100 Most Influential People in IT

By Staff Reports  |  Posted 2008-04-04

100 Most Influential People in IT

The editorial staffs of eWEEK and sister publications CIO Insight and Baseline put their heads together to name the Top 100 Most Influential People in IT.

To come up with this year's list, we looked for people who not only had a tangible track record of IT success, but also have far-reaching influence, the ability to effect change and a deep level of engagement in developing emerging technologies.

For more on the top 25, check out eWEEK's slide show.

The last criteria is especially important, as we wanted to highlight the people who are on the leading edge of technology development-those who are shaping not only the products we use and the model by which they are delivered, but also the way in which we work.

100 Most Influential People in IT

title=Nos. 1-25}

1. Larry Ellison

CEO, Oracle

Ellison's plan to roll up the enterprise applications' space has shown no sign of slowing. Oracle has leveraged its strength in the data center to cement its status as one of the world's most important applications and middleware vendors. For more on Ellison's influence, click here.

2. Steve Jobs
CEO, Apple
Apple's influence is being increasingly felt in the enterprise.

3. Steve Ballmer
CEO, Microsoft
Microsoft has certainly had some challenges of late. Now, the company moves forward-with Ballmer at the helm.

4. Sam Palmisano
Chairman and CEO, IBM
Palmisano has positioned IBM to generate great returns in a mature market-by expanding internationally and finding opportunities in the enterprise applications' space.

5. Marissa Mayer
Vice president, search products and user experience, Google
Mayer oversees the way Google's search engine is constructed and how usable it is to people all over the world.

6. Jean-Philippe Courtois
President, Microsoft International, Microsoft
Courtois leads global sales, marketing and services for Microsoft International in more than 240 countries outside the
United States and Canada.

7. Joe Tucci
Chairman, president and CEO, EMC
Tucci is taking EMC on a trip beyond storage.

8. Mark Hurd
Chairman, president and CEO, Hewlett-Packard
Hurd has beefed up HP's software division and its services portfolio.

9. John Chambers
Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems
IP is increasingly becoming the channel by which all communication travels, and Cisco is providing not only the plumbing, but also the applications.

10. Larry Page & Sergey Brin
President of products and president of technology, respectively, Google

The founders of Google changed expectations for search engines, and now they're doing the same with a growing suite of applications that have paved the way for a top-down model of technology implementation.

11. John Johnson
CIO, Intel

Johnson undertook one of the world's largest mobile computing efforts: Some 85 percent of Intel employees are now free from their desktops, resulting in
double-digit productivity gains.

12. Kevin Turner
COO, Microsoft

The former Wal-Mart exec has succeeded as COO-while other outsiders have floundered in the role.

13. Ray Ozzie
Chief software architect, Microsoft

Outside Microsoft, Ozzie is known as the person responsible for the company's forward-thinking services' strategy. Within some quarters of Microsoft, he is known for building out the services' vision and platform, while letting other executives take credit.

14. Marc Benioff
CEO, Salesforce.com

Benioff was at the forefront of the SAAS (software as a service) revolution, and he continues to lead the charge.

15. Linus Torvalds
Developer, Linux Foundation

He developed Linux, which is arguably the first open-source app widely used in the enterprise, and his influence on the kernel continues to be felt on a day-to-day basis.

16. Jonathan Schwartz
President and CEO, Sun
Hitching his company's horse to open source, Schwartz is making sure the Sun doesn't set.

17. Jeff Bezos
Chairman and CEO, Amazon.com

Bezos is constantly evolving Amazon.com, from Web-based bookseller to uber-online retailer to cloud computing provider.

18. Michael Dell
CEO, Dell

Dell is back and ready to rumble in the enterprise space.

19. Barbara Desoer
CTO & COO, Bank of
Banks, mortgages and acquisitions all come together in her tech operations during a difficult economic time.

20. Diane Greene
President and CEO, VMware

Greene believed in virtualization when no one else did. Now she has to defend VMware's turf as virtualization becomes common wisdom.

21. Nandan Nilekani
Co-chairman, Infosys Technologies

Nilekani has been instrumental in making
India an IT force and is still coming on strong.

22. Mendel Rosenblum
Chief scientist, VMware

Rosenblum has enormous influence over the development of the hypervisor and is working on new areas for the company to explore.

