Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

The Light Reading Hall of Fame will add five more names this year, and we'd like your input on selecting them.

We've suggested some names, below. Your job is to rank them by dragging and dropping them with your mouse.

We chose this method of polling for two reasons:
  1. It allows readers to show support for multiple candidates, allowing for a wider, more statistically accurate sampling of opinions
  2. It looks so cool

So, take the poll below, justify your answers on the message boards -- and, while you're at it, feel free to suggest write-in candidates. Better yet, nominate your favorite by going to the Leading Lights entry page: lightreading.com/leadinglights.

If you're wondering who these people are, here's a glimpse of our thinking:

  • Matt Bross: He took vendors' pre-IPO stock at Williams; he led 21CN at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), and now he's putting an American spin on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. A man for all seasons.

  • John D'Ambrosia: He's been instrumental in shepherding Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) high-speed Ethernet standards since 10Gbit/s counted as "high speed," and he's the point man for early Terabit Ethernet work.

  • Stuart Elby: He helped lead Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) toward its next-generation optical network and is now pushing the carrier toward software-defined networking.

  • Richard Frenkiel: While at Bell Labs , he helped create the AMPS cellular networking system.

  • Jack Grubman: A research analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, Grubman became a central figure in the investigation of investment-bank ethics.

  • David Huber: CEO of Corvis, a poster child for the optical bubble circa 1999.

  • Irwin Jacobs: Chairman of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), but nominated here for his role in creating CDMA.

  • Donald Keck: At Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW), he was instrumental in developing low-loss optical fiber -- optical networking's equivalent to the discovery of fire.

  • Drew Perkins/Dave Welch: Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) gave DWDM systems a radical reboot by taking advantage of semiconductor integration. (We're still debating which of these two to nominate.)

  • Rob Pullen: A 30-year veteran of Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), Pullen was an excellent choice to become the face of the company as CEO. He passed away in early July and will be missed.

  • Richard Snelling: BellSouth executive who pushed for fiber-optic deployments starting in the late 1980s.

  • Ren Zhengfei: Founder of Huawei -- and yes, we know "Ren" is his family name, but it looked nice having the two "Z" people next to each other here.

  • Niklas Zennstrom: Founder of Skype, now working 4G angles with FreedomPop.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:24:24 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Didn't LR try to give him an award awhile back? My recollection is that didn't go well.

Duh! 12/5/2012 | 5:24:24 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Excellent thought.  I voted for Wegleitner when his name came up the last time.  Still think he deserves it.

Wellbrock would also be an excellent choice.  Is there any rule against two nominees from the same company?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:24:25 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Amid the Stu Elby discussion, this came up: Why not Mark Wegleitner?

He led Verizon's FTTH efforts, and LR almost gave him an award a few years ago.

Maybe Wegleitner would be a more deserving candidate at this point. Any thoughts on that?

Simon Zelingher of AT&T is another name that's come up.

Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 5:24:47 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Some of the biggest commercial achievements in optics over the past decade have been the adoption of tunable lases and the use of coherent detection in optics. What I don't know if tunables or coherent can be attached to one person OR to a small team of people who could be represented by one person. Does anyone have any insights here?

For coherent, maybe it's the application of coherent technology to fiber-optics that should be high-lighted. Was there an indivdual who came up with the concept?

I'm trying to think of some big achievements that are relatively recent and set to have a huge impact.


DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:24:47 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Ha! I know. Our HoF is definitely a more exclusive club. And he might have to give back his other award when the Nobel committee gets wind of this.

jayja 12/5/2012 | 5:24:47 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Yes, Kao got a Nobel Prize, but I suppose LR HoF would be but would really cap off his career :). 

Seriously, both remarkable achievements, hard to argue against either, probably not fair to make it either/or. 

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:24:48 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

> A plug for Don Keck as well.  People forget that Corning was the little guy in the race to develop low loss optical fiber vs Bell Labs, NTT, et al.

Thanks, Jayja.

How about Charles Kao?  He did get a Nobel, after all.  But his research was at a more basic level than Keck's...

Anybody: Would Kao be a more appropriate choice than Keck?  They're both worthy.

jayja 12/5/2012 | 5:24:51 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Agree with Sailboat, Wellbrock & Hedy should be on the ballot.

A plug for Don Keck as well.  People forget that Corning was the little guy in the race to develop low loss optical fiber vs Bell Labs, NTT, et al.  His team went on to numerous leadrship positions within the industry.  Don is a gentleman as well who was always generous with his time with new employees at Corning.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:25:04 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Not sure Koley did it all at Google, but he sure had a huge impact. I think his card says something like chief network architect...or head of network design, or something like that.  but I have to double check.  someone else might have his official title more ready to hand.


^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:25:04 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Note, Hedy's work way predated any of the work the McCaw's did, and was more fundamental.  And more lasting.  

her work affects also satellite comms as well as mobile phones.  And underlies some of the work on high speed multi frequency DSL as well.   And, guess what, those same concepts are now creaping into fiber optics for Terabit communications.  so, wireless, copper and fiber impacts from her work.   

And the time duration of her contributions is certainly longer than most on your list.

