Keynotes & Speakers

Software 2007 is pleased to present the most insightful and compelling software industry leaders. To nominate a speaker, contact Anil Gupta or M.R. Rangaswami.

Keynote Speakers



Steve Ballmer
Chief Executive Officer

Steve BallmerSteven A. Ballmer is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of software for personal and business computing. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager hired by Bill Gates. Since then, Ballmer’s leadership and passion have become hallmarks of his tenure at the company.

During the past 20 years, Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In July 1998, he was promoted to President, a role that gave him day-to-day responsibility for running Microsoft. He was named CEO in January 2000, assuming full management responsibility for the company, which includes delivering on the company’s mission of enabling people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Together with Gates and the company’s other business and technical leaders, Ballmer is focused on continuing Microsoft’s innovation and leadership across the company’s seven businesses. Microsoft’s goal is to provide an integrated platform to enable a seamless experience across a wide range of computing and non-PC devices and services.

Variously described as ebullient, focused, funny, passionate, sincere, hard-charging and dynamic, Ballmer has infused Microsoft with his own brand of energetic leadership, vision and spirit over the years.

Ballmer was born in March 1956, and grew up near Detroit, where his father worked as a manager at Ford Motor Co. He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. While in college, Ballmer managed the football team, worked on the Harvard Crimson newspaper as well as the university literary magazine, and lived down the hall from fellow sophomore Bill Gates. After college, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and, before joining Microsoft, attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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Marc Benioff
Chairman and CEO

Marc BenioffMarc Benioff is chairman and CEO of He founded the company in March 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) solution that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff is now regarded as the leader of what he has termed "The End of Software," the growing belief that on-demand applications can democratize business technology by delivering immediate benefits to companies of all sizes at reduced risks and costs. Under Benioff's direction, has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly traded company that is the market and technology leader in on-demand business services.

Benioff, a 25-year veteran of the software industry, is internationally recognized as one of the preeminent thinkers in information technology. Most recently, Computer Business Review magazine named Benioff number three on its "Top 10 Most Influential Movers & Shakers" list, reporting that "Benioff (has) learned a thing or two about how to achieve market dominance... that is what he has achieved in the on-demand enterprise applications space, and there are no immediate threats to his empire..." In addition, Benioff was recently ranked number 11 on the "50 People Who Matter" list published by Business 2.0 magazine, which recognized Benioff as a leader whose "vision of the future proved prophetic, foreshadowing the rise of the Web 2.0 phenomenon and creating nightmares for software vendors like Microsoft, SAP, and Siebel (RIP)."

Additional recent awards and acknowledgements from leading business organizations include: "Silicon Valley Visionary," awarded by the Software Development Forum, the leading source of information and education to the technology community, which recognized Benioff for his contributions both in computing and the community; "Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year," from the University of Southern California's (USC) Marshall School of business; "Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year," from Ernst & Young; and "Entrepreneur of the Year," from SunBridge, the leading incubator in Japan, which recognized Benioff for his work in catalyzing technology change.

Benioff has been the recipient of many industry honors as well: Selling Power named Benioff "International CEO of the Year"; FORTUNE magazine called Benioff one of its "Top 10 Entrepreneurs to Watch"; Business Week named him one of the 25 people responsible for turning e-business around; CRM magazine recognized him as one of the 20 most influential people in the industry; and named Benioff to its list of Agenda Setters.

Throughout his career, Benioff has been determined to use information technology to produce positive social change. In July 2000, Benioff launched the Salesforce Foundation, a multimillion-dollar global philanthropic organization aimed at bridging the digital divide. Pioneering the "1 percent model"—where the company contributes 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves—the Salesforce Foundation has demonstrated the power and impact of integrated philanthropy.

Benioff coauthored Compassionate Capitalism, the first-ever best-practices guide for corporate philanthropy, which illustrates the success of the integrated model. The book was launched in conjunction with the World Economic Forum's 2004 meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Previously, members of the World Economic Forum selected Benioff as a "Global Leader of Tomorrow," one of 100 leaders in business, politics, and the arts committed to addressing social issues. In addition, Benioff received the "Promise of Peace" award from the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu for his work using technology as a means to further Middle East peace and the "Bridge Award" from the nonprofit organization HEAVEN (Helping Educate, Activate, Volunteer, and Empower via the Net) for providing Internet access to the underserved in America's inner cities.

