|The panel – from right to left – Zohar Zisapel, Shmuel (Mooly) Eden, Eyal Waldman and Prof. Peretz Lavie. Photo credit: Hezi Hojesta, Technion Spokesman|
Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie hosted a panel on "From Academy to Industry Leadership - Technion Alumni CEOs Session", with Shmuel (Mooly) Eden, President of Intel Israel, Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox, and Zohar Zisapel, President of RAD Data Communications. The panel was held as part of Israel's main high tech conference hosted by IATI (Israel Advanced Technology Industries), and discussed, among others, the quality of the Israeli engineers compared to their counterparts worldwide, Technion alumni's leading the Israeli high tech industry, and the establishment of the applied science and engineering campus in New York City together with Cornell University.
The CEO of Mellanox, Eyal Waldman, who graduated from the Technion in 1986, answered Prof. Peretz Lavie's question on the Technion's contribution to his career, saying "the Technion shaped the way I think. The fact that the studies connect theory and practical experience is highly significant for later careers. Engineers who are Technion graduates have real experience, which differentiates them from the graduates of other institutions".
The President of Intel Israel, Shmuel (Mooly) Eden, referred to the issue of the quality of Israeli engineers, saying that the Israeli culture creates engineers who are willing to take risks and to face challenges: "from my experience in Intel, there is a high correlation between senior managers and people who served in military command roles and as officers. Moreover, in Israeli culture there is a tendency to doubt authority and disobey hierarchy, which makes Israeli engineers leaders in founding successful start-ups".
The President of RAD Data Communications, Zohar Zisapel, said that the Israeli engineers are the best in the world, but the fact that Israel excels in founding start-up companies, but not large companies, is a problem: "we have to get better at building large companies. At the end of the day, when you sell the start-up, you are selling your birthright for a bowl of stew. If we were to develop large companies in Israel, the contribution to the economy would be far more substantial, both in terms of employment and in terms of the company's long term profit".
Prof. Peretz Lavie talked during the panel discussion about the new cooperation with Cornell University in New York, which selected the Technion out of dozens of top universities worldwide to establish together with it a unique, combined program for the promotion of knowledge intensive industry in New York: "the new research institute will combine academy and industry. Cornell intends to invest in the project two billion dollars, and the Technion will be responsible for building the academic curriculum".
During the panel, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg congratulated the Technion by video on its cornerstone centennial. Among others, Mayor Bloomberg said that he is excited about the cooperation between Cornell and the Technion. He also noted the 11 years anniversary of the Twin Towers terrorist attack, and thanked Israel for its assistance to New York during and after the attack.
The high tech conference opened yesterday with a visit to the Technion's laboratories by dozens of guests from Israel and abroad, and later an event in tribute to the Technion's cornerstone centennial. The conference sessions will continue at the Jerusalem International Convention Center until Wednesday, September 12th.
Among the main speakers at the conference are the President and CEO of eBay, John Donahoe; President of Samsung Semiconductors, Dr. Nam-Sung Woo; CEO of SingTel, Allen Lew; President of Intel Israel, Mooly Eden; President of RAD, Zohar Zisapel; President of Cadence, Lip-Bu Tan; CEO of Mellanox, Eyal Waldman; CEO of Y&R, David Sable; and the CEO of Bank Leumi, Rakefet Russak-Aminoach – in addition to a long, illustrious line of senior vice presidents for technology, mergers and acquisitions, from Microsoft, IBM, Google, Citibank, SAP, eBay, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Alcatel Lucent, ZTE and others.