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CE Hall of Fame Inductees

2014 Inductees

2013 Inductees

  • Jim Barton

    Jim Barton

    TiVo
    Co-founder

    How many times do you bump into someone before you realize karma may be at work? It seemed wherever Jim Barton worked, Mike Ramsay was already there. After the third such coincidence, Barton finally realized there were forces larger than himself at work, so he called Ramsay. Over a series of lunches, the pair created TiVo, which forever changed the way we watch TV.

    Barton was born in Denver in 1958, where his parents, both college graduates, had met after his father’s Navy stint in the Pacific during WWII. Barton grew up in a suburb of Denver, graduated from high school and went off to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1980. While in school in the late 1970s, Barton worked for the University Computing Center, first as a computer operator and later as a systems programmer, when computers were big, bulky mainframes occupying vast air conditioned machine rooms.

    After graduation, Barton began working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Denver as a systems programmer while earning a master’s degree in computer science in 1982. At Bell Labs, Barton wrote software for the then-new UNIX operating system (OS) running on the new VAX 11-780 minicomputer from Digital Equipment Corp. He was responsible for the development of computer networking software components for Bell Labs’ vast array of computing systems during the expansion of the UNIX-based ARPANET, the foundation of the Internet.

    In October 1984, Barton moved to Silicon Valley to work for Hewlett-Packard, as a part of a team implementing a new UNIX-based desktop workstation computer based on HP’s new RISC computer architecture. The system promised lower cost and higher performance than mainframes and minicomputers.

    It was at HP that Barton first met Ramsay, who was a high-level manager in charge of the project Barton worked on. In mid-1986, Barton moved to Silicon Graphics (SGI), where again he bumped into Ramsay. At SGI, Barton led the software development of a multiprocessor OS for SGI’s new line of RISC workstations based on the MIPS microprocessor developed at Stanford.

    But perhaps Barton’s most important experience at SGI was gleaned from his involvement in the inception and development of Time-Warner Cable’s “Full Service Network” in Orlando, Fla., the first video-on-demand system.

    Barton left SGI in 1996 to explore opportunities to develop new kinds of services arising from the expansion of the Internet. After he’d heard that Ramsay had left SGI, Barton called him for lunch. The two decided to form a company initially called Teleworld in August 1997 to pursue consumer-focused products based on digital forms of content. After abandoning the idea of an expensive home network server, the pair decided to narrow their focus to a device that would use sophisticated software and inexpensive hardware to allow consumers to pause live TV and to schedule the recording of TV programs. This device became the first commercially available consumer digital video recorder (DVR).They then changed the name of the company and device to the more TV-flavored TiVo.

    As the primary technical designer, Barton chose Linux, a reimplementation of UNIX, with which he had ample experience, as the operating software. Using open-source software wherever practical allowed Barton to focus on the real innovation needed to construct the recorder.

    Barton also wanted to make controlling TiVo as easy as possible. During the early stages of hardware design, the hardware manager asked Barton, “Where do you want to put the power switch?” Barton replied, “There will be no power switch or reset button on a TiVo.” Barton and Ramsay wanted to make TiVo work reliably all the time, like a television, designing it so even Barton’s mother could use it.

    Unfortunately, Barton and Ramsay weren’t the only DVR developers. TiVo and a company called ReplayTV both announced their products at the 1999 International CES, each promising products within a year.

    In early March 1999, however, TiVo was behind its promised end-of-the-month delivery date. After working 24-hours a day during the final weeks on what was named Project Blue Moon, TiVo shipped its first product on March 31, 1999, beating ReplayTV into the market.

    The idea of pausing live TV and easy one-button recording caught on. TiVo went public in September 1999 and grew rapidly through its own retail efforts and through strategic relationships with DirecTV, Sony, Philips, Comcast and many other CE and TV provider companies.

    By 2013, a DVR was present in 46 percent of U.S. homes. The time-shifting TiVo enabled has become so prevalent it has changed television advertising models and pushed Nielsen to change its TV ratings methodology to compensate for viewers no longer watching programs when they originally air.

    Barton left TiVo in March 2012 and re-joined Ramsay to form InVisioneer. The pair hopes to revolutionize video entertainment all over again.

  • Dr. Samar Basu

    Dr. Samar Basu

    Inventor, lithium-ion battery anode

    Luck, it is said, is a residue of design. And University of Pennsylvania post-doctoral researcher Samar Basu had plenty of luck when he stumbled across the key to enabling the development of the modern rechargeable lithium-ion battery while researching something completely different.

    Basu was born Sept. 1, 1943 in Simla (now Shimla), India, the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh in the Himalayan foothills, but grew up in the industrial city of Howrah, West Bengal, India. He became interested in chemical reactions in the ninth grade thanks to the influence of his high school chemistry teacher.

    After he earned his B.S. in metallurgical engineering from Bengal Engineering College, Howrah, in 1966, and his master’s (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) in chemical metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur, Basu returned to Bengal Engineering College to teach metallurgy until 1975. Basu then immigrated to the U.S., where he joined a team at the University of Pennsylvania doing research work on lithium batteries, studying titanium and tantalum sulfides for use as cathodes.

    All batteries include plus/positive and minus/negative electrodes – or, technically, cathodes and anodes – to direct the flow of electrons for discharging and recharging. While Basu pursued cathode materials under Worrell, fellow researcher Jack Fischer was working on graphite intercalation compounds (GIC) with an objective of replacing heavyweight copper cables in transformers or heavy electrical equipment. Fischer wanted to combine lithium, the lightest solid element, with graphite to produce the simplest GIC to serve as a model material for physicists to conduct fundamental studies. However, there seemed to be no way to combine the two elements to create a pure compound.

    Basu, while working on intercalation compounds at Penn’s Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), found a solution: he would synthesize the pure material by dipping solid graphite into a pool of molten lithium under circulation argon in a glove box at -200 degrees Celsius. After removing the solidified lithium around the edges, Basu had successfully synthesized the pure compound LiC6.

    Sure enough, LiC6 satisfied Fischer’s needs, and many enhanced physical properties were reported, but one in particular: its high electrical conductivity, which was measured to be about half that of pure copper. Basu began to focus more of his research with Worrell on cathode materials and occasionally experimented with LiC6, to prove the compound could serve as a lithium battery anode exhibited by its properties.

    The main problem with lithium batteries was the thick surface coatings of lithium oxide, hydroxide or carbonate eating away the lithium electrodes after multiple charging/discharging cycles. Several attempts were made during the late 1970s to replace pure elemental lithium by lithium alloys and compounds, but none seemed to work until LiC6.

    In 1978, Basu was recruited to join Bell Labs’ Battery Development Department, in Murray Hill, N.J., to try and solve these problems and further develop the technology toward a commercially viable anode material. Initially, Basu ran into problems with poor interaction between LiC6 and the battery’s organic electrolytes. But during the second half of 1978, he found that a molten inorganic salt (LiCl-KCl) mixture worked at elevated temperatures. It took another year to demonstrate cells with an organic electrolyte worked at room temperature and a real cathode material to work with the LiC6 anode. Bell Labs’ researcher Gunther Wertheim proved that lithium existed as lithium-ion in the LiC6 solid, which is how the name “lithiumion battery” was assigned by the industry.

    But all was not smooth sailing for recognition of his work. After the patent applications were approved, Basu faced a corporate gag order against publication of the research results in journals until the end of the 1980s. It wasn’t until the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Labs approached Bell Labs in 1992 to develop a product based on Basu’s two patents – and forceful arguments from Basu himself – that the gag order was lifted and Basu’s paper was published in 1999.

    In 1990, engineers at Sony Energy Technology converted Basu’s patents, together with the cobalt oxide cathode material of John Goodenough, into the first commercial lithium-ion battery, which powers most modern rechargeable portable electronic devices.

    For recognition of his contributions to the invention of the lithium-ion battery, Basu received the Lucent Technologies’ Patent Recognition Award in 1998.

    Basu took early retirement from Bell Labs in 2000 and accepted the invitation for the Tata Chair Professorship from his alma mater, Bengal Engineering College, to pursue his lifelong dream of developing lithium-ion-based electric vehicle batteries. Subsequently, he moved to the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in 2003, to set-up an R&D facility on campus. Basu retired in 2008. He now spends summers in Hawley, Pa., with his wife Soma and two sons, Samik and Avik, and winters in Calcutta, India.

     

  • Gary Burrell

    Gary Burrell

    Garmin
    Co-founder

    Experiencing first-hand the need for a new technology has always been an innovation driver or in the case of Gary Burrell, an innovation pilot.
     
    As a certified pilot in the early 1980s, Burrell saw the usefulness of developing a product that used the still under-construction global positioning system (GPS) network to help guide flyers, boaters and other adventurers. This led Burrell and co-worker, Dr. Min Kao, to co-found Garmin, which launched the GPS phenomena.
     
    Gary Burrell was born in 1937 in Stilwell, Kan. He was interested in aviation and aerospace from a young age. He earned his electrical engineering B.S. degree from Wichita State University, then a Master’s degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in Troy, N.Y.

    During his career, Burrell worked in various positions including director of engineering and vice president of engineering at marine and aviation electronics companies including Lowrance Electronics, King Radio Corp. and Allied Signal.

    It was while Burrell was working at King Radio that was later acquired by Allied Signal in Olathe, Kansas, that he recruited Taiwan-born engineer Dr. Min-Hwan Kao, who was working at defense contractor Magnavox.