23. Rob Carter
CIO, FedEx

Carter is widely considered the most innovative and effective CIO in the
United States.

24. Peter Weill
Director, Center for Information Systems Research

As the director and senior research scientist at CISR, a research group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Weill conducts research on the role and value of IT in the enterprise.

25. Henning Kagermann

SAP software is used at all the big companies, and Kagermann would like it to run at small and midsize companies, too. It was recently announced that Kagermann will share the post of CEO with Leo Apotheker. Kagermann plans to step down in 2009.

100 Most Influential People in IT

title=Nos. 26-50}

26. Bob Muglia
Senior vice president, Server and Tools Business, Microsoft

If Microsoft's launches of the 2008 versions of SQL Server, Visual Studio and Windows Server go well, the future is Muglia's.

27. Azim Premji
Chairman, Wipro Technologies

Premji has led Wipro, of
Bangalore, India, since 1966, when it was a cooking fat company. Today, Wipro has $5 billion in revenue and it provides IT services via a global delivery platform.

28. Scott Guthrie
Corporate vice president, .Net Developer Platform, Microsoft

Guthrie oversees several development teams responsible for delivering Visual Studio tools and .Net Framework technologies.

29. Eva Chen
CEO, Trend Micro

Under Chen's leadership, Trend Micro continues to engineer security software that outperforms the competitions.

30. Brendan Eich
CTO, Mozilla Corp.

Eich helps ensure that the browser is up to the task of acting as the operating system- running an increasing number of mission-critical enterprise applications in the cloud.

31. John Halamka
CIO, CareGroup Health System, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Clinical Research Institute

In addition to his CIO role, Dr. Halamka serves as an e-health adviser to both Microsoft and Google.

32. Paul Otellini
President and CEO, Intel

Otellini has helped get Intel back on track as the top producer of x86 processors for servers, desktops and laptops after struggling against Advanced Micro Devices for years.

33. Rollin Ford
CIO, Wal-Mart

The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, sets technology direction.

34. Steve Mills
Senior vice president and group executive, IBM

Mills oversees all of IBM's software efforts.

35. Tim Berners-Lee
Director, World Wide Web Consortium

The inventor of the Web-and the man who's envisioning its future with the Semantic Web.

36. Kevin Martin
Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

Martin sets the telecommunications agenda, with his influence keenly felt lately around spectrum and net neutrality issues.

37. Michael Howard
Principal security program manager, Microsoft

Howard is co-author of Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle. His influence is so significant that companies outside of Microsoft are implementing their own versions of SDL.

38. Andrew McAfee
Associate professor,
Harvard Business School
McAfee is a torchbearer for the emerging
Enterprise 2.0 market.

39. Nicholas Negroponte
Founder, One Laptop Per Child

Negroponte, also founder and chairman emeritus of MIT's Media Lab, rocked the IT industry with the introduction of the XO-as much for the laptop's technology innovations as for the project's philanthropic spirit.

40. Mark Zuckerberg
Founder, Facebook

The 23-year-old Zuckerberg stole the social networking crown from MySpace and has built a thriving community of third-party developers.

41. Elizabeth Hight
Navy rear admiral, vice director, Defense Information Systems Agency

Nominated to take over DISA, Hight is also commander of the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations-a big job any time, but really tough during wartime.

42. Jack Ma Yun
CEO, Alibaba

His Alibaba efforts-an English-language
business-to-business site for international buyers looking to contact Chinese sellers and a Chinese language site focused on B2B trades inside China-lead China's burgeoning e-commerce market.

43. Window Snyder
Chief security something or other, Mozilla

A former Microsoft security strategist, Snyder borrowed a page from
Redmond's playbook and introduced a comprehensive threat-modeling and penetration-testing routine to Mozilla.

44. Robert LeBlanc
General manager, IBM Global Consulting Services and SOA

LeBlanc is leading the all-important SOA charge at IBM.

45. Marc Andreessen

Co-author of Mosaic, co-founder of Netscape, chairman of Opsware and now co-founder of Ning, an up-and-coming social network platform. We're starting to lose track of Andreessen's many tech lives-and wide-ranging influence.

