Each year, producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher invite an eclectic mix of the most creative, forward-thinking, insightful people in the digital world to be speakers at D. From founders to CEOs, from industry legends to brash young innovators, D brings together the people who are shaping the way we work, play, communicate and live.
D9 took place May 31-June 2, 2011. Here was the line-up of speakers:
Co-Founder and General Partner
Andreessen is one of the few to achieve the trifecta: pioneer a software category used by more than a billion people, establish multiple billion-dollar companies, and launch an influential venture capital company. He co-created the Mosaic Internet browser and co-founded Netscape, which later sold to AOL for $4.2 billion. He co-founded Loudcloud, which sold to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion. He is now a co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm with $1.2 billion to give away to technology companies. His Bachelor of Science degree in computer science is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where there is a plaque in his honor.
President and CEO
Apotheker is an international tech figure who is aiming to turn giant HP into a company that marries its hardware to its own operating system, webOS, which it acquired in buying Palm. This could make the company look more like Apple and less like Dell, at least in the consumer space. Prior to joining HP, Apotheker spent 20 years at SAP, where he was integral in helping build the company into one of the world's leading providers of enterprise software. He was also the founding president and COO of ECsoft BV, one of the largest European venture capital start-ups. Apotheker was born in Aachen, Germany and graduated with a B.A. in economics and international relations from Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is fluent in English, Dutch, French, German and Hebrew and has been awarded the French Légion d'honneur.
Returning to the D stage is Dick Costolo, who heads the micro- blogging company that has emerged as a key player on the global stage. Previously, as Twitter’s COO, he oversaw monetization and day-to-day operations. Prior to Twitter, Costolo was co-founder and CEO of FeedBurner, a digital content syndication platform that was acquired by Google in 2007. Before Google, he lived in Chicago, where he founded and ran two digital media companies: SpyOnIt, a Web page monitoring service, and Burning Door Networked Media, a Web design and development consulting company. He was also an improv performer with the acclaimed Annoyance Theater.
Ralph de la Vega
President and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets
De la Vega has led AT&T's wireless arm through years of exclusivity on the iPhone, accompanied by years of bad publicity about network performance. Now, he is the potential leader of a controversial merged carrier made up of AT&T and T-Mobile. A native of Cuba, he was formerly president of BellSouth Latin America, where he oversaw telecom for most of South and Central America. A stint at Cingular followed. Today, he leads all consumer marketing, sales, content, converged services and customer care for the company's wireless and wired businesses. He received his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Florida Atlantic University and his MBA from Northern Illinois University; he has also completed the Executive Program at the University of Virginia.
Creator, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Twitter
Expect a deep dive into what makes the future Web work with Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, who is someone breaking new ground as he tears down old digital paradigms. With Twitter, Dorsey redefined the real-time world and how the virtual one communicates; with Square, he is upending the payments arena, even as others try to upend him.
Regina E. Dugan
Regular D attendees will certainly remember Regina Dugan, who riveted the crowd at D9 with stories of Mach 20 airplanes and other cloak-and-dagger tech. A technogeek who has been widely recognized for her leadership in innovation and technology development, Dugan leads Motorola Mobility’s Advanced Technology & Projects group, a skunkworks-inspired team chartered to deliver breakthrough innovations. She was the first woman to lead the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the principal agency within the Department of Defense for research, ￼development and demonstration of high-risk, high-payoff capabilities for the current and future combat force. The co-author of “Engineering Thermodynamics,” Dugan also co-founded and heads a niche investment firm.
President and CEO
Stephen Elop joined Nokia as president and chief executive officer as of Sept. 21, 2010. He joined the company’s board of Directors in May 2011. Previously, Elop served as president of Microsoft’s Business Division, and was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team responsible for overall strategy. Before that, he was chief operating officer of Juniper Networks, a leading provider of high-performance network infrastructure; he also served as president of worldwide field operations of Adobe Systems Inc., which he joined following the 2005 acquisition of Macromedia Inc., where he was president and CEO.
He grew up in Ancaster, Canada, and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and management from McMaster University, where he was subsequently awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. In his spare time, he enjoys his family and the many sports pursued by his five children.
Elop’s first mobile "phone" was a fake antenna that attached to his old Subaru that made it look like he had a phone. (His first real cellphone was a pocket-able Nokia.) He knows Morse code, thanks to his grandfather, who was a HAM radio operator in Canada — he was also one of the people who inspired Elop’s love of technology.
Co-Founder and CEO
Hastings co-founded Netflix as a DVD rental-by-mail company in 1997. In 2002, Netflix went public, and in 2003, Netflix reached 1 million subscribers. Thanks to streaming content over the Internet, Netflix now has over 20 million subscribers. Earlier in his career, in 1991, he founded Pure Software, which made tools for Unix software developers. He built Pure into one of the world's 50 largest public software companies before selling it to Rational Software in 1997. Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MSCS in AI degree from Stanford University. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland. That may have been an easier task than his current one: dealing with media and cable companies who fear disruptive change.
Robert A. Iger
President and CEO
The Walt Disney Company
Iger has served as president and chief executive officer at Disney for several years, having previously served as president and chief operating officer, president of Walt Disney International, and Chairman of ABC. Prior to putting on the mouse ears, Iger held a series of increasingly responsible positions at ABC, Inc. and its predecessor Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., culminating in service as president of the ABC Network Television Group and then president and chief operating officer of ABC, Inc. He keeps a hand in the non-mickey mouse arena by sitting on the Board of Directors of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.
Chairman and CEO
We are asking Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma onstage to talk more about his efforts to make the company a powerhouse in China and elsewhere. His recent bare-knuckled fight with Yahoo over Alipay, as he has built a wide-ranging Internet giant, should make for an interesting interview.
Founder and CEO
Andrew Mason is the founder and CEO of Groupon, which has been called "America's Best Website" by one of their own television commercials. Andrew has been using his fingers since an early age, most recently to type this biography. A Northwestern University graduate in music, Mason's achievements date back to his 8th grade wrestling Rookie of the Year trophy at Mt. Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh. Andrew considers himself an online enthusiast and man.
President and CEO
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Narayen has shepherded several large projects for Adobe, including the $1.8 billion acquisition of Omniture and the $3.4 billion acquisition of Macromedia. When he isn't buying other companies, and otherwise running Adobe, he works on integrating the company's trademark Flash technology into mobile platforms and dealing with the rise of the HTML5 standard. Before joining Adobe in 1998, Narayen was co-founder of Pictra, Inc., an early pioneer of digital photo sharing over the Internet. Prior to that, he served as director of desktop and collaboration products at Silicon Graphics, Inc. and held various senior management positions at Apple Computer, Inc., which is kind of ironic, given the ugly public feuding between the two companies of late. He holds a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering from Osmania University in India, a master's degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business.
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.
Executive in Residence at Harvard Business School
Returning to D is Steven Sinofsky, who left Microsoft earlier this year after running its flagship Windows franchise. (In fact, he demoed Windows 8 onstage in 2011.) As one of the software giant’s most high-profile execs, Sinofsky has always had a keen view of the entire tech landscape beyond Redmond. Sinofsky spent 23 years at Microsoft, where he managed the creation of Windows 8 and Surface, led development for Windows 7, and held various engineering and general management positions for ￼Microsoft Office. He also worked as Bill Gates’s technical assistant and, with co-author Marco Iansiti, wrote “One Strategy: Organization, Planning, and Decision Making.” He is now ensconced at Harvard Business School, and maintains a tech and management-focused blog called “Learning by Shipping.”