    By the late 1980s, the talk of the engineering world was the GPS network that was under construction by the U.S. government. Following Kao’s development of the first aviation GPS receiver, Allied Signal squeezed research funds for GPS receivers, especially the marine-focused products Burrell envisioned.

    Over dinner at a Red Lobster in Olathe, Kao asked Burrell if he’d ever thought about starting his own company. Half-jokingly, Burrell replied he’d only do so with Kao.

    They met around a card table at Kao’s home in Olathe to plot strategy. Within months, the two left Allied Signal, committing their personal savings to the new venture. In October 1989, after quickly putting together a business plan, they raised additional funds from families and friends, eventually raising $4 million. The two then flew to Taipei to find manufacturing partners, established an office in nearby Lenexa, Kan. and hired a dozen engineers to build a prototype.

    At first, the company was called ProNav. Unfortunately, that moniker already had been claimed by another company, so Burrell and Kao resorted to simply merging their two first names – Gar and Min: Garmin. In 1995, the company moved back to its home town of Olathe, where the company is still headquartered.

    Among the company’s first customers were coalition forces that used Garmin GPS products to navigate the desert during the first Gulf War. In mid-1992, the company unveiled the GPS 100 Personal Navigator, a $2,500 panel-mounted GPS navigation receiver for boaters and the first consumer GPS device.

    An immediate success, the GPS 100 generated a 5,000 unit backlog as soon as the prototype was unveiled and before it went on sale in October 1992. This strategy of stoking demand by showing off prototypes didn’t slow Garmin. The co-founders believed in vertical integration, which keeps all design, manufacturing, marketing and warehouse processes in-house to maintain greater control over timelines, quality, and service and maintain high profit margins.

    Burrell and Kao ran their growing business conservatively – they never needed to raise additional capital again. They reinvested in the company and established disciplines such as having cash in the bank, maintaining sufficient inventory levels and staying debt-free. Those practices helped avoid a lot of hurdles. Burrell was particularly keen on pleasing the end user, often known to say, “We live and die by customers’ perception of our products.”

    Garmin also pioneered new products in new markets and systems that integrated a variety of technologies, enabling the company to supply complete glass cockpits to airplanes, full lines of electronics for boats and in-dash “infotainment” in cars. The company also developed deep relationships with some of the world’s leading OEMs such as Cessna, BMW and Chrysler. In December 2000, the company went public. By 2002, Garmin was selling more than half of all consumer navigation devices. In 2003, the company launched its first GPS-enabled PDA, the iQue 3600.

    Burrell served as Garmin’s president from January 1990, then as co-CEO from August 2000 to August 2002. Burrell retired from Garmin in 2004, but remains as chairman emeritus.

  • Manning "Manny" Greenberg

    Manning "Manny" Greenberg

    Home Furnishings Daily
    Editor

    Manning Greenberg was not a reporter to be trifled with. When a co-worker casually mentioned how great a singer Bing Crosby was, the devoted classical music lover Greenberg exploded, accusing Crosby, Elvis and Sinatra, of destroying the Western musical tradition. It was this zeal that made Greenberg one of the most influential and respected consumer electronics trade journalists of his time, and a beloved mentor to dozens of today’s trade reporters.

    Greenberg was born in 1927, in Bridgeport, Conn., to Benjamin, best known for making pickles and delivering them to delis all over Bridgeport, and Fannie, a voice and piano teacher. At the age of 17, during the last year of World War II, Greenberg joined the Navy, and served as a pharmacist mate in Quantico, Va. Returning home, Greenberg attended New York University, initially as an English major, on the GI Bill. Later Greenberg switched to journalism because he thought it was more practical, and he liked rooting around getting information and talking to people. He received his degree in 1953.

    Greenberg first saw his future wife, Hattie as a teenager dancing on a table top at a family party. Eight years later, Greenberg was reintroduced to now grown-up Hattie at a family gathering. While courting her in a row boat, he whistled the entire first movement of a Beethoven string quartet. The tactic was successful – the two married, living first on Bleeker Street before moving to a two-family house in Stamford, Conn. Alex, Michael and Abby soon followed.

    Greenberg began his journalism career as a copy editor at Home Furnishings Daily (now HFN), published by the legendary Fairchild Publications, publishers of Women’s Wear DailyHe eventually joined HFD’s TV & Appliances section, first as a reporter and then as section editor. During that time, he worked with future CE Hall of Famers Henry Brief, Frank McCann and Aaron Neretin, covering the nascent color TV business, the emergence of electronics/appliance retailers and Japanese CE suppliers.

    Greenberg created HFD’s “Focus 200,” a list of the top 200 electronics retailers by annual sales volume, and a similar list for major appliance retailers, both of which were later adopted by TWICE. After a salary dispute in the mid-1960s, Greenberg joined Fedders Air Conditioning to head up its public relations department. After a brief stay with Fedders and then Muzak, Greenberg rejoined HFD in 1970 as editor of the renamed “Electronics” section. In the 1980s, Greenberg was made editor of a monthly spin-off Fairchild magazine called Electronics Retailing, profiling regional chains that became national players such as Best Buy and Circuit City.

    Greenberg worked hard even while on vacation. While visiting his son Michael, who had relocated to Gothenburg, Sweden, he wrote an article on one of Sweden’s largest home-electronics retail chains, Siba, and its founder Bengt Bengtsson.

    Greenberg considered Electronics Retailing the crowning point of his career. But the magazine eventually folded, and he returned to HFD’s Electronics section, this time as senior editor, where he helped cover compact disc players, personal computers, video games and VCRs.

    Along with David Lachenbruch at Television Digest, Art Levis at Consumer Electronics monthly magazine and TWICE’s Bob Gerson, Greenberg became one of the most influential editorial voices in consumer electronics. For instance, Greenberg got two leading CE executives to conclude that only one, not two, CES shows were needed, which helped to lead to the elimination of the summer Chicago show. And his feature story about Nintendo of America attempting to enter the market with its first video game system in the 1980s helped establish it as the number one brand.

    While other reporters cultivated sources with diplomacy, Greenberg was voracious, always looking to get the scoop – deadlines and polite niceties be damned. For Greenberg, breaking and reporting a story first and accurately was everything. While Greenberg could be gruff, he also could be quiet and generous. His lasting legacy may be the next generation of reporters he trained and worked with while at HFD, freely sharing expertise and sources. By dropping his name co-workers instantly got reticent company executives to take their calls.

    Among his many honors is a Distinguished Electronics Meda Award from the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai Brith in 1986. After leaving HFD, he freelanced until he retired. Off the job, Greenberg liked to hike in the woods around his Chester, Mass., home, teaching his children about plants, trees and bird songs, before moving to Southbury, Mass., to be closer to his son, Alex. He was well-read and extremely conversant about art, especially abstract painters. He served for a period on the board of the Norwalk Symphony. And in his last years, Greenberg became a University of Connecticut Huskies basketball fan.

  • Dr. Marcian (Ted) Hoff

    Dr. Marcian (Ted) Hoff

    Intel
    Father of the Microprocessor

    Electronic products are everywhere, most controlled by one or more microprocessors, tiny computers in the form of integrated circuits. Hoff helped launch this age by proposing a “computer on a chip,” which resulted in the world’s first microprocessor.

    Marcian E. “Ted” Hoff was born in Rochester, N.Y. on October 28, 1937. He became interested in technology at an early age – chemistry from age nine and electronics from age 12 – inspired by an uncle’s gift subscription to Popular Science, from which he answered an ad for an Allied Radio catalog. When he was 15, Hoff won a $400 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C., from the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. By the time he graduated from high school he had built himself an oscilloscope and had done a bit of television set repair.

    Later as a sophomore at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., Hoff applied for, and was later awarded (1959), two patents for designing two circuits for General Railway Signal, where he worked summers and college holidays as a lab tech.

    Hoff was awarded his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rensselear in 1958, then his master’s degree (1959) and his Ph.D. (1962) from Stanford University’s Electrical Engineering graduate school. While at Stanford in 1960, Hoff and his professor, Bernard Widrow, studied neural networks and co-developed the LMS (least means squares) algorithm, a signal filter still used in many products such as modems, speech recognition systems and noise-cancelling systems. In 1968, former Fairchild engineer and integrated circuit co-inventor Robert Noyce invited Hoff to work for a new startup called Intel. Hoff, employee number 12 at the new chip company, wrote application information for Intel memory, and patented several memory concepts.

    Intel initially designed custom circuits, the first for Busicom calculators. In June 1969, Hoff served as liaison between the Japanese Busicom engineers and Intel’s chip developers. 

    Naturally curious, Hoff reviewed the specifications, which called for up to a dozen chips performing many functions, such as scanning a keyboard, operating a printer, displaying results on LED display devices, as well as performing regular calculator memory and calculation functions. The set proposed to use shift register memory, which used six transistors per bit and was relatively slow. Hoff was concerned the project might be too demanding for Intel and reported his concerns to Noyce, who asked if there might be a way to simplify the design.

    Hoff proposed a more condensed solution, which would use programs to perform the functions of the dedicated chips in the original set. The shift register memory also would be replaced with dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which used three transistors per bit and was much faster to access.

    These changes allowed primitive instructions to be executed quickly and allowed more complex operations to be performed rapidly enough to meet the calculator requirement. The resulting chip set consisted of only four different designs; only those in the CPU would be of higher complexity while the other chips would perform primarily memory functions.

