Celebrating Black History in Technology

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Celebrating Black History in Technology

by Darryl Taft

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Celebrating Black History in Technology

In commemoration of Black History Month, eWEEK has decided to identify a group of African-Americans—and one African—that has gained achievement in the technology industry. As far as company representation, IBM has seven of its employees on the list, while Microsoft has only two. In addition to the roles African-Americans have played at IBM and Google, eWEEK has included the founders of small startups and other entrepreneurs.

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IBM Senior VP Rodney Adkins

Rod Adkins leads all of IBM's global server and storage systems hardware and software development. He also leads the microelectronics business, which includes semiconductor process technology development and semiconductor manufacturing operations for microprocessors and application-specific integrated circuits used by IBM and its OEM clients.

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Delta Airlines CIO Shirley Bridges

Shirley Bridges is CIO for Delta Airlines and serves as president and Chief Executive Officer for Delta Technology in Atlanta. Bridges is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of Delta's wholly owned subsidiary, Delta Technology. The company, comprising approximately 1,800 people under Bridges' direction, oversees all of the airline's information technology solutions development and support, including the award-winning Delta Nervous System.

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Xerox President Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns has been president of Xerox and a board member since 2007. Burns is responsible for the company's global research, development, engineering, marketing and manufacturing of Xerox technology, supplies and related services. She also oversees Global Accounts, Information Management, Corporate Strategy, Human Resources and Ethics, and Marketing Operations. Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern.

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IBM Fellow and VP Mark Dean

Mark Dean is vice president of Technical Strategy and Worldwide Operations for IBM Research. In this role, Dean is responsible for setting the direction of IBM's overall research strategy across eight worldwide labs and leading the global operations and information systems teams. He has developed all types of computer systems, from embedded systems to supercomputers, including testing of the first gigahertz CMOS microprocessor, and establishing the team that developed the Blue Gene supercomputer. One of his inventions, the ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) "bus," which permitted add-on devices such as the keyboard, disk drives and printers to be connected to the motherboard, earned him election to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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Head of Microsoft Africa Cheick Diarra

As the chairman for Africa at Microsoft since April 2006, Cheick Diarra is responsible for the company's broad-scale citizenship, education and developmental activities on the continent. In his view, Africa is one of the last frontiers where challenges and opportunities abound in the spheres of education, health, technology, production and infrastructure.

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Google Senior VP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond

David Drummond joined Google in 2002, initially as vice president of corporate development. Today as senior vice president and chief legal officer, he leads Google's global teams for legal, government relations, corporate development (M&A and investment projects) and new business development (strategic partnerships and licensing opportunities).

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Microsoft Corporate VP Melvin Flowers

As the corporate vice president of Internal Audit at Microsoft, Melvin Flowers oversees the Internal Audit Department and Financial Integrity Unit with the principal charge of ensuring that management has designed and implemented sound internal controls of compliance and business ethics.

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Gold Risk Management Founder Andre Gold

Andr??« Gold is founder of Gold Risk Management, a strategic, risk management firm. Prior to establishing GRM, Gold served as vice president and head of Security and Risk Management for ING. In this role, he was responsible for Information and Operation Security, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuance, as well as IT Controls and Governance. Gold also served as Chief Information Security Officer at Continental Airlines, and director of Internet Services and Infrastructure at Continental Airlines.

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Sony Ericsson Director of Business Infrastructure Michelle Greene

During April 2008, Greene relocated back to Raleigh, N.C., after living in Malmo, Sweden, for more than three years. In January 2008, she was promoted to director of Business Infrastructure for Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. In this new role she manages the Business Infrastructure organization within Corporate Information Technology. Her areas of responsibility include IT Facilities and Data Centers, Client and Server Operations, Network Services, IT Security, Monitoring Solutions and Enterprise Services.

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IBM CTO of SOA Kerrie Holley

IBM Fellow Kerrie Holley is responsible for an IBM Worldwide SOA Center of Excellence. Holley has a degree in mathematics and a Juris Doctorate from DePaul University. He is a co-inventor of the Service Oriented Modeling Architecture, or SOMA, and the Service Integration Maturity Model, or SIMM.

