The following luminaries took part in D5, May 29 to 31, 2007. Read and watch what they had to say in our D5 Conference web site.
The name Bill Gates has long been synonymous with the technology industry. But, in about a month, he will step away from his day-to-day job at Microsoft, the company he founded. While remaining as Microsoft's chairman, Mr. Gates will devote much more of his time to the world- renowned charitable foundation he runs with his wife, Melinda French Gates. He leaves a company of enormous size and wealth, one that retains the near-monopoly he built in PC operating systems and Office suites, while struggling to compete with Google in search, advertising and Web applications; and with Apple in music and video devices and services. He also leaves a legacy as the person who, in the words of longtime rival Steve Jobs at D5 last year, was the first to recognize the potential of building a pure PC software company.
Ballmer is CEO of Microsoft Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of software for personal and business computing. He joined Microsoft in 1980, the first business manager hired by his former classmate at Harvard, Bill Gates. Variously described as ebullient, focused, hard-charging and energetic, Ballmer grew up near Detroit, where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. After Harvard, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble, as an assistant product manager, after which he attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He did not create a startup in his garage while there, but he has done well nonetheless.
You must turn in your geek and movie credentials if you don't know about George Lucas, one of the most successful and influential moviemakers of all time, and the leading advocate of digital cinema. His early combination of cutting-edge technology and filmmaking, along with mythic storytelling, has been groundbreaking. Lucas's first hit was the low-budget 1973 classic "American Graffiti." Then, in 1977, he offered the world "Star Wars," and nerds have never recovered. A morality tale of good versus evil told across a fantastic landscape of exotic planets and bizarre creatures, the huge hit garnered a clutch of Oscars, spawned a genre and many sequels, some better than others. He later created the classic adventure "Indiana Jones," and co-wrote and executive-produced the successful "Raiders of the Lost Ark" series, which got him another bunch of Oscars. A new "Raiders" sequel is coming next summer. (He also made "Howard the Duck," but we're going to ignore that.) All of his entertainment work inspired Mr. Lucas to create his own visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, which is the industry leader, delivering such movie creations as the scary dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park"; the fantasy worlds of the "Harry Potter" films; and the marauding pirates in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.
Since joining Google in 2001, Eric Schmidt has helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology.
As executive chairman, he is responsible for the external matters of Google: Building partnerships and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership, as well as advising the CEO and senior leadership on business and policy issues. From 2001-2011, he served as Google’s chief executive officer.
Prior to joining Google, Schmidt held leadership roles at Novell and Sun Microsystems Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Chairman and CEO
Case launched Revolution, a company that seeks to drive transformative change by shifting power to consumers, in April 2005. Revolution's mission is to partner with entrepreneurs in building businesses that give people more choice, control and convenience in important areas of their lives such as health, wellness and recreation. Prior to starting Revolution, Case was the chairman and CEO of America Online, Inc., and later, the chairman of AOL Time Warner. He is the man who brought the world the immortal phrase "You've got mail."
Chairman and CEO
John Chambers helped grow Cisco from $70 million in 1991 when he joined to revenue of $46 billion this past year. The company has struggled with a number of recent consumer efforts, even as it has been shifting its focus to the cloud and pushing the idea of the “Internet of Everything.” Before Cisco, he worked at Wang Laboratories and IBM.
President and CEO
As president and chief executive officer of CBS, Les Moonves oversees all operations of the company, including the CBS Television Network, the CW (a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros.), CBS Television Stations, CBS Paramount Network Television, CBS Television Distribution Group, Showtime, CBS Radio, CBS Records, CBS Outdoor, Simon & Schuster, CBS Interactive, CSTV Networks, Inc., CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment and CBS Feature Films. That's a lot of CBS's, all of which must move fast-forward into the digital arena to thrive. Prior to the Viacom separation in 2005, Moonves served as co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom and chairman of CBS, overseeing all of Viacom's domestic and international broadcast television operations, its radio division and outdoor advertising operations. He joined CBS from Warner Bros. Television, where he served as president, and was also an executive at 20th Century Fox Television. And, best of all, the graduate of Bucknell University also pursued an acting career early on.