    This proposed architecture for the CPU included slightly more than 2,300 transistors, well within Intel’s manufacturing capability at the time.

    After some initial pushback, Hoff ’s computer-on-a-chip approach was accepted by the Busicom board in October 1969 and silicon fabrication began in February 1971.

    Intel suddenly realized what it had on its hands, and acquired the rights for its custom chip from Busicom. In a November 1971 edition of Electronics News, Intel officially announced the world’s first microprocessor, the single chip 4004, a 4-bit chip comprised of 2,300 transistors.

    After the microprocessor was launched, Noyce asked Hoff to look at the telephone industry to see if Intel might play a role. Hoff assembled a small group, and produced the first commercially-available telephone codec, a device for translating telephone communication between analog and digital formats. His group also produced one of the first digital signal processing (DSP) chips, critical steps in the move from analog to digital telephony.

    Hoff also aided in the design of Intel’s first 8-bit microprocessors, the 8008 (1972) and the 8080 (1974), direct forbearers of the Intel 8088 chip used in the first IBM PC a decade later. In 1980, Hoff was named the first Intel Fellow, the highest technical position in the company.

    Hoff left Intel in early 1983 to become vice president of corporate technology at Atari. When the company was sold the following year, Hoff began a consulting career with Teklicon, which provides technical assistance to intellectual property protection attorneys.

    Hoff retired from Teklicon in 2007, but still dabbles in his own home electronics lab and a small machine shop, complete with a milling machine and a small metal lathe for turning out prototypes. He is married and has three adult daughters.

  • Dr. Min-Hwan Kao

    Dr. Min-Hwan Kao

    Garmin
    Co-founder

    Dr. Min Kao understands not only how to take advantage of an opportunity, but how to provide it. When what would become the global positioning system (GPS) was under construction in the late 1980s, he and co-worker Gary Burrell left their jobs to found Garmin, the first and largest GPS receiver maker. And once his fortune was made, Kao quietly provided funds to educate the next generation of engineers.

    Min-Hwan Kao was born in 1949, in Jhushan, a small town in Nantou province in Taiwan. He graduated from National Taiwan University with a B.S. in electrical engineering, then emigrated to the U.S. in 1973 with his wife, Fan, and earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

    He initially did research for NASA and the U.S. Army. Then, he was hired as a systems analyst at Teledyne Systems where he worked on inertial Doppler radar, as well as other conventional radio navigation and fire control systems.

    When Kao first learned of the GPS system being developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, he was intrigued by its accuracy and its potential, and joined Magnavox Advanced Products, which had received a government GPS contract. While at Magnavox, Kao designed the Kalman filter algorithms for Phase II GPS user equipment.

    Kao was then recruited by King Radio, where he led a team of engineers who developed the first GPS-enabled avionics certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Following Kao’s development of the first aviation GPS receiver, Allied Signal, which had bought King Radio, squelched research funds for GPS receivers.

    Over dinner at a Red Lobster in Olathe, Kan., Kao asked another frustrated Allied GPS receiver developer, Gary Burrell, if he’d ever thought about starting his own company. Perhaps only half-jokingly, Burrell replied he’d only do so with Kao.

    The two met around a card table at Kao’s home in Olathe to plot strategy. Within months of one another, the two left Allied Signal and committed their personal savings to the new venture. In October 1989, after quickly putting together a business plan, they raised additional funds from families and friends, eventually raising $4 million.The two then flew to Taipei to find manufacturing partners, established an office in Lenexa, Kan., and hired a dozen engineers to build a prototype.

    At first, the company was called ProNav. But because that name was already claimed by another company, Burrell and Kao resorted to simply merging their two first names – Gar and Min: Garmin. As Kao later noted, Mingar didn’t sound as smooth.

    There were some early tense moments for the pair. In 1991, the company unveiled the GPS 100 Personal Navigator, a $2,500 panel-mounted GPS navigation receiver for boaters, and the first consumer GPS device that generated an almost immediate 5,000 unit backlog. To ensure every product that came out of the factory met the stringiest requirements, Kao and Burrell put the first shipment through rigorous testing, including at extreme temperatures. Except, a sensor in the temperature testing chamber failed, and the high heat melted an entire batch of the first Garmin products. Despite the setback, the GPS 100 was an immediate success when it went on sale in October 1992.

    In 2006, the now public company opened its first retail store on Chicago’s “Miracle Mile” Michigan Avenue. By late 2008, Garmin became the worldwide automotive navigation leader with about 37 percent of the market. By 2011, Garmin had sold more than 100 million GPS receivers, was generating nearly $3 billion in annual sales, and employed 9,000 people in 40 locations worldwide.

    Described as a genuinely modest man, Kao is prolifically – but privately – philanthropic. One well-publicized recipient of Kao’s largess is education, especially STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs.

    For instance, in 2007, Kao established the $10 million Garmin Electrical and Computer Engineering Initiative, which each year provides 20 students with $5,000 undergraduate scholarships. In addition, this initiative offers hands-on engineering internships at Garmin, which not coincidentally ensures that the company is provided a steady stream of young engineering talent.

    Also in 2007, Kao and his wife contributed $12.5 million to his alma mater, the University of Tennessee, for the construction of the 150,000-square-foot Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building on the university’s engineering campus. The building opened in spring 2012. Kao and his wife also donated $5 million to create the Min H. Kao Scholars and Fellows endowments and the Kao Professorship.

    In December 2012, Kao stepped down as CEO of Garmin and became executive chairman. His entrepreneurial success has rubbed off on his children. After attending New York University and the Parsons School of Design, his daughter, Jen, launched her own fashion line in New York, and his son, Ken, is a film producer in Los Angeles.

  • Mikio Katayama

    Mikio Katayama

    Sharp
    Chief Director of Liquid Crystal Display Development

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sharp was the acknowledged pioneer and market leader in liquid crystal display (LCD) TV research, development and sales. Sharp’s LCD dominance – in fact most large screen LCD technology for TVs – can be traced to Mikio Katayama.

    Katayama was born Dec. 12, 1957, in Okayama Prefecture, and earned a degree in engineering from the University of Tokyo. Upon graduation, he immediately joined Sharp, in April 1981, assigned to the company’s R&D center, helping to push Sharp’s pioneering work on LCD technology.

    Katayama enjoyed a swift rise through the Sharp ranks, serving in several LCD development positions. In the late 1990s, he played an important role in developing large LCD panels. He was appointed division deputy general manager of Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Division I, and then promoted to deputy group general manager of TFT LCD in October 2000. In February 2000, he was assigned group general manager of Systems LCD Development Group, where he helped to advance the development of system LCD.

    It was Katayama’s work in LCD, however, that helped turn Sharp’s fortunes around. When Katsuhiko Machida took over as Sharp president in June 1998, he pronounced that LCD TV was the company’s future. There was just one problem – there was no such thing as an LCD panel larger than those used in computer screens.

    It was Katayama’s job to transform a display technology that had been used for nothing larger or more grandiose than computer screens to challenge 42- and 50-inch plasma flat-screen TVs then taking hold of the public imagination around the world. Katayama led and worked with several Sharp teams to advance the art of big screen LCD, filing dozens of patents as work progressed to increase the brightness and resolution of LCD.

    By March 1999, Katayama and his team succeeded and Sharp started selling what was then the industry’s largest LCD TV, a 20-inch model, jump-starting the LCD TV business. Katayama also developed manufacturing processes for TFT LCD, and established the manufacturing process for sixth-generation glass substrates, G6, as well as G8, and G10, which enabled the effective manufacturing of large size LCD panels.

    Katayama’s efforts continued to push Sharp to develop larger LCD TVs with higher quality and faster response speed, while cutting costs so sets became more price competitive with plasma. In 2001, the company unveiled its AQUOS TV brand. By 2004, Sharp had captured 50 percent of the Japanese LCD TV market and was acknowledged as the market leader in both high-quality and large screen LCD TVs.

    By 2002, Katayama and his cohorts developed integrated liquid crystal panels that molded substrate functional elements, such as sensors, drivers and peripheral circuits directly to the liquid crystal glass. This advance created an LCD display for mobile devices that was lighter and thinner than previous panels, with higher resolution and lower power consumption – key advances and characteristics of all mobile phones and smartphones to come.

    In June 2003, Katayama was named a Sharp corporate director, in 2005 a corporate executive director, and in 2006 corporate senior executive director. In 2007, newly developed Sharp LCDs included the Mobile Advanced Super View LCD for mobile phones with an industry-high 2000:1 contrast ratio and one of the industry’s widest viewing angles (176 degrees) and fast response speed (8ms); the System LCD with embedded optical sensors, which offered input through touchscreen and scanning; and, ultra-thin LCD TVs boasting incredible image quality, ultra-thin 20 mm displays with advanced environmental performance in sizes up to 52-inches.

    Katayama and his LCD teams received the 2009 Technical Award of the Okochi Memorial Foundation, presented annually since 1954 for “industrial engineering in Japan, research and development of production technology, and outstanding achievement for the implementation of advanced production method,” for contributing to “the developing and practical applications of LCD panel which is integrated with peripheral ircuits using high-performance crystalline silicon TFT.”

    Katayama was named chairman after retiring as Sharp president in April 2012 and senior executive fellow on June 25, 2013.

