From the corporate boardroom to the enterprise data center, the 50 men and women on this list exercise power within the network industry to one degree or another. Some have the clout to sway the world's technology decisions, while others command attention within vertical industries, particular market segments or simply -- though not inconsequentially -- within their own organizational domains. We have ranked each of our 2004 power-brokers based on such stature, as well as on the person's visibility and the ways in which the person functions as a role model. To see how these 50 fit together, we've aligned them by category as well, from the titans to the standards-setters.
1. John Chambers, Cisco Systems
2. Bill Gates, Microsoft
3. Sam Palmisano, IBM
4. Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard
5. Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon Communications
6. Rhonda MacLean, Bank of America
7. Joe Tucci, EMC
8. John Thompson, Symantec
9. Kevin Rollins, Dell
10. Ed Whitacre, SBC Communications
11. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
12. Dave Dorman, AT&T
13. Charlie Giancarlo, Cisco
14. Larry Ellison, Oracle
15. Larry Jarvis, Fidelity Investments
16. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun Microsystems
17. Gary Forsee, Sprint
18. George Samenuk, McAfee
19. Fred Wettling, Network Applications Consortium
20. Laurie Tropiano, IBM
21. Paul Otellini, Intel
22. Hector Ruiz, Advanced Micro Devices
23. Scott MacGregor, Broadcom
24. Scott Kriens, Juniper Networks
25. Scott Griffin, The Boeing Co.
26. Michael Powell, U.S. Federal Communications Commission
27. Matthew Szulik, Red Hat
28. Ren Zheng Fei, Huawei Technologies
29. Alfred Chuang, BEA Systems
30. Don Peterson, Avaya
31. Michael Barrett, Liberty Alliance
32. Kirill Tatarinov, Microsoft
33. Shai Agassi, SAP
34. Steve Mills, IBM
35. Gary Bloom, Veritas Software
36. Paul Simmonds, Jericho Forum
37. Leslie Daigle, Internet Architecture Board
38. Eva Chen, Trend Micro
39. Amnon Landon, Mercury Interactive
40. Bill Owens, Nortel Networks
41. John Halamka, CareGroup
42. Jeffrey Citron, Vonage Holdings
43. Michael Capellas, MCI
44. Miguel de Icaza, Novell
45. Dick Cantwell, The Gillette Co.
46. Bob O'Hara, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 task group
47. John Swainson, Computer Associates International
48. KC Claffy, Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis
49. Johannes Ullrich, Internet Storm Center at SANS Institute
50. Eric Schmidt, Google
These 11 list-toppers lead the industry with their mighty get-it-done attitudes and sharp business plans. All are longtime industry veterans.
John Chambers, president and CEO, Cisco
If Chambers does nothing more, he commands customer loyalty. This is the fifth straight year, for example, that readers participating in our annual Powerometer survey named Chambers the most powerful man in the network industry. In 2005, watch for Chambers to battle far more aggressively than he has been against encroaching Chinese competitors, particularly Huawei Technologies.
Charlie Giancarlo, senior vice president and CTO, Cisco; president, Cisco-Linksys
Giancarlo's stature increased this year with his rise to the prestigious CTO position, from where he contributes to and communicates Cisco's technology strategy. At the same time, he continues overseeing Cisco's critical voice efforts and home network business. Among the many huge deals Giancarlo orchestrated in 2004 was one in which Verizon selected Cisco-Linksys gear for home network installs.
Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft
Ballmer never relents in his hardball tactics against Linux and the open source movement. In a recent speech before government officials in Singapore, for example, he asserted that Linux is loaded with patent-infringing code and that one day all nations petitioning for entry into the economic World Trade Organization will be subject to investigation on the matter. Whew!
Dave Dorman, chairman and CEO, AT&T
Does he want to sell AT&T or doesn't he? While the world contemplates that question, Dorman remains king of long-distance services and global data networking. As such, Dorman spent 2004 bolstering AT&T's attractiveness to enterprise network executives (or potential buyers). For example, Dorman oversaw the expansion of AT&T's Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network globally.
