere is the most colorful CEO to lead a major US mobile operator in, well, forever, really. The "Un-carrier" boss has drawn attention for his ready use of swear words, hyper presentation style and constant presence on Twitter. Legere, however, is more than just a flashy figurehead. By challenging long-held practices in the wireless business, he has managed to shake up larger competitors in the industry, while reviving the T-Mobile brand. Figure 13: John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile US John Legere, CEO, T-Mobile US

For more on Legere, see:

Pankaj Patel, EVP & Chief Development Officer, Cisco
Patel has had a massive influence on Cisco's strategic direction during the past 19 years, leading a team of 26,000 developers and helping to shape a company that has adjusted successfully to the shifts in the enterprise and service provider networking sectors. Patel is about to step down at Cisco after an illustrious career and there's little doubt that he'll be missed.

Figure 18: Pankaj Patel, EVP & Chief Development Officer, Cisco Pankaj Patel, EVP & Chief Development Officer, Cisco

For more on Patel, see:

Bruce Perens, 'Father' of Open Source
Bruce Perens is an American computer programmer and advocate of the free software movement who first introduced open source to the world. He co-founded the Open Source Initiative with Eric S. Raymond in 1998. In 1999, he created the Open Source Definition, a set of legal requirements for open source licensing, and published the first formal manifesto of open source.

Figure 14: Bruce Perens, 'Father' of Open Source Bruce Perens, "Father" of Open Source

For more on Perens, see:

Jayshree Ullal, CEO, Arista Networks
As the CEO of one of the most innovative infrastructure vendors in the industry, Ullal took Arista Networks from zero in revenue in 2008 to $837.6 million in 2015. The lynchpin of the company, which provides the big locomotive switches and routers for the Internet, used in data centers, cloud computing, high-performance computing and high-frequency trading, is an open, standards-based, fully programmable network operating system, Extensible Operating System (EOS). Perhaps the best sign that Arista is a big-league player is the enemy it's made -- Cisco is seeking to destroy Arista in litigation, but Arista, under Ullal, is staying on track, delivering performance and innovation for the growing cloud market.

Figure 15: Jayshree Ullal, CEO, Arista Networks Jayshree Ullal, CEO, Arista Networks

For more on Ullal, see:

Tony Werner, EVP & CTO, Comcast Cable
Tony Werner is responsible for several major network transitions at Comcast since joining the company in 2006, including the migration to DOCSIS 3.0 and all-digital video delivery. Most recently, Werner has helped lead the cable industry's adoption of open source technologies and has created a path at Comcast for ongoing service and network virtualization. He is also responsible for the first launch of DOCSIS 3.1 in the US.

Figure 16: Tony Werner, EVP & CTO, Comcast Cable Tony Werner, EVP & CTO, Comcast Cable

For more on Werner, see:

Maggie Wilderotter, Executive Chairman & Former CEO, Frontier Communications
Maggie Wilderotter, who retired from the CEO role of Frontier in March, led the broadband provider for more than 12 years, cementing a commanding presence in rural markets and the enterprise. Most recently, she was the force behind Frontier's $10.5 billion acquisition of Verizon's landline business, doubling the regional telco's size. Wilderotter has also been instrumental in promoting women in tech, shattering the glass ceiling and building an executive team at Frontier that is 50% female.

Figure 17: Maggie Wilderotter, Executive Chairman & Former CEO, Frontier Communications Maggie Wilderotter, Executive Chairman & Former CEO, Frontier Communications

For more on Wilderotter, see:

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like