  • Katsuhiko Machida

    Katsuhiko Machida

    Sharp
    President and CEO

    Two years before Katsuhiko Machida became president of Sharp, the Grand Alliance high-definition television (HDTV) standards were adopted. Taking a big gamble on liquid crystal display (LCD) as the future of HDTV, Machida transformed Sharp from a struggling company into a market leader in the new LCD flat-screen TV category, and also helped resurrect Japan’s economy.

    Machida was born June 22, 1943, in Osaka, coincidentally, Sharp’s home city as well. He graduated from Kyoto University with a degree in agriculture in 1966, and then joined Sharp in 1969. Machida quickly rose through the corporation, holding different positions across the company’s divisions – including general manager of the TV systems division of the TV & Video Systems Group, group deputy general manager of domestic sales, group general manager of Sharp’s household appliance group, and group general manager of overseas business. He became a corporate director in June 1987, corporate executive director in April 1990, and corporate senior executive director in October 1992.

    When Machida rose to Sharp’s leadership as president and CEO in June 1998, the company’s prospects, largely dependent on the flagging computer LCD and semiconductor businesses were bleak, with profits down and the brand weak. As it became apparent that HDTV was the future of television, Machida made a bold, public pronouncement: Sharp would switch its line of domestically marketed televisions from cathode ray tube (CRT) to LCD by 2005.

    “We had to break away from old technology,” Machida reflected. “As I saw it, the only logical conclusion was to develop a quintessential next-generation television.”

    Sharp had been known as a center for LCD development. For instance, in 1973, the company produced the first portable calculator with an LCD screen. In 1992, Sharp pioneered the use of LCD screens instead of viewfinders on camcorders with the ViewCam. And in 1994, Sharp developed the industry’s first reflective color TFT LCD that could be viewed outdoors. Several other LCD firsts followed over the subsequent decades.

    As a result, Machida had confidence in Sharp’s in-house LCD development, led by the company’s TFT division general manager, Mikio Katayama. While outwardly confident of his LCD strategy, Machida later admitted he was only 60 percent confident on the inside, leading to many sleepless nights.

    Not only was Machida worried about Sharp’s ability to realize his LCD strategy, there was also an industry and media chorus of LCD naysayers. LCD was still unproven in sizes larger than laptop PC screens, and cheaper plasma technology had already begun to dominate the new flat-screen TV market.

    Part of Machida’s ability to focus on the seemingly impossible came from his passion for Nordic skiing. “Once you are on a mountain side, nobody is watching you,” Machida said. “If you get lost with no one else there, you will only be defeated by yourself. It is very important to work hard even if no one else is watching. You have to have self-discipline. I also learned about strong spiritual power and personal toughness.”

    Machida launched a company-wide effort to bring the rest of Sharp’s employees on board. He made almost daily trips to Sharp offices and factories and held town hall-style meetings, repeating the same mantra to sullen and unconvinced employees – “If we don’t do this, Sharp has no future.”

    In March 1999, the company started selling what was then the industry’s largest LCD TV, a 20-inch model, jump-starting the LCD TV business. In 2001, the company unveiled its AQUOS TV brand, and, by 2004, Sharp had captured 50 percent of the Japanese LCD TV market and was acknowledged as the market leader in both high-quality and large screen LCD TVs.

    In August 2006, Sharp opened the first factory to produce larger-screen eighth-generation glass substrates, and created a global five-base production system to produce products in the region in which they are used. At the 2007 International CES, Sharp displayed the world’s largest LCD HDTV, a 108-inch model. LCD now accounts for more than 90 percent of all TVs sold.

    LCD wasn’t Sharp’s only marquee product breakthrough under Machida. He bolstered the company’s semiconductor and computer monitor business and established Sharp’s presence in the solar panel market. In November 2000, the company made worldwide headlines when it introduced the world’s first camera phone, the Sharp J-SH04, produced in the company’s Hiroshima factory.

    By 2003, Machida’s LCD strategies had paid off. The company enjoyed the best fiscal year in its history, with new records set in each of the next four years under Machida’s stewardship. Based on this unprecedented management success, Machida was elevated to company chairman in April 2007. He then became Sharp’s corporate advisor in April 2012 and a special advisor on June 25, 2013.

  • Pierre Omidyar

    Pierre Omidyar

    eBay
    Founder

    There’s an oft-repeated story that the inspiration for the founding of eBay was Pierre Omidyar’s fiancée’s passion for collecting Pez candy dispensers and her inability to find local trading partners. It wasn’t. The story was a PR invention, which obscures the real passion of Omidyar himself, the creator of the most original and influential shopping experience ever conceived.

    Omidyar was born Piyer Morad Omidyar on June 21, 1967, to Iranian immigrants sent to France by their parents to attend college. His father became a surgeon and his mother a well-known academic; but the couple separated when Omidyar was two. Omidyar attended a bilingual school, so he knew English when both his parents moved to Maryland when he was six.

    Omidyar was always fascinated by gadgets, especially expensive calculators. When he was in the third grade at Maryland’s Potomac School, he owned a Radio Shack TRS-80 and learned how to program BASIC on it. Like any budding nerd, he would cut gym and sneak into the computer room to tinker. He also had a tendency to take gadgets apart and then try to fix them.

    He attended eighth and ninth grades in Hawaii, then returned to Maryland for his final three years of high school. After graduating in 1984, he attended Tufts University in Boston, where he taught himself how to program for the Apple Macintosh, and earned a degree in computer science in 1988. He then moved to Silicon Valley to work for Claris, an Apple subsidiary, where he helped create MacDraw.

    In 1991, while working for General Magic, an Internet phone venture backed by Apple, Omidyar co-founded Ink Development, later reconceived as a shopping site called eShop after it was bought by Microsoft in 1996.

    This short dabble in e-commerce led Omidyar to program a direct person-to-person auction site. He launched AuctionWeb on Sept. 4, 1995 – Labor Day.

    The first item posted for auction was a broken laser pointer that Omidyar was about to throw away, which he only meant to list as a test. He was shocked when it was purchased for $14.83 by a guy who collected broken laser pointers.

    At first, Omidyar treated AuctionWeb as a hobby, but the auction idea proved contagious. Within six months he was earning enough to cover his costs; within nine months he was making more through AuctionWeb than he was at his General Magic day job.

    The fees Omidyar collected from each auction financed the site’s expansion, but made him realize he’d need help with this hobby. After an introduction by mutual Silicon Valley friends, Omidyar recruited Jeffrey Skoll, a Stanford MBA and a newspaper executive trying to pull his reluctant employers onto the Internet. Skoll, who became president, wrote the first business plan to help the company make the transition out of startup mode.

    Just one year and 250,000 auctions later, AuctionWeb started selling airline tickets. By early 1997, the site had hosted two million auctions and, by the middle of the year, was hosting nearly 800,000 auctions a day. For the first two years, the company grew 20-30 percent a month, far beyond Omidyar’s wildest expectations.

    One of the transitions from hobby startup to full-time business was redesigning the company logo and renaming the company. The first AuctionWeb logo was a black-and-white box, dubbed “the death bar” by the site’s staff. Fortunately, the logo changed with the site’s name. “eBay” was a shortened version of Omidyar’s consulting business, “Echo Bay” and the now-familiar – and decidedly friendlier – colorful, overlapping letters logo was created.

    In March 1998, Omidyar brought in business executive Meg Whitman as president and CEO; six months later, eBay went public, transforming Omidyar and Skoll into millionaires. Through the years, eBay has provided the market for items even stranger than a broken laser pointer – old gum, water left in a cup drunk by Elvis Presley, a Gulfstream II jet sold for an eBay record of $4.1 million, spouses, and the entire town of Bridgeville, Calif., population 25 – listed four times.

    But mostly, eBay created a new market for goods usually found only at flea markets and garage sales. eBay now has a presence in 22 countries, 15,000 employees, and a user base of more than 90 million people worldwide who sell more than $1,900 worth of goods every second.

    Omidyar married his fiancée, Pam, now a management consultant with a degree in molecular biology and more than 400 Pez dispensers, in 1999. In 2004, Omidyar and his wife founded The Omidyar Group to represent their philanthropic, personal and professional interests. From poverty alleviation to human rights and disaster relief, the Omidyars carry out their efforts through four primary organizations: HopeLab, Humanity United, Omidyar Network and Ulupono Initiative. Omidyar lives in Honolulu with his wife and three children.

     

  • Michael Ramsay

    Michael Ramsay

    TiVo
    Co-founder

    Michael Ramsay viewed America as a “Disneyland for technologists” from his far away perch working for HP in Scotland. When he was recruited by HP to transfer to the U.S., he, like millions of immigrants before him, became an American looking for opportunity. He transformed that opportunity into TiVo, the first commercial DVR, whose success turned the name of the company into a verb and “time-shifting” into a life-shifting pastime.
     
    Ramsay was born in Scotland in 1950. He graduated from Edinburgh University at the top of his class with a B.S. degree in engineering, financing his way through school by writing software to help Dolby Laboratories run its manufacturing and by working with a local electronics firm. This experience provided Ramsay important lessons about innovation and product designs.

    After graduation, Ramsay joined HP as an electrical engineer, designing hardware and ICs. He was recruited by HP to transfer to the U.S. and immigrated with his wife, Carol. During the next six years he worked on the design of HP’s data terminal products.

    In 1980, Ramsay joined his first startup Convergent Technologies, as director of engineering. As employee number nine, he experienced firsthand the excitement of creating a company from the ground up and building a successful business. Convergent grew fast, went public and Ramsay was promoted to general manager in charge of Convergent’s workstation products.