Larry Ellison, chairman and CEO, Oracle
With the drama of the Oracle/PeopleSoft battle ending in victory for Oracle, Ellison's industry power is clearly on the rise. His next challenge will be to quickly integrate PeopleSoft products to avoid a massive customer exodus, including the JD Edward products Oracle inherited with this US$10.3 billion acquisition.
Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO, HP
Highlights of Fiorina's year include several acquisitions aimed at strengthening HP's position in the evolving on-demand world. Among those now calling HP home are software management companies Consera Software and Novadigm. Look for Fiorina to spend 2005 emphasizing her message that HP isn't all about the hardware, but about those very profitable software products, too.
Gary Forsee, chairman and CEO, Sprint
No question about it. The Sprint/Nextel Communications merger announced Dec. 15 and expected to close in the second half of 2005 was the surprise move of the season. With Forsee slated to become president and CEO of the new company, his future industry power is assured.
Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect, Microsoft
The ultimate IT industry icon, Gates has an open invitation the world over to share his vision. Naturally, he casts Microsoft consumer and enterprise products in starring roles in his version of a sci-fi computer-centric future.
Sam Palmisano, chairman and CEO, IBM
As leader of the No. 1 company on the Network World 200, our annual ranking of the top 200 network vendors, Palmisano's influence is vast -- and not just in IT. His job gives him access to CEOs at leading companies worldwide. He's been known to chit-chat over leadership skills with the CEO elite crowd, even as he prowls for business.
Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO, Verizon
With an aggressive plan for expanding fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology in six new states, Seidenberg aims at turning the Baby Bell into a true competitor to the cable companies, for data and video. While Seidenberg will continue his unrelenting fight against regulatory control in 2005, he'll also push the edge on new enterprise offerings, from managed LAN and VoIP services to 3G.
Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO, SBC
At times overshadowed by Verizon's Seidenberg as the Bell CEO to watch, Whitacre has shown plenty of reasons this year why he deserves our attention. Under his leadership, SBC in 2004 orchestrated a US$100 million, 50,000-phone contract to create a managed VoIP network for Ford Motor Co., rolled out a hosted VPN service nationwide, and committed to invest US$6 billion in an FTTP initiative.
Movers and shakers
Our 17 movers & shakers have gains on the brain - in market share, IT savvy, respect and more.
Joe Tucci, president and CEO of EMC, is enjoying payoffs from his US$3.6 billion shopping spree in 2003 that netted his company Documentum, Legato Systems and VMware. Server virtualization specialist VMware has prospered with revenue of US$61 million for the most recent quarter, up more than 200 percent compared with a year earlier. Performances like that have turned EMC's financial doldrums into yesterday's news. Five consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth have trumped successive annual net losses of US$508 million and US$119 million in 2001 and 2002. This year, Tucci focused on small and midsize businesses by expanding EMC's partnership with Dell and overseeing the acquisition of Dantz Development, a suppler of back-up and recovery software. On the product development front, he championed manufacturing efficiencies. EMC's high-end Symmetrix storage arrays and midrange Clariion arrays today use many of the same disk drives and components to help keep down production costs.
Gary Bloom, chairman, president and CEO, Veritas Software
With the buyout of Veritas by Symantec for for US$13.5 billion announced Dec. 15, Bloom has helped his new employer, Symantec, become a US$5 billion giant. Bloom is slated to take on the No. 2 role when the deal closes, expected to be in the second quarter 2005, with a title of vice chairman and president.
Dick Cantwell, vice president of Auto-ID, Gillette
While others are talking about radio frequency identification (RFID), Cantwell is making it work. He is among the bleeding-edge adopters of RFID for the supply chain -- Cantwell started an RFID initiative at Gillette well before Wal-Mart Stores's infamous adoption mandate. He is sharing his expertise and steering the development of global standards for using RFID in trading networks through his leadership role at EPCglobal.