Prior to founding, Benioff spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, where he held a number of executive positions in sales, marketing, and product development. Before joining Oracle, Benioff worked at Apple Computer and founded Liberty Software. Benioff received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 1986.

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Jeffrey M. Nick
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
EMC Corporation

Jeffrey M. NickJeff Nick is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at EMC Corporation, where he has a major role in the direction of EMC 's technology strategy and in the evolution and advancement of EMC's information lifecycle management capabilities, related platforms, software, and services. With 2006 revenues of $11.2 billion and more than 31,000 employees, EMC is the world's leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information.

Reporting directly to Mark Lewis, EMC Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer, Nick leads EMC's Office of Technology, which is responsible for defining the company's evolving technology vision and technology strategy, as well as working with the industry on standards. He works directly with EMC customers and leading technologists within EMC's platforms, software, and services organizations to develop future product directions. His team also evaluates emerging information management trends and plays a major role in setting technical direction for EMC's M&A activities. He is based at corporate headquarters in Hopkinton , Massachusetts.

Nick joined EMC in September 2004 from IBM, where he held the distinguished title of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor that IBM bestows on its IT innovators. During his 24-year career with IBM, Nick filed more than 80 inventions and holds more than 50 U.S. patents in computer systems technology. Most recently, he was Vice President, Architecture and Design, eBusiness On Demand, responsible for the design and architecture of IBM's On Demand initiative. He also led IBM's Grid Computing strategy, responsible for the definition and evolution of IBM's Open Grid Services Architecture. Nick began his IBM career as a software engineer focusing on the System 390 MVS operating system, and he eventually became the lead architect for the S/390 z-series platform and eServer initiative. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marist College with a B.S. in finance.

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Prof. Hasso Plattner

Prof. Hasso PlattnerProf. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner is one of the co-founders of SAP AG and has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board since May 2003. In this role and as Chief Software Advisor, he concentrates on defining the medium- and long- term technology strategy and direction of SAP. He also heads the Technology Committee of the SAP Supervisory Board.

In 1972, Hasso Plattner and four colleagues left IBM in Mannheim, Germany, to found SAP (Systems, Applications, Products in Data Pro cessing). Based in Walldorf, Germany, SAP AG is today the leading provider of enterprise software solutions integrating processes within and among enterprises and business communities.

When SAP went public in 1988, Hasso Plattner was appointed Vice Chair man of the Executive Board. From 1997 to May 2003, he was Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of SAP. In May 2003, he was elected to the SAP Supervisory Board and took over the chairmanship from co-founder Dietmar Hopp.

Hasso Plattner received his Ma ster's Degree in Communications Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe. In 1990, the University of Saarbrücken awarded him an honorary doctorate and in 1994, he was granted an honorary full professorship.. In 1997, as chairman of SAP America, Inc., c o-chairman of SAP and the chief architect of SAP R/3, Hasso Plattner received the Information Technology Leadership Award for Global Integration as part of the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program. In 1998, he was inducted into the German Hall of Fame. In 2002, Hasso Plattner was appointed Honorary Doctor, and in 2004 Honorary Professor by the University of Potsdam.

Hasso Plattner also founded the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) for IT Systems Engineering at the University of Potsdam in 1998 with the la rgest single private contribution to a university ever made in Germany. Through his continuing financial support, he is helping the HPI in its efforts to become a center for the education of world-class software specialists.

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S. Ramadorai
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Tata Consultancy Services Limited

S. RamadoraiS. Ramadorai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services Limited, has been associated with the Company for the past thirty years. Joining as a trainee engineer, Ramadorai took over as CEO in 1996 and has been instrumental in building TCS to a $3 Billion global software and services company with a talent base of over 80,000 associates, a geographical reach of 35 countries and an enviable client list which includes seven of the Top Ten Fortune companies. Ramadorai has now set his sights on ensuring that TCS is among the global Top Ten IT services companies.

His key initiatives include his relentless pursuit of excellence in quality. In August 2004, TCS became the world's first organization to achieve an integrated Enterprise wide Maturity Level 5 on both Capability Maturity model and People Capability Maturity model.