    After five years, Ramsay got restless. After a brief stint back at HP, he joined Silicon Graphics (SGI) in 1986. Still a small company, at SGI Ramsay took responsibility for a new generation of products – the Personal Iris, Indigo, O2 and all related hardware and software products. In addition to managing SGI’s workstation business, Ramsay also ran a subsidiary of SGI – Silicon Studio, which was responsible for business development and strategic relationships with the media industry leading to SGI becoming the dominant hardware supplier to studios developing 3D special effects for movies and video games. Ramsay rose to senior vice president at SGI, and developed a keen interest in the use of computer technology for entertainment.

    During his stint at HP, Ramsay made the acquaintance of Jim Barton, who was working on a project Ramsay was overseeing. They reunited at SGI in 1986, then again after Ramsay left SGI in 1997. Over a series of lunches, the pair combined to form Teleworld, later changed to TiVo – a nonsense name indicating nothing but more reflective of the company’s intention to change TV – with Ramsay as CEO and Barton as CTO, in August 1997.

    The original plan for TiVo was to create a network server for the home. When the pair realized it would be tough to explain to consumers what they’d need a home network server for, they pared their idea down to a hard drive-based TV recorder dubbed a personal video recorder (PVR).

    Unfortunately, Ramsay and Barton weren’t the only entrepreneurs dreaming of a digital replacement for the analog and tape-based VCR. TiVo and a company called ReplayTV both announced their products at the 1999 International CES, each promising products in a year.

    In early March 1999, however, TiVo was behind its promised end-of-the-month delivery date. Ramsay cajoled his staff to meet their self-imposed deadline and beat ReplayTV to the market. Dubbing the effort Project Blue Moon since there was a second full blue moon that month, the team worked 24-hour days. One of the hall closets was designated just for blankets and pillows.

    TiVo hit its mark, and shipped its first product on March 31, 1999, beating ReplayTV into the market by a couple of weeks. Thereafter, the last Friday in March was proclaimed an official “Blue Moon” holiday for all TiVo employees.

    The idea of pausing live TV and easy one-button recording caught on. TiVo went public in September 1999 and grew rapidly through its own retail efforts and through strategic relationships with DirecTV, Sony, Philips, Comcast and many other CE and TV provider companies.

    Over time the PVR became know as the digital video recorder (DVR). By 2013, a DVR was present in 46 percent of U.S. homes. The time-shifting TiVo enabled has become so prevalent it has changed television advertising models and pushed Nielsen to change its TV ratings methodology to compensate for viewers no longer watching programs when they originally air.

    After 10 years at the helm of TiVo, Ramsay decided to use his experience to help emerging startup companies, and joined the New Enterprise Associates (NEA) as a venture partner, joining several boards of companies in which NEA was invested.

    In 2012, the entrepreneurial bug again bit Ramsay and Barton. The pair founded a new company, InVisioneer, which received initial investments from KP, Redpoint and Andreessen-Horowitz. The pair promised “the re-invention of video entertainment, all over again.”

  • Dr. Ching Tang

    Dr. Ching Tang

    Eastman Kodak
    Co-inventor OLED

    It’s an old scientific story. A researcher is searching for one thing, but ends up discovering something of far greater importance. This is the story behind Dr. Ching Tang’s role as the father of OLED and the founding of a still-growing multi-billion dollar industry.

    Tang was born on a rice and chicken farm in Yuen Long, a poor village on Hong Kong’s outskirts, in 1947. After attending King’s College, a high school in Hong Kong, Tang graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from the University of British Columbia, Canada in 1970. He went on to pursue his graduate study in Cornell, where he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1975, and then immediately joined Eastman Kodak as a research scientist.

    Tang spent his first years at Kodak’s research laboratories trying to cook up new materials and device structures that would efficiently enable the conversion of sunlight into electricity. After a bit of struggle, Tang invented the organic heterojunction device structure and adapted it in organic solar cells to achieve as much as one percent efficiency, a major breakthrough in the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV). The organic heterojunction structure – an equivalent of the conventional “pn” junction – laid the basis for a new field now known as organic electronics.

    While testing these OPV devices in a dark room one day in 1980, Tang observed a faint green light from one of the devices when he passed current through the device by applying voltage in the forward-bias direction. A light literally and figuratively went on for Tang when he discovered that he could create electroluminescence from organic thin films with a low voltage. In quick order, Tang was able to demonstrate blue light, a color not readily seen in conventional inorganic light emitting diodes, and thus triggered the prospect of practical use of what he later coined OLED – organic light emitting diode.

    Tang and Steve Van Slyke searched for and discovered many organic materials with highly fluorescent and proper charge transport properties for use in their electroluminescent devices. By adapting the heterojunction structure that Tang discovered in OPV devices, they succeeded in achieving highly efficient electroluminescent devices with all three primary colors. Their OLED work was first published in Applied Physics Letters in 1987.

    Tang’s and Van Slyke’s work culminated in car radios built by Pioneer in 1999. In March 2003, Kodak announced its EasyShare LS633, a 3.1 MP digital camera equipped with a “NuVue” 2.2-inch OLED screen.

    In addition to his basic scientific work on organic photovoltaics and OLED, Tang is responsible for numerous passive and active OLED commercialization innovations, including patterning and backplane technologies for OLED displays.

    Tang was promoted to senior research scientist at Kodak in 1981, research associate in 1990, and senior research associate in 1998. In 2003, he was named Distinguished Fellow of the Kodak Research Laboratories. In 2006, he left Kodak and joined the University of Rochester as the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of Chemical Engineering. He is also a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

    Tang has published more than 80 papers, including three influential papers on his OPV and OLED work, and has been awarded more than 70 U.S. patents.

    Among the many honors bestowed on the man considered to be the father of OLED: Tang was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1998, and Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2006 for “the invention of the organic light-emitting device and organic bilayer solar cell, the bases of modern organic electronics.” In 2007, Tang shared the Daniel E. Noble Award from the IEEE, and in 2011, he shared the WolfPrize in chemistry, an honor that many consider to be a stepping stone to a Nobel Prize.

  • Len Tweten

    Len Tweten

    Magnolia Audio Video
    Founder

    When Len Tweten added a few stereo components to his usual inventory of stationery supplies and cameras in his small neighborhood shop in Seattle, he noticed the uptick in interest from his customers, especially the younger ones. Feeding this interest in music technology, Tweten’s tiny store soon morphed into Magnolia Hi-Fi, the prototype of all highend AV stores to follow. Under the stewardship of his eldest son, Jim, Magnolia Hi-Fi became the most successful specialty audio/video stores in the country.
     
    Len Tweten was born May 9, 1927, in Hamburg, N.D., to Len, a carpenter and the son of Norwegian immigrants, and Lillian. The family moved to Seattle when Len was a child, joining a vibrant Scandinavian community. After high school, Tweten served in the Navy during WWII in the Pacific theater, including a tour of duty at Okinawa. After the war, Len – already a married man with children – attended school on the GI Bill, graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in business administration.
     
    Tweten went to work as an accountant for a construction company owned by Gene Conger, who saw promise in the young veteran. One day, Conger approached Tweten to tell him of a small, 500-square foot store available in Seattle’s Magnolia district and suggested he open his own business. When asked what he ought to sell, Conger suggested stationery and cameras. Conger and Tweten’s father-in-law supplied early capital.
     
    In 1954, Tweten opened Magnolia Stationery. Tweten soon started adding cameras to the mix, changing the store’s name to Magnolia Stationers and Camera Shop. In 1967, he decided to add new-fangled audio gear as an adjunct to the cameras.
     
    Upon seeing the reaction of his young customers to the stereo equipment, Tweten made the decision to switch his store’s sole focus to stereo equipment. Besides, he thought, music was more fun to deal with than film. He called his sister Anne Marie, and the two of them sold every greeting card in the store for a penny each, liquidating the camera stock as well. From then on, the store became Magnolia Hi-Fi.
     
    What made Magnolia a destination was Tweten’s interaction with the customers, young and old. “Can I show you something new?” became his well-known greeting as he listened to his customers’ stories and shared his own.
     
    Tweten also become famous for his loyalty to his employees and his fanatical dedication to customer service. For instance, in the early 1970s, he invited Dr. Amar Bose for a supper meeting. When one of Magnolia’s customers called with a problem with a low-end receiver, Tweten left Bose in the sound room to visit the customer’s house and solve the problem. This individualized attention to service became a personal credo that would become the driving passion of Magnolia for the next five decades.
     
    Tweten’s switch to stereo proved to be great timing, coming at the dawn of the 1970’s home stereo revolution. Early on, he had introduced not only Bose but also Bang & Olufsen and Nakamichi, when these brands were still largely unknown. Bob Carver came first to Tweten with the prototype of what would become the world’s first super high-powered amplifier, the Phase Linear 700. Magnolia also was one of the first retailers to see Advent’s Videobeam big screen front projection system. Tweten also pioneered the “stereo system” concept – a receiver/turntable/speaker package that offered first rate sound at an affordable price.
     
    Tweten opened a second Roosevelt store in Seattle’s University district in 1972, appealing to the city’s music-loving college students. Tweten put his 20-year-old son, Jim, with his first-hand insight into the developing music and electronics youth culture, in charge of this no-expenses-spared showcase.
     
    When this second store proved even more successful than the first, the father-son duo expanded their retail footprint to a peak of 16 locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. To boost the store’s image, the Twetens were early advertisers in regional editions of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated, and also the largest advertiser on the local classical FM station as well as on the core rock stations.
     