Of course it would also be way elegant for LR to put Shannon and Nyquist into the hall of fame.  Their work basically underlies all of modern communications.  This hall of fame to my mind should not be limited to only those who made contributions in the last few years.  It should also include those who made fundamental shifts in how things can be done.  Like the Rock and Roll hall of fame..... they induct not only stars from the last few years, but also stars from decades ago.  Same with Baseball.   LR hall of fame should do similar.  Shannon, Nyquist, the inventors of the semiconductor laser and EDFA technology.  folks who really changed things.


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:25:05 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

When you look at who's in the Hall of Fame so far ... Hedy would very much class up the place!  I'm liking this idea, Sailboat.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:25:05 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Glenn Wellbrock would certainly be worth considering. To other readers: Any opinions there? Should Wellbrock get the nod more so than Elby?

I like Koley (Google) -- didn't realize just how instrumental a role he had in designing their network.  We'll have to add him for consideration.

A. V. Krishnamoorthy -- I'm not as familiar with his work. Silicon photonics stuff?

Thanks much for the suggestions, Sailboat.

Everyone else -- we're definitely open to more nominations, so feel free to sound off.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:25:08 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Lets just give Hedy the top spot.  Nobody could be a more iconic member of the Hall of Fame!  keyword: FAME.  She should get her rightful place.  

Sure, others are doing interesting work now.  But who else has had such a lasting impact on wireless?

And besides, she would certainly class up the list!


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:25:11 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Ah, good point, Fsaterrats.

And Hedy's co-inventor, IIRC, was George Antheil, a maverick classical composer. He wrote the Ballet Mechanique, a piece that included 16 player pianos and an air siren.


(Height of geekery: I actually mentioned this on LR back in 2004.)

Fsaterrats 12/5/2012 | 5:25:15 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Irwin commercialized it...

From QCOM's website:

<div class="header content-podgroup-wrapper content-podgroup-0-0" id="content-group_header-0">
<h3 class="h3 font-replace ">The Roots of CDMA are in...Hollywood!?</h3>

<div class="open-html wysiwyg content-podgroup-wrapper content-podgroup-1-1 last-pod" id="content-group_open_html-1">
<div class="open-html">

Once described as the most beautiful woman in the world, actress Hedy Lamarr was one of Hollywood&rsquo;s most glamorous silver screen goddesses of the 1930&rsquo;s and 40&rsquo;s. But Ms. Lamarr had another talent: she was brilliant.

Working together with avante-garde music composer George Antheil, Lamarr came up with the notion that multiple frequencies could be used to send a single radio transmission &ndash; a concept that&rsquo;s now known as frequency hopping. The concept would eventually provide the basis for the CDMA airlink, which Qualcomm first commercialized in 1995. Today, CDMA and its core principles provide the backbone for wireless communications, thanks to the creative vision of one extraordinary woman.
&ldquo;Films have a certain place in a certain time period, but technology is forever.&rdquo; - Hedy Lamarr

She was hot, smart and risque for her time (topless in a mainstream movie (in water)) in 1940.


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:25:16 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

You're correct, Sailboat-&nbsp; thanks!&nbsp; I typed those lists freehand and had a fingers-before-brain moment.&nbsp; I'll go back and fix it.

^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:25:16 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

How about Glenn Welbrock of VZ? &nbsp;He is they key to making Elby's vision actually happen.

He has made more than one vendor's fortunes by strategic decisions about suppliers. &nbsp;His crew leads the work on evaluating what comes next with world record results in 100gig, 400g, Terabit.... dynamic spectrum allocation, adaptive modulation.....etc.

I would say he has had a longer / larger effect on the network than one or two of those on your list.

How about Koley from Google: architected their network and changed how we do networks.

Another I think would be interesting to include would be A. V. Krishnamoorthy from Oracle. I think the work he is doing might change the future. &nbsp;&nbsp;


^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 5:25:17 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame


I believe Ed W. was with ATT pre break up, Southwestern Bell, SWBC, SBC, then ATT as the Baby Bell bought up many of its former siblings and eventually absorbing its parent. &nbsp;I don't think he was ever with VZ.


DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:25:19 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

This is cool because we can get a clear visual view of who are making it in the top five. There are some interesting submissions via www.lightreading.com/leadingli..., too. Don't forget that way of letting us know who we've left off.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:25:20 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

Also, when you take the poll, you'll see "100%" for all the responses -- which is technically correct but not very useful, I know.&nbsp; SurveyGizmo needs time to tabulate the results in this kind of "ranking" poll, so we'll find ways to keep you updated on how the voting is going.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:25:21 PM
re: Vote for LR's Hall of Fame

For reference, here are the 11 previous Hall of Famers.

Keep in mind, the HoF celebrates the infamous as well as the famous -- hence the inclusion of Dowidar, who turned off cellular and Internet service during the 2011 protests.&nbsp; Just something to consider when ranking the candidates.

Kobi Alexander, Comverse
John Cioffi , Stanford/Amati/Assia
Bernie Ebbers, MCI/UUnet
Craig McCaw, McCaw Cellular/Clearwire
Bob Metcalfe, ex-Xerox PARC

Ed Whitacre, AT&amp;T
Joseph Nacchio, Qwest
Hatem Dowidar, Vodafone Egypt
Martin Cooper, Motorola
Gary Smith, Ciena
Steve Jobs, Apple

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