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Purewire Co-Founder and CTO Paul Judge

Paul Judge is an accomplished technologist, noted scholar and successful entrepreneur. In 2007, he founded Judge Ventures, a privately held technology venture fund. Also in 2007, Judge Ventures made its first investment in Purewire, a Web security SAAS company that Judge co-founded and where he now serves as Chief Technology Officer. Since then, Purewire has been rapidly growing and is recognized as one of the hottest technology startups in the security industry.

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Google Engineering Director Marcus Mitchell

Marcus Mitchell is an engineering director in Google's New York engineering center in Manhattan. His main focus is Google Checkout, a new service that helps buyers and sellers safely conduct transactions on the Web. Before joining Google, Marcus was a vice president of Engineering at Plumtree Software, where he led development for search, collaboration, content publishing and business process management software for enterprises.

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Oracle President Chuck Phillips

Oracle President Charles Phillips is also a member of the company's board. Phillips joined Oracle in 2003. Before joining Oracle, Phillips worked at Morgan Stanley. Prior to Wall Street, Phillips served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps. Phillips holds a degree in Computer Science from the United States Air Force Academy, a law degree from New York Law School and an MBA from Hampton University.

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Startup Founder Window Snyder

Snyder was director of Security Architecture at @stake and was a senior security strategist at Microsoft in the Security Engineering and Communications organization, most notably as security lead and signoff on Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003. After leaving Microsoft in 2005, she worked as a principal, founder and CTO at Matasano Security. She joined Mozilla in September 2006. At the end of 2008, Snyder announced that she was leaving Mozilla to found a startup in the mobile platforms space. Snyder is the daughter of a Caucasian-American and a Kenyan-born mother.

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IBM Vice President Jim Stallings

Jim Stallings is general manager of Global Markets in IBM Systems and Technology Group, where he is responsible for setting and driving the global sales and go-to-market strategy for IBM's $21 billion hardware business unit. Prior to this role, Stallings was general manager of Enterprise Systems for the IBM Systems and Technology Group. He was responsible for delivering high-end server and storage offerings to IBM's largest enterprise clients worldwide.

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IBM Vice President of Cloud Computing Lauren States

As vice president of Cloud Computing at IBM, States leads a global team responsible for establishing market presence while driving overall Cloud and Utility computing strategies at IBM. Her team engages directly with early adopting customers to partner for joint success, delivering leading-edge capabilities to forerunners while integrating their requirements into IBM strategy, offerings and plans.

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Symantec CEO John Thompson

Symantec CEO John Thompson is also chairman of the company's board. Under Thompson's leadership, Symantec has grown from a small consumer software publisher to a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions. Through a combination of strategic acquisitions, strong technology partnerships and organic development, Symantec has grown to become the fourth-largest independent software company. With its broad portfolio of products and services, Symantec helps consumers and enterprise customers secure and manage their information assets.

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Acer Senior Director of Technical Alliances Kenn Walker

Walker is senior director of technical alliances and standards at computer maker Acer. Prior to this role, Walker served as chief technologist and senior director of software and imaging at Gateway, which Acer acquired in 2007. Walker also served as chairman and founder of Silicon Color, and as director of evangelism at SonicWALL. Walker has also held technology positions at Philips, Verano, Radius and Apple.

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IBM Master Inventor Ajamu Wesley

As senior technical staff member, Wesley is responsible for developing technical strategy and product offerings for Social Software within the Lotus Software Division. In this role, he provides technical leadership across a number of product development teams and is the technical advocate for numerous Fortune 500 customer accounts. Wesley is a lead architect for Lotus Connections. Wesley has 39 patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and 80 patents filed in the United States with more than 20 others filed in foreign patent offices.

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IBM General Manager of Tivoli Software Al Zollar

Al Zollar became general manager, Tivoli Software, in July 2004. He is responsible for the strategic direction and ongoing operations for the Tivoli software brand, which enables on demand computing environments by providing customers the ability to manage resources and risks, optimize human capital and manage service levels and business processes. Since joining IBM in 1977 as a systems engineer trainee in San Francisco, he has held numerous positions at Big Blue.