Jeffrey Citron, chairman and CEO, Vonage
Citron closed a US$105 million investment round in summer, bringing the company's funding to US$208 million. In November, a key FCC decision ensured Citron won't have to spend all that money on litigation. The FCC ruled Vonage's Internet phone service will be subject to federal, not state, regulation -- meaning Citron won't have to navigate a quagmire of state rules.
Miguel de Icaza, vice president of developer platform, Novell
With Novell for less than 18 months, de Icaza has staked a role guiding the company's Linux strategy. His experience includes co-founding the GNOME Foundation, which led to Ximian, the Linux desktop and management company de Icaza co-founded and Novell bought. Among other projects, de Icaza heads the Novell-backed Mono effort to develop an open source, Unix version of Microsoft's .Net development platform.
Scott Griffin, CIO, Boeing
Internally, Boeing's top IT executive is paring down the number of corporate applications from 4,500 to 3,100, building an MPLS backbone and expanding an IP telephony rollout across the entire corporation. Externally, Griffin is working to transform the U.S. military's network through the Future Combat Systems program, a multiyear, multibillion-dollar plan to link soldiers, air and ground vehicles with a fast, secure communications network.
Don Haile, president and CIO, Fidelity Investments Systems
With his US$1.8 billion annual IT budget, Haile lords over computer operations, global communications networks, and enterprise applications support and development at the mutual fund company. Some of Haile's 2004 projects include expanding VoIP use at dozens of investment centers and a consolidation project to winnow down Fidelity's 14 mainframes, 1,500 switches, 500 routers and 9,000 servers.
John Halamka, CIO, CareGroup Health System; CIO, Harvard Medical School
Halamka is a prominent figure in healthcare IT. One minute he's a regular IT guy fighting the familiar battles every CIO faces, such as security. The next minute he's wrapped up in a cutting-edge effort, such as implementing bar codes for medication. Or he's taking part in a project like MedsInfo-ED, an ambitious effort to link healthcare providers' databases containing patient medication history and make the data available in real time to emergency room caregivers at Boston-area hospitals. One of Halamka's most surprising traits is his accessibility: Despite everything on his plate, Halamka is active in industry associations such as the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium, and he makes the rounds talking to his peers at user conferences.
Scott Kriens, chairman and CEO, Juniper
Kriens has his sights set on enterprise networking -- Cisco's stronghold and a market he once pledged to stay away from to avoid competing with Juniper's core service provider customers. Kriens showed his hand early in 2004 with the US$4 billion acquisition of NetScreen Technologies. Now his company is readying its J-Series enterprise routers, which will play a key role in Juniper's Infranet Initiative to create a business-viable, public IP network.
Amnon Landan, CEO and president, Mercury Interactive
At a time when software license revenue remains hard to come by, Mercury's growth continues to outpace that of the enterprise software market. Goldman Sachs forecasts 19 percent growth for Mercury in 2005, compared with mid-single-digit growth for the rest of the software industry. Landan is aggressively going after senior IT executives under the gun to fulfill compliance requirements and streamline IT operations -- and increasingly finding Mercury's testing, application performance management and IT governance products pitted against products from some of the largest infrastructure software makers. Of course, that's just the league Landan wants to play in.
Kevin Rollins, president and CEO, Dell
Rollins took the CEO reins in July and is staying the vendor's well-trod course of commoditization over innovation. His targets include servers, storage, professional services, printing and imaging. So far, so good: In its most recent quarter, Dell reported record product shipments, revenue and income -- including a 20 percent increase in spending by U.S. business customers and a 25 percent leap in profits.
Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google
Google's successful, albeit unconventional, public offering this summer, which made a billionaire of Schmidt, turned the spotlight on enterprise search technology. People apparently want searching for a corporate document or an old e-mail to be just as easy as a Google-powered Web search. To get in on the enterprise action, Schmidt and company upgraded Google's enterprise search appliance and launched new desktop search software.