Ramadorai firmly believes that learning is a continual process, which does not end with formal education. With this in mind, he has striven to make TCS a learning organization, conducive to developing ones full potential. TCS spends 6 % of its annual turnover on training and development and has invested in a world class Training Center. Additionally, each year, every TCSer has the opportunity to undergo 20 days training.

His academic credentials include a Bachelors degree in Physics from Delhi University, India, a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, and a Masters degree in Computer Science UCLA.

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Shane Robison
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer

Shane V. RobisonShane Robison is responsible for shaping HP's overall corporate strategy and technology agenda. He steers the company's $3.6 billion research and development investment and fosters the development of the company's global technical community. All of the company's senior chief technology officers and the director of HP Labs report into him.

Robison also leads the company's strategy and corporate development efforts, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, intellectual property licensing, venture capital community, and partnerships. He was one of four principal architects of HP's merger with Compaq Computer Corp., and, in 2004, InfoWorld declared Robison one of the world's 25 most influential chief technology officers.

Robison was senior vice president and chief technology officer of Strategy and Technology at Compaq. Prior to joining Compaq, Robison was president of Internet Technology and Development at AT&T Labs, where he led a 2,000-person team that was responsible for the architecture, planning and development of all of AT&T's Internet technologies and services.

Robison also was president of the Design Productivity Group at Cadence Design Systems and, prior to that, spent several years at Apple Computer, where he was vice president and general manager of the Personal Interactive Electronics Division. He also held a research management position at Schlumberger's artificial intelligence lab in Palo Alto.

Robison received bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from the University of Utah.

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Edward J. Zander
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Motorola, Inc.

Ed ZanderEdward J. Zander, 59, is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Motorola, Inc. Since beginning at Motorola in January 2004, he has brought Motorola not only a wealth of experience, but a keen understanding of the emerging challenges and opportunities in the communications space. He has successfully reorganized the company, overseen the introduction of several exciting new products and sharpened Motorola's focus on innovation and operational efficiency. Zander entered his position with over 25 years of experience in the technology industry.

Prior to joining Motorola, Zander was a managing director of Silver Lake Partners, a leading private equity fund focused on investments in technology industries. Before that, he served as president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems until June 2002. During his tenure, Zander grew Sun to $18 billion in revenues, established it as the number-one company in the server market and built it into the pre-eminent supplier of network infrastructure. Earlier, Zander served as president of Sun's software group. Prior to joining Sun in 1987, he held senior management positions at Apollo Computer and Data General.

An active member of the civic and business communities, Zander serves on the board of directors of several professional, educational and non-profit organizations. Local business organizations include The Economics Club of Chicago, The Executive Club of Chicago and the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago. He serves as a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of the School of Management at Boston University, Presidential Advisor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and served on the board of directors for the Jason Foundation for Education.

Zander holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in business administration and honorary Ph.D. from Boston University.

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Victoria Barret
Associate Editor

Victoria BarretVictoria Barret is an Associate Editor for Forbes, covering technology out of the Silicon Valley bureau. She writes about software and technology topics. Her coverage includes recent cover stories on Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison. Her profile on online diamond retailer Blue Nile was a finalist in the feature category of The 2005 Business Journalist of the Year Awards.

She joined the magazine as a Reporter in June 2000, and was named to her current position in December 2005. She appears weekly on the business show, Forbes on Fox, which airs on the Fox News channel. Show topics focus on the economy and stock market. She has also appeared as a guest on The O'Reilly Factor and Your World with Neil Cavuto.

Prior to joining Forbes, Mrs. Barret was a freelancer at BusinessWeek, and she also worked as an intern at Time magazine in Paris and as a Reporter for the San Diego Newspaper Group. Mrs. Barret has a BA in International Relations and Economics from Wellesley College.

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Roger Burkhardt
President & Chief Operating Officer
Ingres Corporation

Roger BurkhardtRoger Burkhardt serves as Ingres's president and chief operating officer. In this role, he is responsible for corporate strategy, development and engineering, and global field operations including marketing, sales and support, alliance and channels, and customer programs. Mr. Burkhardt also serves on the company's Board of Directors.