    Magnolia Hi-Fi would go on to become the most award-winning electronic entertainment retailer in the nation, winning Audio/Video magazine’s “Retailer of the Year” award 21 consecutive years, as well as TV Guide’s “Hall of Fame” award.
     
    In 1992, the elder Tweten handed off active day-to-day operation to his son, Jim, who became president and CEO, and assumed an advisory role. Len Tweten now divides his time between his homes in Monterey, Calif., and Palm Desert, Calif., with his wife, Rebecca, and can often be seen driving his new Audi R8 and his Bentley Speed, or playing golf at Big Horn or the Madison Club in the California desert, and Tehama in Carmel, Calif.

  • Jim Tweten

    Jim Tweten

    Magnolia Audio Video
    President

    It’s always a challenge for a son taking over a business from a successful entrepreneurial father – if you fail, you have not lived up to expectations; if you succeed, your predecessor gets the lion’s share of the credit. But when Jim Tweten took over Magnolia Hi-Fi from his father Len he took a 13-store local chain built over 50 years and, in five years, transformed it into a national high-end audio and video retailing giant with more than 350 locations, while pioneering the now common store-within-a-store retailing concept.
     
    Tweten was born in 1951, in Seattle. When he was three, his father, Leonard, opened up Magnolia Stationery. Over the next dozen years, Len added cameras and, in 1967, hi-fi gear, creating Magnolia Hi-Fi.
     
    While this switch to stereo gear was underway, Tweten attended the University of Washington, in Seattle. After a year as a ski instructor in Aspen, Colo., Tweten found himself broke and returned to Seattle in 1972 to work in the Magnolia warehouse, delivering and installing stereo systems and selling hi-fi gear.
     
    The elder Tweten opened a second Roosevelt store in Seattle’s University district in 1972, establishing Magnolia’s street cred with music-loving college students. Len put Jim, with his first-hand insight into the developing music and electronics youth culture, in charge of this no-expenses-spared showcase.
     
    Tweten immediately found his passion in working with people and “the sheer enjoyment of introducing new entertainment products to customers. It’s all about the demo and seeing people’s eyes light up on how cool the experience is.”
     
    A few months later, Tweten was re-acquainted with a high school girlfriend, Ilsa Relle, whom he married six months later. Under the Tweten’s co-stewardship, Magnolia Hi-Fi grew to a peak of 16 locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, and became the most award-winning electronics entertainment retailer in the nation. Magnolia earned Audio/Video magazine’s “Retailer of the Year” award for 21 consecutive years, as well as TV Guide’s “Hall of Fame” award.
     
    In 1992, the elder Tweten handed off active day-to-day operations to Jim, who became president and CEO. In 1996, Tweten consolidated Magnolia’s administration, warehouse and service departments in a 100,000-square-foot building he constructed in Kent, Wash.
     
    Under Tweten, Magnolia was generating $100 million in sales a year by the end of 2000, and had several suitors offering to buy the company. The Twetens decided to sell Magnolia and its 13 free-standing stores to Best Buy for $87 million. Tweten was named president of the newly-named Magnolia Audio Video of Best Buy, and began to transform Magnolia into a more services-oriented retailer of premium home entertainment and custom design.
     
    Tweten also wanted to leverage Best Buy’s ability to generate foot traffic at the chain’s vast number of locations. At the 58,000-square-foot Woodland Hills Best Buy, Tweten carved out 10,000 square feet and put up a dividing wall with a separate entrance to create side-by-side locations. Magnolia’s reputation combined with Best Buy’s traffic proved to be a successful hybrid.
     
    Tweten arranged an afternoon store visit from Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson. The pair stood in the Best Buy parking lot and watched Best Buy customers walking out of Best Buy and into Magnolia. Tweten asked Anderson, “Why not just put our store inside Best Buy?”
     
    Once vendor approval was procured, Tweten collaborated with Best Buy leaders to open 1,500-square-foot Magnolias inside two of Best Buy’s California stores, in downtown San Francisco and the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa. These in-store Magnolias featured specialized sales and vendor training, a richer customer experience, more home theater, custom design and installation revenue and profit, and new innovative brand introductions – with no impact on Best Buy’s existing home theater departments.
     
    With these dual-location successes, Tweten and Best Buy quickly expanded the in-store concept. By 2004, there were 20 in-store Magnolia Home Theater Best Buy stores; by 2007, there were 340 – plus the 13 existing Magnolia AV locations. As of 2013, there are 380 Magnolia in-store locations and four free-standing Magnolias.
     
    Best Buy furthered the in-store concept with in-store Magnolia Design Centers, Pacific Kitchen & Home and Geek Squad, as well as Apple, Samsung and Microsoft Windows in-store experiences.
     
    Tweten retired in 2007, and splits his time between Seattle and California with his wife, Ilsa, his two children, Andrea and Jamie, and his granddaughter, Madison.

  • Steven Van Slyke

    Steven Van Slyke

    Eastman Kodak
    Co-inventor of OLED

    Just as we grab a flashlight to scour through drawers or closets searching for an item we know is there somewhere, Steve Van Slyke grabbed a fluorescent light to scour through Kodak’s massive collection of organic chemicals searching for a material that would retain brightness for a lengthy period of time.

    Van Slyke’s ultimately successful search, conducted with Kodak research partner Dr. Ching Tang, resulted in the invention of organic thin film electroluminescence/small-molecule organic light emitting diodes, technically called organic thin film electroluminescence, but better known today as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode): thin, bright and low-power displays now used in smartphones, digital cameras and next-generation HD and Ultra HDTVs.

    Van Slyke was born in 1956, in Denver, Colo., to Anna and Dr. Barton Van Slyke, a radiologist. During his childhood, Van Slyke displayed a flair for science. He bounced between physics and chemistry in college, but was inspired to major in chemistry by one of his professors at Ithaca College, where Van Slyke spent summers researching solar energy storage. But Van Slyke retained an interest in electrical engineering, which would figure prominently in his later OLED work.

    After receiving his B.S. in chemistry from Ithaca College, Van Slyke joined Eastman Kodak in 1979. He was hired by Dr. Ching Tang, who was working on photovoltaics – solar panels – and thin film electroluminance. Tang had discovered that light was emitted by organic thin film photovoltaics when a light voltage was applied. Van Slyke’s job was to locate the right organic compounds that would sustain this voltage-enabled emitted light.

    Van Slyke and Tang struggled for several years to maintain this light for more than half an hour, studying many classes of fluorescent materials when Van Slyke started his organic materials search. Once he had a list of candidate materials, Van Slyke examined the chemical structures of each – first on index cards and later on a rudimentary computer system – to determine which materials were of the appropriate molecular weight so they could be heated and evaporated in a vacuum coater to coat a substrate with a thin film. While working for Tang, Van Slyke earned his master’s degree in materials science from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

    One of these compounds was an organometallic compound called “metal chelate.” After purification, the chelate was incorporated into an OLED device that operated overnight. When Tang and Van Slyke arrived the next morning, they stared at the still glowing device with wonder – it retained nearly the same brightness in the morning as it had the previous evening.

    This search and discovery of the metal chelate compound created a substantial jump in OLED operational lifetime, from minutes to years. A derivative of this compound – AlQ – is still used widely in OLED device research, and OLED operational time is estimated at nearly a million hours.

    Over the following decade, Van Slyke and Tang refined the “metal chelate” and developed processes that finally resulted in the fabrication of demonstration devices emitting red, green and blue colors, as well as a stable fabrication process.

    Van Slyke and Tang’s breakthroughs resulted in their development of self-illuminating OLEDs that convert electrical energy into light via a stack of thin organic layers sandwiched between a transparent anode and a metallic diode.

    In the late 1990s, Kodak and Sanyo formed a joint venture to manufacture full-color active matrix OLED displays. Van Slyke led the technology transfer, which resulted in the first full-color OLED display to be incorporated into a commercial product. In March 2003, Kodak announced its 3.1 MP Kodak EasyShare LS633 digital camera, equipped with a “NuVue” 2.2-inch active matrix OLED screen, or AMOLED, a subset of OLED. This first OLED-equipped gadget paved the way for others, especially from Samsung, which now sells more than 300 million AMOLED displays for smartphones each year.

    Van Slyke has published and presented more than 40 papers on OLED and holds 36 patents in the areas of OLED materials and device architecture.

    In 2000, Van Slyke and Tang received the Eastman Innovation Award; the following year, Van Slyke and Tang received an Industrial Innovation Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for their work with OLEDs, as well as the Jan Rajchman Prize of the Society for Information Display (SID). In 2004, he was a co-recipient with Ching Tang of the ACS Award for Team Innovation, and was named an Eastman Kodak Research Fellow and Fellow of the SID.

    After 31 years at Kodak, Van Slyke was named CTO and director of process development for Kateeva, a Silicon Valley startup providing ink-jet printing equipment to the OLED industry. Van Slyke, an avid bicycle rider resides in San Mateo, Calif., with his wife Sharon.

  • Meg Whitman

    Meg Whitman

    eBay
    President and CEO

    No matter what Meg Whitman accomplishes in business or in politics, her reputation was most firmly established during the decade in which she grew eBay from 30 employees with 500,000 subscribers and annual revenues of $4 million to more than 15,000 employees with hundreds of millions of subscribers and $8 billion in annual revenue. In just a few years, she transformed a living room hobby into one of the most iconic businesses in the world.
     