46. Tony Scott
CIO, Microsoft

Scott oversees Microsoft's 4,000-person IT operation, whose practice of "eating its own dog food" makes Scott an early indicator of whether new products are ready for enterprise consumption.

47. Randall Stephenson
Chairman, AT&T

Back from being broken up, AT&T is now calling the shots for a mobile world.

48. Ralph Szygenda
CIO, General Motors

Still the general of CIOs, but his company is challenged.

49. Marc Tremblay
Sun fellow, senior vice president and chief architect of microelectronics, Sun Microsystems

Tremblay helped develop the UltraSPARC family of processors and now the "Rock," a processor set for release in 2009 designed with parallel computing in mind.

50. Mark Lewis
President, Content Management and Archiving Division, EMC

Previously EMC CTO, Lewis leads the division that helps companies create value from all the data EMC technology stores.

100 Most Influential People in IT

title=Nos. 51-75}

51. Michal Zalewski
Information security engineer, Google

Before joining the search company, Zalewski launched an all-out assault on the security models of modern Web browsers, exposing critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Firefox. His public disclosure of those flaws went a long way toward hardening the browsers.

52. David Barnes
CIO, United Parcel Service

Barnes is getting real efficient with the UPS fleet.

53. John Pescatore
Vice president and research fellow, Gartner
In many ways, Pescatore's work determines enterprise spending at a very high level, influencing the delivery of Internet-facing products.

54. Robert Samson
Vice president, Worldwide Systems Sales, Systems and Technology Group, IBM

Samson is responsible for worldwide sales of IBM's servers and storage products, as well as retail store solutions.

55. Faisal Hoque
Founder, Business Technology Management Institute

Hoque champions a form of management science called Business Technology Management, which aims to ensure that sustainable business value can be delivered through technology.

56. Bob Willett
CIO and CEO, Best Buy and Best Buy International

Willett is a forerunner of what we call "the hollowing of big IT"-where IT organizations of the future will be composed of managers and analysts with most specialty work outsourced.

57. Jimmy Wales
Founder, Wikia

Co-founder of that fount of shared knowledge, Wikipedia,
Wales is now looking to apply the wiki model to search with Wikia Search.

58. Bruce Schneier
CTO, BT Counterpane

Schneier is a leading cryptology expert and a voice for common sense in security policy.

59. Charles Phillips
President, Oracle
Larry Ellison makes the plans, and Phillips has to fuse his boss' big thoughts with reality.

60. Stefan Esser
Security researcher

Esser's "Month of PHP Bugs" project thoroughly exposed the insecure nature of the widely deployed PHP language and forced a rethink of security in the open-source world.

61. Martin Roesch
CTO, Sourcefire

The inventor of the open-source Snort, Roesch is a noted expert in the area of intrusion prevention technology.

62. Ann Livermore
Executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group, Hewlett-Packard

Livermore has tremendous influence over the types of products HP offers its enterprise customers, as well as the small and midsize companies HP has begun to pursue.

63. John Doerr
Venture capitalist, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

In tech, it's all about making the right venture capital bets.

64. Angela Merkel
Chancellor, Germany

The first female chancellor of Germany, Merkel is a physicist by training and has the strongest understanding of technology of any world leader.

65. Ravi Marwaha
General manager, IBM Global Business Partners

The partner program Marwaha oversees actively networks with solution providers from different disciplines to develop innovative solutions that solve real-world customer problems.

66. John Glaser
CIO, Partners HealthCare

Leader in the strategic application of IT in the health care industry.

67. Bill Hilf
Director of platform strategy, Microsoft

Hilf is a key player in Microsoft's evolving strategy to reach out to the open-source community.

68. Mark Shuttleworth
CEO, Canonical

The leader of the Ubuntu distribution is mainstreaming Linux on the desktop.

69. Randy Mott
CIO, Hewlett-Packard

Formerly CIO at Wal-Mart and Dell, Mott is responsible for HP's IT strategy and assets.

70. Thomas Davenport

"Competing on Analytics" is an important book at a time when business intelligence is in its ascendancy.

71. Gary Hamel

His ideas in "The Future of Management" validate and expound new ways of working and using IT.

72. Simon Crosby
CTO, XenSource

Crosby is a leading proponent of open-source virtualization with the Xen hypervisor. (XenSource was acquired by Citrix in 2007.)

