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:
- It allows readers to show support for multiple candidates, allowing for a wider, more statistically accurate sampling of opinions
- 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