Chairman and CEO
In 2002, Ann Moore took over at the legendary magazine company, which publishes approximately 150 magazines (you might have heard of Time, Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated) read more than 300 million times worldwide on a monthly basis, accounting for nearly a quarter of total advertising revenues of U.S. consumer magazines. Despite its power, the publisher is still playing catch-up in the digital arena, after its disastrous Pathfinder service and especially after the nightmare merger with AOL in 2000. It is still casting about for a cogent strategy to translate its huge trove of content into influential digital products and Ms. Moore recently made major cuts at the company and refocused it more toward pursuing Internet opportunities. A native of McLean, Virginia, she graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1971 and received her master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1978. She joined Time Inc. later that year, which was her first job.
The Chernin Group and Chernin Entertainment
Peter Chernin is one of Hollywood’s top players and execs. The former senior News Corp. exec is now a movie producer — his first effort “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a big hit. But he’s also been increasingly active in media investing in Asia of late and has a lot to say about the global nature of entertainment in the digital age.
Chad Hurley is the other half of the dynamic duo of YouTube, one of the most highly trafficked Web sites, serving billions of videos around the world, and which was acquired by search giant Google for $1.65 billion this past year. As CEO, his responsibilities include oversight of business development, marketing and operations for the company; he also created the interface and designed YouTube's logo. While Mr. Hurley says his overall vision for the service is to keep the process of watching and sharing video effortless for everyone, some major media companies are not as thrilled with the idea because of content piracy concerns. Prior to YouTube, he was the first user interface designer at PayPal, where he designed the first PayPal logo. Mr. Hurley received a bachelor's degree in fine art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Steve Chen is one-half of the YouTube guys, who were acquired by the Google guys for $1.65 billion this past year, even though the company was only founded in 2005. As chief technology officer, he was trying to provide a more simple way to share videos online and his efforts took off in a viral explosion. He oversees all areas of both engi- neering and product development for YouTube, including managing site operations and developing features and services. He will also have to fend off attacks from powerful media companies, who are aiming at YouTube's technology because of copyright infringement issues, even as they try to take advantage of its powerful growth. Before YouTube, Mr. Chen was one of the first product engineers at PayPal. He studied computer science at the University of Illinois.
President and CEO
Viacom is home to several well-known channels -- Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, etc. – owns Paramount Pictures, and operates multiple properties for entertainment, community and casual online gaming. Prior to running Viacom, Dauman was CEO of a private equity firm specializing in media and telecommunications investments, and before that he held several positions at Viacom. His board memberships are wide ranging, including education in under-served communities; arts and entertainment; healthcare; and the law. He received his BA from Yale and his law degree from Columbia.
United States Senator
Sen. John McCain, who is currently seeking the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, has represented Arizona in Congress for 25 years and is widely known as a critic of government waste, a proponent of campaign reform and a paragon of candor (at least for a politician.) More recently, he has become strongly identified as a fervent advocate for remaining in Iraq, arguing that the war can be won with the proper resources and strategy. This has been a highly controversial position, even among some Republicans. Sen. McCain, a hero in Vietnam for his courage in brutal conditions as a prisoner of war, also knows a good deal about government policy toward telecommunications, including some Internet issues, through his service on the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees government policy in these areas. He served as chairman of the committee from 1997 to 2001 and 2003 to 2005. He is currently the ranking minority member of the panel.
Intentional Software and space tourist
As if managing the development of Microsoft Word and Excel in the 1980?s wasn't a good enough item for his resume, Charles Simonyi has just made a trip to, uh, outer space. Yes, he is one of the first space tourists, having spent 11 days on board the International Space Station just last month. He will tell us all about it. Mr. Simonyi, a D regular, is co-founder of Intentional Software. He was hired by Microsoft in 1981, where he hired and managed teams that developed Microsoft Multiplan, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and other best-selling software applications. Born in Budapest, Hungary, he earned his bachelor's degree in engineering mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University. Mr. Simonyi is an avid collector of modern art, enjoys classical music and is an experienced pilot.
Jill Sobule belongs to a rare breed of artists. Her work is at once deeply personal and socially conscious, seriously funny and derisively tragic. Over five albums and a decade of recording, the Denver-born songwriter/guitarist/ singer has tackled such topics as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting, reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence and the Christian right. Did we mention love? Love found, love lost, love wished for and love taken away. She has recorded five albums, and achieved a national top-20 hit with "I Kissed A Girl." She has also performed on NPR and at the brilliant TED conferences produced by Richard Saul Wurman.