73. Edward Markey
U.S. Representative, D-Mass.

Markey serves as the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunication and the Internet, and is a major advocate for net neutrality.

74. Ross Mayfield
Co-founder, SocialText

As SocialText's chairman and president, and former CEO, Mayfield is a thought leader in the burgeoning Web 2.0 collaboration software market.

75. Stan Shih
Chairman, Acer

Shih started Acer-which snapped up Gateway in 2007-and is still the company's top tech visionary.

100 Most Influential People in IT

title=Nos. 76-100}

76. Desh Deshpande
Deshpande Center, MIT School of Engineering
From financial flop to billionaire to a new way of developing tech startups.

77. Edward Amoroso

The chief information security officer at AT&T, Amoroso is a pioneer of security in the cloud.

78. Padmasree Warrior
CTO, Cisco

Formerly of Motorola, Warrior plays a key role in the development of Cisco technology.

79. Mark Olsen
Chairman, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

Olsen and the PCAOB are charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with setting the standards for and enforcement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

80. Mary Lou Jepsen
Founder, Pixel Qi

As CTO of the OLPC, Jepsen introduced innovative display technologies. Now she's applying that experience at her Pixel Qi startup, which will build components for low-cost information devices.

81. Adeo Ressi
Founder, Thefunded.com
Ressi has built a huge following for his ratings of venture capitalists and his recounting of how they treat would-be entrepreneurs.

82. Bronwen Matthews
Security program manager, Microsoft

Matthews controls the budget for outside hacking teams hired to break Microsoft's products.

83. Akash Saraf
CEO, Zenith InfoTech

Rather than setting up yet another boutique managed services offering, Saraf built a massive hosting infrastructure in India to deliver affordable managed services that resellers in the United States could brand as their own.

84. Chris Wysopal CTO, Veracode
Wysopal is a poster boy for hackers made good.

85. Lawrence Lessig
Founder, Center for Internet and Society

With his Change Congress Web site, Lessig's goal is to reduce corruption and the influence of money in politics. Lessig is also an advocate for reduced legal restrictions on the radio spectrum and the creator of Creative Commons license.

86. Patricia Curley
CIO, The Kraft Group

Tasked with managing the technology that keeps the New England Patriots humming, Curley also oversees IT for the New England Revolution soccer team and Gillette Stadium.

87. Jim Collins

"Good to Great" is the most popular and influential book among CIOs.

88. Edward Felten
Computer security and privacy and technology policy researcher,
Princeton University

Felten is shining a spotlight on the intersection of public policy and privacy.

89. Evan Williams
Founder, Twitter

Williams asked the question, "What are you doing right now?" and changed the way we communicate in the process.

90. Matt Mullenweg
Co-founder, WordPress

The 24-year-old Mullenweg is a pioneer of the open-source blog.

91. Alan Kay
A computer science legend, Kay's most recent work has been with the OLPC, whose XO laptop is based in part on his innovations.

92. Ivan Krstic
Former director of security, OLPC

Krstic, who left the OLPC in March, created the innovative Bitfrost security architecture for the XO. If Bitfrost proves itself on the XO, it will influence anti-malware security on mainstream operating systems.

93. Nicholas Carr

Carr shook up the industry by saying that IT doesn't matter. Agree or not, his ideas continue to shape the way that organizations look at the IT department.

94. Tavis Ormandy
Information security engineer, Google

Ormandy, one of the most visible hackers/researchers on the Google Security Team, faces the unenviable responsibility of making sure all of Google's products pass the security smell test.

95. Mark Spencer
Chairman and CTO, Digium

Spencer founded Asterisk and the open-source telephony movement.

96. Dave Winer
Software developer and entrepreneur

Winer is the developer of RSS.

97. Thornton May
Florida Community College
, IT Leadership Academy
May is a noted technology futurist.

98. William
Lead member of technical staff, AT&T Labs

Cheswick continues to innovate in the area of communications research.

99. Chris Anderson

Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, proffered the notion of the niche in his book, "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More."

100. Ben Bernanke
Chairman, Federal Reserve Board

No one will have a bigger impact on the fate of the nation's banks and financial services companies, interest rates, or access to credit.


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