    Meg Whitman was born Aug. 4, 1956, on Long Island, N.Y. After graduating from Princeton University and then Harvard Business School, she began her business career as a brand manager at Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati in 1979, then moved to San Francisco to work as a consultant for Bain & Company, eventually rising to senior vice president. In 1989, Whitman was named vice president of strategic planning at the Walt Disney Company, moved to Stride Rite two years later, and then was hired as president and CEO of FTD in 1995. Two years later, she was named the general manager of Hasbro’s Playskool division, responsible for global management and marketing.
     
    When Whitman joined eBay after being recruited by founder Pierre Omidyar, the site still had a simple black-and-white presentation with a plain typewriter font. On her first day, the site crashed for eight hours.
     
    Finding the navigation confusing, Whitman started rebuilding eBay’s organization inside and out. She hired managers to run each of the new 23 business categories, which encompassed 35,000 sub-categories. She built out a management team, hiring executives from Fortune 500 companies who averaged 20 years of experience.
     
    She also rebuilt eBay’s brand by shifting the company’s image from quirky collectibles to new and more upscale goods from major labels with higher selling prices, boosting eBay’s bottom line.
     
    Recognizing the importance of heeding the wisdom of eBay sellers, Whitman launched a series of customer-based initiatives. In 1999, for instance, Whitman started a “Voice of the Customer” program. Every few months, the company flew a dozen loyal customers to eBay’s company headquarters, where they met with Whitman and other eBay executives to discuss what was working and wasn’t, and to produce new ideas. After returning home, these buyers and sellers kept in touch via regularly scheduled conference calls. Whitman also launched eBay University, a traveling show designed to teach consumers how to use the site. In 2002, eBay hosted the first eBay Live! event, which is now an annual customer convention. At eBay Live! in June 2005, she announced ProStores, a Web hosting and e-commerce solution aimed at eBay Store owners, who received a 30 percent discount.
     
    The changes accelerated eBay’s already startling growth. Six months after joining the company, she oversaw eBay’s public offering. After surviving a 22-hour outage in June 1999 that generated international headlines and prompted apology phone calls from Whitman to top sellers, eBay’s profits tripled between 2001 and 2002. By 2002, Whitman had grown eBay’s subscriber base 10 fold and its annual revenues nearly 20-fold.
     
    In 2002, it was clear eBay users wanted to make online payments via PayPal, so Whitman engineered the purchase of the online payment site. She also expanded eBay by buying innovative e-commerce entities such as Shopping.com, StubHub and Bill Me Later. In September of 2005, eBay bought video chat company Skype for $4.1 billion. After Whitman left eBay, Skype was sold to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.
     
    During her tenure, the company moved its headquarters to a complex in San Jose; the buildings are named for eBay categories – Collectibles, Jewelry, Motors, Music, Sports, Technology and Toys. Today, roughly 1.5 million people make a full-time living from eBay.
     
    Whitman resigned from eBay in November 2007, but stayed on the board and served as an advisor to the new CEO, John Donahue, until late 2008. Explaining her decision to step down, Whitman explained in an interview that “10 years is roughly the right time to stay at the helm at a company like ours. It’s time for new leadership, a new perspective and a new vision.”
     
    That same year, Whitman was elected to the U.S. Business Hall of Fame. She also has been named one of the top five most powerful women by Fortune magazine; Time magazine included her in their annual list of Most Influential People in 2004 and 2005; the Harvard Business Review named her the eighth bestperforming
    CEO of the decade in 2010; and the Financial Times listed her as one of the “50 faces who shaped the decade”.

    Whitman ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010, and was named CEO of Hewlett-Packard in November 2011.

2012 Inductees

  • Robert Briskman

    Robert Briskman

    Satellite Radio Pioneer and Innovator; co-founder Sirius XM Radio

    Already a satellite communications legend, Robert Briskman should have been contemplating retirement as he approached his 60th birthday in 1990. Instead, Briskman co-founded Satellite CD Radio – now Sirius XM – developing and implementing the first major advancement in radio since Edwin Howard Armstrong invented FM radio, and revitalizing the radio industry.

    Born in New York City on Oct. 15, 1932, Briskman earned his B.S. in engineering from Princeton University in 1954, and his master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1961.  As chief of program support for NASA's Office of Tracking and Data Acquisition from 1959 to 1963, he invented the unified S-band microwave communications system still used by the International Space Station, receiving NASA's Apollo Achievement Award for his work.

    After leaving NASA, Briskman worked for the Communications Satellite Corporation and then COMSAT General Corporation, holding a variety of positions. During his time at COMSAT, Briskman was responsible for, or was involved in, a long list of satellite communication firsts, including satellite command and control for the launch of INTELSAT I (the first commercial communications satellite), the development and implementation of the INTELSAT global communications system, the COMSTAR satellite system, and the first TDMA system used for voice and data communications services for IBM. Briskman was also responsible for planning domestic communications services via satellites, including AT&T's satellite system.

    He then served as senior vice president of engineering for Geostar from 1986 to 1990, where he was responsible for the development, design, implementation and operation of the company's Radio Determination Satellite Service (RDSS), which enabled positioning and message communications between mobile users and dispatch centers.

    In 1990, former Geostar president Martin Rothblatt founded MARCOR, an incubator company, and asked Briskman to come aboard to assist in several of the proposed development ventures. One of these incubator companies, Satellite CD Radio, was established to discover if the idea of satellite radio was feasible. Briskman thought it was.

    Briskman transformed his satellite radio theories into patented developments on satellite spatial and time diversity, which enables mobile users to receive satellite audio transmissions with almost no outages. He implemented the entire satellite radio technology infrastructure – the satellites, earth stations, terrestrial repeaters and consumer receivers – to make satellite radio practical. His efforts included a new digital broadcast technology called SDARS (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service), which broadcasts digital audio from satellites in the 2332 MHz band.

    Briskman designed and directed the construction of three of the then most powerful commercial broadcast satellites, each producing two megawatts of radiated power, and launched them into a "figure 8" geosynchronous orbit over the Americas in 2000. The unique elliptical orbit that Briskman devised achieves the highest possible elevation angle of the satellites to the three-channel mobile receivers he designed. As a result, Sirius XM radios can almost always capture the signal, even in urban centers.

    Briskman designed and built the earth stations and satellite control facility technologies to complete the Sirius system. On the business side, he helped procure the radio frequency allocations from the FCC, finalized in 1993, and aided CD Radio CEO, David Margolese in raising the needed $1.4 billion to launch the service. In 1999, the company was renamed Sirius Satellite Radio.

    Sirius started broadcasting on July 1, 2002. Briskman's technology was then licensed to competitor XM, which merged with Sirius in 2008. Today, Sirius XM subscribers can receive more than 160 audio channels, including 65 commercial-free music channels and 95 voice channels featuring sports, news, entertainment, traffic, commentary, weather and other topics.

    Satellite radio now has more than 23 million U.S. subscribers and another two million in Canada, with more than 50 million estimated listeners.

    After retiring from the board of directors and other executive positions, Briskman assumed the title of technical executive to concentrate on finishing and improving the technical implementation of the Sirius XM system. He has successfully launched a record 31 consecutive satellites; a 32nd is due to launch in 2013.

    Briskman has been honored by a multitude of satellite, science and engineering organizations including the AIAA (The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), the Washington Academy of Sciences, the IEEE, the SSPI (Society of Satellite Professionals International) and the Space Foundation.

  • Richard Citta

    Richard Citta

    Digital Television Pioneer

     
    For 70-plus years, there was only one method used to broadcast over-the-air television, an analog method prone to interference from nearly anything and everything inside and out, including simply walking by a TV antenna. Persnickety TV reception has all but disappeared with digital television thanks to an interference-free digital transmission system called VSB (Vestigial Side Band) invented by former Zenith researcher Richard W. Citta.

    Instead of toiling over schematics, test equipment and equations in a lab, Citta discovered the solutions to the digital broadcasting problem while lying flat on his back in a hospital bed.

    Citta was born on July 17, 1944. Like many teens in the 1950s, Citta and his friends were ham radio operators, building their sets from kits sold at local electronics stores. In high school, Citta tinkered with cars and fixed all the teachers’ TVs. He worked on electronics sets others had bought and were unable to complete, and discovered he could.

    He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1968  and his master's in the same subject from the University of Washington in 1971. During his first 20 years at Zenith, Citta’s work included developing unique modulation technologies for cable set-top boxes and two way interactive cable TV systems.

    Citta's initial work on VSB began in 1987, when he and his group at Zenith embarked on new modulation technologies for cable transmission and terrestrial broadcasting. In the spring of 1988, Citta – nicknamed "Wolfman" thanks to his thick and wild salt-and-pepper hair and beard – was perched precariously atop a ladder while painting his house. The ladder gave way and Citta fell, crushing his left ankle.

    With little else to occupy him while lying immobile in a hospital bed, Citta stared at the ceiling pondering the HDTV transmission problem – and experienced a "Eureka!" moment. He jotted down some notes and drew diagrams for what would become the new VSB digital TV transmission scheme and presented his concept to Zenith higher-ups when back on the job a few weeks later.
    VSB modulation employs unique technology to prevent interference into existing NTSC (analog) broadcast signals. It contains a unique pilot signal to aid in reception under extremely adverse receiving conditions resulting from white noise, impulse noise and multipath impairments.