Matthew Szulik, chairman, CEO and president, Red Hat
Red Hat has become almost synonymous with Linux -- the company has 70 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. market, according to Gartner. But with the rising threat from the newly joined Novell-SuSE contingency, Szulik spent his year keeping Red Hat fresh. The company announced the first version of its open source operating system for desktop computers, released its first open source Java application server and boosted security wares with the acquisition of Netscape server software products from Time Warner.
Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president, Microsoft's Enterprise Management Division
Tatarinov is driving development of a serious management platform for Windows. Among the projects on his plate is System Center 2005, the forthcoming platform that will wed Systems Management Server and Microsoft Operations Manager to enable combined management of servers and clients. The software will be among the first pieces of Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative, a plan to create a self-managing Windows environment.
Laurie Tropiano, vice president of on-demand implementation and business transformation, IBM
Talk about pressure -- IBM CEO Sam Palmisano says there's a US$500 billion market opportunity beyond the US$1.2 trillion that businesses around the globe spend on IT products and services each year, and has charged Tropiano with going after it. She spearheads IBM's newly coined "business performance transformation services," which combine technical assistance with strategic advice about business methods to help companies improve key processes.
Ren Zheng Fei, president, Huawei Technologies; CEO, Huawei-3Com
Under Zheng Fei's watch, China's largest telecom equipment vendor has made itself a thorn in Cisco's side. Its main competitive weapon is price. An aggressive competitor, Zheng Fei recently has focused on expanding Huawei's access to international markets, in particular North America and Europe. This fall, Siemens -- traditionally a large systems integrator for Cisco products -- agreed to resell Huawei's enterprise network products. The deal follows the late 2003 joint venture between Huawei and 3Com for enterprise data network products.
It takes moxie to regain lost power. These five executives have plenty to spare.
Don Peterson, chairman and CEO at the once-struggling Avaya, has proof of his progress. Avaya reported its first annual profit on revenue of about US$4 billion in fiscal 2004, and it routinely steals top market share in Internet telephone equipment from rival Cisco. According to Synergy Research, Avaya ranks first in global enterprise IP telephony revenue and the number of enterprise IP telephony ports shipped. On tap for 2005 is a new release of Avaya's IP telephony software, Communication Manager, and new Session Initiation Protocol and presence-based applications, Peterson says. Forthcoming IP wireless offerings will enable continuous hand-offs between public cellular and private wireless LANs.
Michael Capellas, president and CEO, MCI
Capellas can claim some real success restoring strength to MCI's financial position -- this year the restructured vendor emerged from Chapter 11 with its core assets in place and earned a re-listing on the Nasdaq exchange. On the product front, MCI launched a new suite of managed security services and expanded its hosted VoIP offerings for businesses. For 2005, Capellas plans on upgrading MCI's IP backbone with ultra-long-haul technology, establishing a new converged IP core, enhancing the network edge with new multiservice switch technology and transitioning to a converged packet architecture.
Bill Owens, president and CEO, Nortel
Can the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- the second-highest rank in the military -- shape up Nortel? New CEO Owens faces a formidable challenge as financial reporting problems continue to dog the gear maker. His strategic plan calls for Nortel to create four new executive positions focused on corporate governance, strategy, marketing, and government and defense markets. Owens also plans to beef up Nortel's focus on enterprise markets and customers -- a business Nortel once considered dropping.
John Swainson, president and CEO-elect, Computer Associates
This 26-year IBM veteran brings a clean image and reputation for dealing well with customers to CA, a company he joined just five weeks ago. Stabilizing CA's executive management is key to its survival: Former CEO Sanjay Kumar was indicted in September on fraud charges, after indictments of several other former executives. As Swainson works to reassure customers of CA's plans to continue advancing its myriad product lines, he can point to the recent acquisitions of anti-spyware developer PestPatrol and identity management specialist Netegrity.
Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO, Sun
Since taking on his current role in April, Schwartz has delivered versions of Solaris that run on multiple platforms, discounted Solaris licenses for customers upgrading from Linux and introduced usage-based utility computing services. Next up is the launch of Solaris 10, featuring a new TCP/IP stack, improved multithreading and partitioning capabilities, and the ability to run Linux applications without modification -- along with a new pricing model. Instead of charging outright for Sun's flagship Unix operating system, Schwartz is test driving a new model that relies more on subscriptions, services and bundled hardware sales.
Eva Chen, CEO Trend Micro
Recently promoted from CTO to CEO, Trend Micro co-founder Eva Chen has long been waging a powerful war in the hot anti-virus marketplace. Chen is well known among the security industry for her scientific work, including product development, patent-holding technology and academic papers. Industry insiders credit her for playing an instrumental part in the company's landmark deal with Cisco and its Network Admission Control program. In June, Trend Micro became the provider for the anti-virus, anti-worm technology Cisco will build into its equipment.
KC Claffy, chair, Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA)
Claffy, a staple in the computer science scientific community, earns her place on this list for her prominent role at CAIDA, a collaboration among commercial, scientific and government entities to build a more robust Internet. CAIDA studies all things performance related on the live, global Internet, using homegrown visualization and tracking tools. If a virus attacks the Internet, CAIDA is the go-to organization for ISPs worldwide in search of massive-scale details on the attack.
Rhonda MacLean, senior vice president and director of corporate information security, Bank of America
MacLean has become an icon among those leading the enterprise security battle, handling security strategy at the nation's third-largest bank, serving on countless governmental boards -- including a prestigious role with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security -- and creating her own string of initiatives. Insiders say she isn't afraid to test products from security start-ups, offering them valuable feedback and direction.
George Samenuk, chairman and CEO, McAfee
Samenuk is determined to re-create his company in the image of a security pure play. To that end, he spent 2004 repositioning McAfee, selling off the help desk software and the Sniffer network management tool and changing the company's name from Network Associates. Samenuk then proceeded to buy vulnerability-detection software maker Foundstone. The strategy seems on target for success. In November, AOL integrated a boatload of McAfee security technology in AOL Version 9.0 Security Addition and NTT DoCoMo selected McAfee security software for use with its FOMA 3G service.
Paul Simmonds, co-founder of the Jericho Forum; director of global information security, ICI
Through the Jericho Forum, a user group he founded, Simmonds advocates development of open standards that would enable "boundary-less" enterprise security. His influence is spreading rapidly as an impressive list of global enterprise brethren joined the Jericho Forum.
John Thompson, chairman and CEO, Symantec
Thompson has steered Symantec into increasing levels of visibility and respect in the network industry and on Wall Street, culminating this year with the stunning US$13.5 billion acquisition of Veritas announced Dec. 16. The combined companies, which will continue to be called Symantec and be led by Thompson, are expected to generate US$5 billion in revenue in Symantec's fiscal 2005, which begins in April. With this latest feather, Thompson rivals Chambers for his power over Wall Street and is often a headline speaker at many of the most prestigious Wall Street firms. Watch for his influence to continue to climb in 2005.
Johannes Ullrich, CTO, Internet Storm Center at SANS Institute
Ullrich is the technology chief at one of the key outposts in the global fight against computer crime. He is the front line against smarter, faster malware -- one of the first on the scene to detect an attack, analyze it and offer defensive strategies for it. But he's more than a virus detective. His job also entails public awareness efforts -- the site is full of blogs, updates, statistics and other materials to help any enterprise shore up its defenses.
New data center apostles
Infrastructure software will play a key role in new data center environments, and these three players are hungry for a bigger piece of the action.
The "A" in BEA Systems, Chairman and CEO Alfred Chuang had managed just about every one of BEA's teams by the time he became CEO in 2001. What he lacks in flashiness, he makes up for in technical know-how. This year that know-how translated into BEA's vision for building service-oriented architectures that bring simplicity and agility to enterprise IT -- what BEA calls Liquid Computing. Now Chuang's biggest challenges are winning sales from competitors Microsoft and IBM, and reinvigorating BEA's lackluster license revenue, which has made a takeover target of the 9-year-old vendor.
