The following luminaries took part in D7, May 26 to 28, 2009. Read and watch what they had to say at our D7 Conference Web site.
Azoff is one of the music industry's behind-the-scenes movers and shakers. From his earliest days of promoting and booking bands at the University of Illinois, he has been an agent, personal manager, concert promoter, movie producer, independent record label owner, merchandiser, music publisher and record company CEO. Now running the world's biggest entertainment ticketing company, Azoff still heads one of the largest music management companies and is personal manager to the Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Neil Diamond, Van Halen and Steely Dan. In other words, he can get you good seats.
As the leader of the Mozilla Project, Baker has been responsible for organizing and motivating a massive, worldwide collective of employees and volunteers who are behind the open-source Firefox Web browser. Baker has been general manager of the Mozilla project since 1999, helping shape the license under which Netscape's source code was released. In 2003, she became president and founder of the Mozilla Foundation, and in 2005, she led the creation of Mozilla Corp. Though a lawyer by training, she is obviously a geek.
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.
Carol Bartz has walked into a biggest fix-it job ever at one of the Internet's most iconic companies, after a long career in Silicon Valley. Previous to taking over at Yahoo, she turned around Autodesk and was with the company for 14 years. Bartz did stints at Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corporation and 3M Corporation. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, NetApp and the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology. Like Ballmer, with whom she apparently talks occasionally, Bartz is not known as being shy about expressing her opinions.
Chairman of HDNet and Owner
Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures
In September 2001, Mark Cuban launched HDNet, a provider of high-definition news, entertainment and sports programming. Cuban started his own computer consulting firm, MicroSolutions soon after college, which he later sold to CompuServe. In 1995, Cuban and his partner Todd Wagner co-founded Broadcast.com, an Internet service that provided streaming audio and video of live news, radio, television and sporting events. Broadcast.com went public, and was then purchased by Yahoo in 1999, making Cuban one of the wealthiest people in the country. In January of 2000, Cuban used all those bucks to buy the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise, becoming the only owner in team sports to encourage fan interaction through email on his own personal computer. He has also partnered once again with Wagner to create 2929 Entertainment, a holding company that owns 100 percent of Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures Distribution, and Rysher Entertainment, and holds a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment. He is not known as a quiet man.
Playwright and Founder
As founder of a global movement to end violence against women and girls, Ensler is focused on human rights issues across the world and has raised over $70 million. She is best known as the author of "The Vagina Monologues," which has been translated into over 45 languages and performed in over 120 countries,V-Day movement has raised over $70 million dollars. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001 and Marie Claire's "Top Ten Charities" in 2006. The latest V-Day campaign, in partnership with UNICEF, is aimed at calling attention to the wide-scale atrocities committed against women and girls in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo--a place where hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped. She is also currently working on a film adaptation of her play, "Necessary Targets," with National Geographic, Independent Features. Ensler, as you might imagine, has a lot to say, and you should listen.
Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post
Huffington is a media phenom of the digital age. A nationally syndicated columnist, author of 12 books, co-host of the "Left, Right & Center" radio show and a frequent guest on television shows, she also throws a lot of networking parties at her Los Angeles home. Huffington was a blog pioneer too, launching the Huffington Post in 2005 to much derision. But the site quickly became one of the most widely read, linked to and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. Originally from Greece, Huffington moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She, obviously, also is not a wallflower.
Simply put, Kallasvuo runs the world's largest mobile phone maker (with roughly a 40 percent share) and one of the top few tech companies in Europe. He joined Nokia in 1980 as corporate counsel, ran Nokia Americas, was CFO, COO and was in charge of the company's mobile phone products. Prior to joining Nokia, he held a variety of positions with the Union Bank of Finland.
Mike Lazaridis is one of the key executives affiliated with the rise of the famed BlackBerry. While BlackBerry has become a staple of corporate communications, the past few years have been hard on Research In Motion, which has been slow to compete with more full-featured smartphone devices, especially Apple's iPhone and Android from Google. We'll ask him what happened and look forward to the future evolution of BlackBerry, as well as RIM's foray into the tablet game with its PlayBook, and how he will stop an eroding market share for the company. Mr. Lazaridis holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Waterloo in engineering, McMaster University, University of Windsor and Université Laval. He has been awarded Canada's most prestigious innovation prize: The Ernest C. Manning Principal Award.
As CEO of Mozilla, Lilly is responsible for guiding the product and organizational development efforts for Mozilla Corporation. Before becoming CEO, he was Mozilla's COO and focused primarily on day-to-day and international operations. Prior to his career at Mozilla, John was the founder, CTO and VP products of Reactivity, an XML Security company. He served as a senior scientist at Apple Computer's Research Labs, and has held positions at Trilogy Software, Sun Microsystems and HP, among other companies. Lilly is also on the board of the Open Source Application Foundation and Participatory Culture Foundation.