Mr. Burkhardt joined Ingres from the New York Stock Exchange, where as Chief Technology Officer and EVP for the past six years, he led a global technology team of 2,000 colleagues through the most important business and technology transformation in the Exchange's history: the shift to electronic trading. Under his leadership, the NYSE embraced open source solutions, maintained world-class reliability standards, and increased transaction volumes seven-fold.

Prior to the NYSE, Mr. Burkhardt was president of listed equities for OptiMark Technologies, a developer of electronic trading technology that was adopted by more than 80 percent of the top 200 trading firms in the United States. He had earlier served 15 years with IBM, where he held several leadership positions in engineering, sales and business development. Most recently, he served as director of capital markets, IBM Banking, Finance and Securities, where he ran a $250 million business unit serving the needs of the Wall Street banking community.

Mr. Burkhardt holds an M.B.A. in finance from New York University and both a bachelor's and master's degree in Physics from Oxford University. A former member of the IBM Advisory Board, Mr. Burkhardt is recognized by Wall Street and technology innovators worldwide for his customer advocacy work and thought leadership.

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Neil Cameron
Chief Information Officer
Unilever PLC and Unilever NV

Neil CameronMr Cameron is a 30 year veteran of the IT industry. Mr Cameron joined Unilever in July 2003 from Diageo plc where he was also CIO.

Prior to that he was CIO for the North American business of Marks & Spencer. Mr Cameron started in IT in 1973 with RHM Management Services and held technical and junior management positions for a variety of organisations - Dixons Stores, TSB Trustcard, Aer Lingus & IBM.

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Robert B. Carter
Executive Vice President - FedEx Information Services & CIO
FedEx Corporation

Robert B. CarterRobert B. (Rob) Carter, is Executive Vice President – FedEx Information Services & Chief Information Officer at FedEx Corporation. Carter also serves as Chairman of FedEx Kinko's and CEO of FedEx Customer Information Services. FedEx Corporation, with revenue of $33 Billion provides the transportation industry's broadest range of services.

Carter is responsible for the corporations' key applications and technology infrastructure. FedEx applications, advanced networks and data centers provide around-the-clock and around-the-globe support for the information intensive transportation, logistics and business related product offerings of FedEx Corporation.

In his role at FedEx Customer Information Services, Carter is responsible for Customer Service, Billing and Revenue Operations. Fedex call centers are one of the premier customer service organizations in the world and provide instant access to the great people and technology that support Fedex customers worldwide.

Carter joined FedEx in 1993 and has nearly 30 years of systems development and implementation experience utilizing a wide variety of technology. Carter earned his bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Florida and his MBA from the University of South Florida.

Professional Awards Include:

  • Information Week Chief of the Year Award   (2000, 2001, 2005)
  • Network World's 25 Most Powerful People in Networking (2001, 2005)
  • CIO Magazine 100 Award (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
  • CIO Magazine 20/20 Vision Award (2002)
  • Business 2.0 "20 Rising Executives" (2002)
  • ComputerWorld Premier 100 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
  • Salomon Smith Barney CIO of the Year Award (2001)
  • InfoWorld Chief Technology Officer of the Year (2000)

Mr. Carter serves as a member of the Saks, Inc. Board of Directors and the University of Florida Foundation Board of Trustees.

Rob is very active in the Memphis community serving as Chairman of the Capital Campaign for the University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute, and is a member of several civic boards including the Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation, and The Life Blood Foundation.

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Steve Hamm
Senior Writer and Software Editor

Steve HammSteve Hamm is a senior writer and the software editor at BusinessWeek. He contributed to BusinessWeek's special August 2005 double issue on the emergence of India and China as global economic powers, which was awarded the Fund for American Studies/Institute on Political Journalism Award for Excellence in Economic Writing. A business journalist since
1985, Hamm has chronicled the tech industry since 1989 and has tracked the progress of India's tech services industry since 2001.

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David Kirkpatrick
Senior Editor, Internet & Technology

David KirkpatrickDavid Kirkpatrick, senior editor, internet and technology at FORTUNE, specializes in the computer and technology industries, as well as in the impact of the Internet on business and society. He writes a column which appears weekly on and through e-mail subscription.