Shai Agassi, executive board member, SAP
This year, uncertainty over PeopleSoft's fate has led some enterprise buyers straight to SAP's door. There they can find Agassi waiting to show off his baby: NetWeaver, SAP's application deployment and integration platform and the foundation of all its future releases. NetWeaver is SAP's middleware play for the new data center.
Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM
As head of IBM's software group, Mills runs a US$14 billion business that dwarfs the size of many independent software vendors. Early in the year that role included a major revamping of Big Blue's software group to sell industry-specific middleware packages tailored to customers in 12 key verticals. The reorganization is designed to encourage the combining of products from IBM's software brands -- and builds on an earlier Mills initiative to reuse components among the different software brands to accelerate product development and improve integration.
These five gurus decide the how, and sometimes the who, of interconnection. Their work can make or break vendors and enterprise projects.
The Liberty Alliance continues to shine as an excellent example of users taking standards issues into their own hands -- and progressing at lightning speed. Under the leadership of Michael Barrett, president of the alliance and vice president of Internet strategy at American Express Co., the group spearheaded development of an identity management standard that it expects to be at the heart of more than 400 million electronic identities and clients by the end of 2005.
Leslie Daigle, chair of the Internet Architecture Board, and director of directory research, VeriSign
Daigle has a "buck stops here" role at the ultra-influential IETF, leading the standards body's governing board. Daigle has earned even greater respect among Internet watchers of late with her efforts to re-organize the IETF's working structure. And she keeps her thumb in the technical pie as well, as a frequent author of IETF requests for comment.
Bob O'Hara, chair, IEEE 802.11 standard maintenance task group; director of systems engineering, Airespace
O'Hara's colleagues at Airespace have dubbed him a founding father of the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard, and rightly so. He has been a staple in the development of the popular 802.11 for a decade, co-authoring IEEE 802.11 Handbook: A Designer's Companion and penning technical stories on the subject. In a stint at Advanced Micro Devices, O'Hara worked on some of the first commercial 802.11 controller chips.
Michael Powell, chairman, FCC
Powell has earned industry accolades this year with his consistent hands-off approach to VoIP services. Under his watch, for example, the FCC in November exempted national VoIP start-up Vonage from state regulation. This bodes well for the fledgling industry, which promises to reshape enterprise and consumer networks with VoIP.
Fred Wettling, chair, Network Applications Consortium; infrastructure manager, Bechtel Group
Wettling's NAC aims to influence a range of vendors, using the power of representing users with combined revenues of more than US$800 billion. The group encourages application vendors to play nice with each other and serves to educate members on everything from upcoming standards to best practices. Wettling frequently shares his standards vision at NAC events and elsewhere.
Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO, Advanced Micro Devices
Under the expert stewardship of Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz, 2004 was Advanced Micro Devices' breakaway year. Ruiz never backed off AMD's long-standing battle with archrival Intel, but was hardly content with the company's second-fiddle reputation. Ruiz earns kudos for AMD's winning dual-core Opteron, 64-bit processors, for which the company is garnering support among enterprise users.
Scott MacGregor, president and CEO, Broadcom
Broadcom owns networking at the component level, with its chipsets powering the network connections for routers, switches, VoIP devices, wireless LANs and more. Come January, MacGregor will be running the show, joining the company from consumer semiconductor giant Phillips Electronics, where he had been the president and CEO. MacGregor's selection indicates the hopes of founder Lanny Ross to turn Broadcom into the next global semiconductor giant and hints that the company could be looking for quick growth through acquisition.
Paul Otellini, president and COO, Intel
When CEO Craig Barrett retires this spring, Otellini gets that top job. A 30-year company veteran, he's well-prepared to advance Intel. His leadership roles at the mighty CPU maker have included running the Intel Architecture Group, responsible for the company's microprocessor desktop and mobile strategies.