Liberty Media Corporation
Malone has been a cable legend since he first ran Tele-Communications Inc. back in the early 1970s. Besides being there at the founding of many channels, such as Discovery, his influence has put most of them on the map and his forceful business skills willed cable into becoming a key consumer medium for entertainment and news. Malone began his career in 1963 at Bell Telephone Laboratories, joined McKinsey & Company in 1968 and in 1970 he became Group Vice President at General Instrument. He is not shy about expressing his opinions either (see the pattern?).
Roger McNamee co-founded Elevation Partners in 2004, after a long career as an investor. He began his career in 1982 at T. Rowe Price Associates. In 1991, McNamee launched Integral Capital Partners, the first crossover fund, combining later stage venture capital with public market investments, in partnership with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 1999, he co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology businesses. Now with Elevation Partners, an investment partnership focused on the intersection of media and entertainment content and consumer technology, he's done it again, this time with Bono as a partner. He's the guy who decided to fund the revival of Palm, which is making a bet-the-company move to beat Apple, RIM and others in the handheld wars. Most importantly, though, McNamee plays guitar and bass in the band Moonalice.
Chief Digital Officer
In his new job, he is charged with driving the media giant's overall digital strategy with other operational heads at the company, while also directly overseeing the stand-alone digital businesses, including MySpace, IGN Entertainment, Photobucket, Jamba and the Hulu joint venture with NBC Universal and Disney. Before that, he was a founding partner at Velocity Interactive Group, an investment firm focusing on digital media and the consumer Internet space. And before that he was Chairman and CEO of online giant AOL. He's also worked at InterActive Corp., Viacom and NBA Entertainment. In other words, Miller has had a lot of Internet jobs.
Senior Vice President for Product Innovation
Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard
Jon Rubinstein has had a long history in the mobile market, both up and down. At Apple, he worked on the introduction of the iconic iPod. After he left, Rubinstein tried to compete with his former employer in creating the Palm and its webOS oper- ating system. That did not turn out so well, but with its new home inside Hewlett-Packard, Rubsinstein has another chance to prove himself. Will it work? As head of the Palm global business unit, Rubinstein was leading HP's efforts in the mobility space, responsible for webOS software development and related hardware products. Before joining Apple, Rubinstein worked at HP and NeXT, and found- ed his own company, Firepower Systems. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master's degree in computer science from Colorado State University.
Stephenson was appointed to the position in 2007, running the world's largest telecommunications company at a time when carriers are under assault from tech companies, and AT&T's gamble on the iPhone is paying off. Born in Oklahoma City, he is a longtime phone guy. He began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 and progressed through a series of leadership positions, including an assignment in Mexico City as SBC International's director of finance, overseeing SBC's ownership interest in Teléfonos de México. In 1996, he was named controller for SBC Communications.
Stone helped found things besides Twitter: Xanga, Blogger and Odeo. He worked for Google with Blogger. He once won a debate at Oxford Union.
Owen Van Natta
Owen Van Natta just got to the huge social networking site, so we can't start blaming him for its troubles for at least another week, even though he is responsible for all aspects of MySpace's strategic vision and execution of its global business initiatives. Before MySpace, he was CEO of Project Playlist, a music sharing Web site allowing users to search for music, create custom playlists share the content with friends, which is also embroiled in litigation with some music labels. Before that, Van Natta was a top and early executive at MySpace rival, Facebook, where he focused on revenue operations, business development, and strategic partnerships. And, before that, he managed global marketing programs and strategic partnerships at Amazon. In other words, Van Natta has had a lot of Internet jobs.
Weymouth has run Washington Post Media, a unit of The Washington Post Company that includes the Washington Post and washingtonpost.com, since last year. She has had a lot of jobs at the media giant, as part of getting ready to run its flagship brand. Weymouth earned college degree from Harvard in 1988 and graduated from Stanford Law School in 1992. Following law school, she clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for one year.
Co-Founder and CEO
Williams was raised on a farm in Nebraska, dropped out of college, was co-founder of Pyra Labs, which created Blogger and sold to Google.
Recently hired by Time Warner to reinvigorate its CNN cable news brand in a fast-changing environment, Jeff Zucker has worked everywhere in the TV sector, and specializes in how it creates and delivers its offerings in the future. As newly installed president of CNN Worldwide, he oversees 23 branded news and information businesses, including CNN’s U.S. television network, CNN International, HLN and CNN Digital. As president and CEO of NBC Universal, he headed up a global media and entertainment content company that included the NBC broadcast network and news division, and all of its cable entities, including MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Oxygen and Syfy. Zucker also ran the NBC Universal Television Group, and was president of the Entertainment, News & Cable Group and NBC Entertainment.