Kirkpatrick joined Time Inc. in 1978 while working as a video artist, and started at FORTUNE in 1983. In 1991 he began covering the computer beat. In 1990 his story "Will You Be Able to Retire?" was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in the personal service journalism category. He has written cover stories on Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Intel Sun, and numerous other topics. Marketing Computers regularly ranks him among the top five most influential technology journalists in the country.

Kirkpatrick was a regular commentator on CNNfn, and has also appeared frequently as a technology industry expert on CNN and PBS. Working with other FORTUNE editors, he developed and hosts Brainstorm, a multi-disciplinary conference which brings together global leaders to interact and discuss the future. The conference, first held in 2001, takes place annually in Aspen and is produced in partnership with the Aspen Institute.

Kirkpatrick has a B.A. in English from Amherst College, and attended art school for two years.

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David Knight
Vice President
WebEx Connect & WebEx Communications, Inc.

David KnightAs Vice President of the WebEx Connect division of WebEx Communications, David Knight is responsible for setting the strategic product direction and requirements for the company's composite collaboration application platform, presence-enabled applications, and associated technology components.

Prior to joining WebEx, Mr. Knight held executive positions at Portera Systems, a vendor of professional service automation systems; and Sybase, where he was Director of Internet Middleware, among other roles. He began his management career at Oracle.

David Knight holds a bachelor of science degree and master of business administration degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Patricia B. Morrison
Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Motorola, Inc.

Patricia B. MorrisonPatricia B. Morrison is executive vice president and chief information officer for Motorola. In this role, Morrison oversees all strategic, operational and financial aspects of the company's information technology architecture, systems, tools, processes and infrastructure. Patty joined Motorola in 2005 and has led an effort to build a global IT organization that delivers world-class IT value creation. In her first year, Motorola jumped from a #46 to a #12 ranking among the InformationWeek Top 500 IT innovators for 2006, and #1 in the manufacturing industry segment.

Morrison brings Motorola more than 20 years of systems and IT expertise in a wide variety of roles. Before joining Motorola in 2005, Morrison served as executive vice president and chief information officer of Office Depot, Inc., where she was responsible for managing Office Depot's global information systems, including its highly successful global e-commerce platform. Morrison led the transformation of Office Depot's IT architecture and helped the company to achieve more than $100 million in efficiency improvements.

Prior to Office Depot, Morrison served as CIO of The Quaker Oats Company in Chicago. As CIO, Morrison oversaw Quaker's systems integration with PepsiCo following Pepsi's acquisition of Quaker Oats in 2001. Prior to that, Morrison was CIO of GE Industrial Systems, a $6 billion division of General Electric. She began her career at Procter & Gamble, where she held a number of systems management and IT leadership positions.

Morrison attended Miami University, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and statistics and a bachelor of science degree in secondary education. She serves on the boards of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., where she chairs the board's governance committee.

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Tony Scott
The Walt Disney Company

Tony ScottTony joined The Walt Disney Company as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer in February, 2005. In this role, Tony leads the planning, implementation, and operations of Disney IT systems and infrastructure across the Company, ensuring both their strategic relevance and operational effectiveness.

Prior to joining Disney, Tony served as Chief Technology Officer, Information Systems and Services at General Motors Corporation, where he was responsible for defining the information technology computing and telecommunications strategy, architecture and standards across all of GM's businesses globally. Tony also held the position of Vice President, Information Services at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he led the transformation of their technology infrastructure organization to a shared services model and the development of a corporate infrastructure to support implementation of SAP and web-based technologies. Tony's professional experience has also included assignments at Marriott, Cadren Systems, Sun Microsystems and Price Waterhouse.

Tony has a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco and also holds a Juris Doctorate with a concentration in Intellectual Property and International Law from Santa Clara University.

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Ernest M. von Simson
Senior Partner
Ostriker von Simson

Ernest M. von SimsonErnie is a Director of Arcsight, Good Technology, Levanta, BDNA, and several other private technology companies. He was co-founder of the Research Board where he directed the professional staff into examinations of evolving business models, advanced technology, business applications and IT best practices.

He holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.B.A. from New York University. His articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Computerworld and Fortune.

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