    Citta’s breakthrough enabled the use of the previously unusable or "taboo" channels in the VHF and UHF television broadcast spectrum. VSB was first proposed as an HDTV transmission method in Zenith’s 1988 proposal to the FCC's Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service (ACATS). Based on the success of these demos, Citta and the Zenith team developed the so-called 8-VSB transmission system, employed by the HDTV Grand Alliance, which was formed in May 1993.

    Citta led exhaustive testing under both laboratory and real-world conditions. The Grand Alliance standard was finalized in September 1995 after several successful transmission field tests in Charlotte, N.C. In December 1996, VSB was officially adopted by the FCC as the centerpiece of the nation's new digital television broadcast standard. In January 2001, the FCC reaffirmed 8-VSB once, for all and forever.

    Citta led many of the technological innovation efforts that facilitated the end of analog TV broadcasting and its complete replacement by the digital VSB technology. These efforts laid the foundation for the FCC's simulcast rules during the transition from analog to all-digital broadcasting between 1996 and June 2009.

    Today, more than 1,800 U.S. television broadcasters are broadcasting digitally using VSB. Hundreds of millions of digital TV sets have been sold in the U.S. market alone, all of which must contain VSB demodulators.

    After retiring from Zenith in 2000, Citta was named chief scientist for LINX Electronics designing digital TV receivers. He spent three years as chief scientist for chip maker Micronas developing custom integrated circuits and chips for use in HDTVs, and two years as a consultant with Thomson before founding his own consulting firm, the R. Citta Group, which develops concepts for enhancing the mobile ATSC DTV ecosystem.

    Citta, has been awarded roughly 200 patents, with many still pending. He is a charter member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers and, along with other Zenith colleagues, received the prestigious IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award in 2006 for development of the VSB transmission system. In 1997, Citta and the Zenith team received the Engineering Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Science. He is the only two-time recipient of Zenith's highest technical honor, the Robert Adler Technical Excellence Award (1988 and 1994) and was honored by the University of Washington for his pioneering efforts behind the ATSC Digital TV Standard that transformed the way we enjoy television today.

  • Bjorn Dybdahl

    Bjorn Dybdahl

    Bjorn's Audio Video
    Founder

    Although he never learned to play an instrument, Bjorn Dybdahl’s love of music led him to found one of the country’s most innovative and successful AV and custom install retailers, Bjorn’s Audio Video, in northern San Antonio, insisting, “We sell entertainment and fun, not equipment.”

    Dybdahl was born June 4, 1943, in Oslo, Norway. When he was six, his parents immigrated to the U.S., settling in Minneapolis. The young Dybdahl soon developed a passion for classical music; his first record was what he thought was the theme for “The Lone Ranger” – the William Tell Overture. From there, Dybdahl discovered composers such as Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, literally wearing out records, which he played on a portable record player in his room. Like many kids in the 1950s, his first job was as a paperboy. He then was hired as a stock boy at Dayton’s department store. These jobs made him realize how much he enjoyed dealing with customers.

    Without a specific career goal after graduating from high school, Dybdahl joined the Air Force in December 1961. Five months later, he married his high school sweetheart Sharon (Shari). Stationed in San Antonio, Dybdahl soon realized he didn’t want to make the Air Force a career and started college at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio while still serving. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in political science.

    In 1967, a year before leaving the Air Force, Dybdahl started working for Bill Case Sound, a small audio store in San Antonio, to discover if he could turn his hi-fi avocation into a profession. At first, Dybdahl thought he would move back to Minneapolis after leaving the service and open a hi-fi shop.

    But upon his discharge, Dybdahl realized he had no money, a wife, a daughter, another child on the way, and that he hated snow. He continued to work for Case until the summer of 1975.

    At loose ends, Dybdahl received encouragement from several old Case customers. One previous customer called Dybdahl and asked how much he needed to open his own hi-fi store. Dybdahl got a loan of $15,000 with no strings attached and, together with an SBA loan, was able to open a 1,000-square-foot store on October 1, 1975. He and a bookkeeper were the store’s lone employees. Less than a year later, Dybdahl hired his second employee and a custom installer, although at the time, neither Dybdahl nor anyone else knew what a “custom installer” was.

    Founded the year Sony introduced the Betamax and on the eve of the home video and home theater revolutions, Bjorn’s began concentrating on “systems,” before “home theater” was even a term, helping to introduce the latest home theater innovations to the San Antonio area. In 1976, Bjorn’s introduced the first two-piece video projector; two years later, Dybdahl integrated a multi-channel Audio Pulse system with a large screen projector and a laserdisc player to create an early surround sound demo.
    Bjorn’s helped introduce the CD, and was one of the first to demo HDTV, home THX and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) TV. Bjorn’s gave the first public demos of Dolby AC-3 (aka Dolby Digital), dual-layer DVD, HDTV and Pioneer’s first plasma TV. In 2006, Bjorn’s presented the first U.S. consumer demos of Blu-ray and HD-DVD and in 2007, one of the first 3DTV debuts with Texas Instruments and Mitsubishi. Dybdahl appeared as an HDTV spokesperson for Time Warner Cable TV ads, and has produced numerous broadcasts to educate consumers about HDTV.

    Dybdahl was an early member of PARA and a founding member of CEDIA. Audio Video International magazine has named Bjorn’s an Audio/Video Retailer of the Year every year since 1987, and in 2000, Frost & Sullivan presented Bjorn’s with its Market Engineering Award for customer service leadership.

    Bjorn’s continues to grow, having expanded four times. Its current location, a 25,000 square foot building, is accompanied by a 25,000 square foot warehouse, an installation group staffed by a dozen installers and a service department. “Yes, Bjorn’s still fixes stuff,” Dybdahl says. He continues to prowl the show floor, helping customers on a regular basis.

  • Douglas Engelbart

    Douglas Engelbart

    Inventor of the computer mouse; father of hypermedia

    Douglas Engelbart envisioned how to create, access and share ideas and information using computers, as well as how people could interact with one other and work together more effectively in a connected world.

    To bring this holistic system into existence, Engelbart created windowed screen design, the user interface, hypermedia, collaborative computing, multimedia, knowledge management and the mouse. His seminal work beginning in the early 1960s led to the creation of the graphical user interfaces (GUIs) now used on all computing devices, and laid the foundation for how and why most of us use computers and the Internet today.

    Engelbart was born in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 30, 1925, to Carl Louis Engelbart and Gladys Charlotte Amelia Munson Engelbart. He attended Oregon State College (renamed Oregon State University) for a year, but was drafted, serving two years in the Navy. In 1948, he returned to Oregon State and earned a B.S. in electrical engineering. His first job out of college was at the Ames Research Center, run by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor to NASA.

    In 1951, Engelbart got engaged to his wife, Ballard and returned to school, earning a master’s (1953) and a Ph.D. (1955) from the University of California at Berkeley in electrical engineering with a specialty in computers. He stayed on at Berkeley as an acting assistant professor, and in 1957, moved on to the Stanford Research Institute (SRI, now SRI International).

    At SRI, Engelbart began to develop tools to augment how people and organizations collect, use and share information. One of these technologies was hypermedia, the linking of one piece of data to another, developed independently but simultaneously in 1964 with east coast-based Ted Nelson, who coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia."

    For Engelbart, hypermedia was part of a larger integrated system. The foundation of the first hypermedia groupware system was dubbed NLS (oN-Line System). To help navigate NLS, Engelbart experimented with "screen selection" devices – pointers to navigate information presented on a computer screen including a light pen, a foot pedal, a knee apparatus and even a helmet-mounted device.

    In 1961, Engelbart envisioned a pointing device that would traverse a desktop on two small wheels, one turning horizontally, the other vertically, each transmitting rotation coordinates to determine the location of a floating on-screen pointer. Two years later, lead engineer Bill English built one from Engelbart's sketches. Encased in a carved out wooden block with perpendicular wheels mounted in the underbelly, it had only one button – that was all there was room for. Someone lost to history started calling it "the mouse."

    Engelbart and his crew experimented with additional buttons, working up to five, before settling on three by 1968. SRI patented the mouse, naming Engelbart as its inventor.

    At the Joint Computer Conference, a semi-annual meeting of major computing societies in San Francisco on Dec. 9, 1968, Engelbart conducted what has become known as "The Mother of All Demos," a seminal event in the history of contemporary computing. In front of 1,000 computer professionals, Engelbart and his geographically remote colleagues conducted the first public demonstration of the mouse, hypermedia and hyperlinking, display editing, windows, cross-file editing, idea/outline processing, collaborative groupware, and on-screen video teleconferencing – all brand new concepts and technologies at the time.
    Engelbart also was involved in the development of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) ARPANET. On Oct. 29, 1969, Engelbart's lab was at the receiving end of the first message transmitted over ARPANET, which would eventually lead to inception of the Internet.

    In the early 1970s, several of Engelbart's ARC engineers landed at Xerox's new Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), incorporating some of Engelbart's more tangible ideas into the Xerox Alto, the first personal computer with a GUI and a mouse. The GUI/mouse system developed for the Xerox Alto was later adapted for Apple and Windows operating systems.

    In 1989, Engelbart, and his daughter, Christina, formed the non-profit Bootstrap Institute, which was renamed the Doug Engelbart Institute in 2008, and is now run by Christina.

    Engelbart has been awarded 20 patents and is the recipient of multiple awards and honors including the PC Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award (1987), the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award (1993), the Lemelson-MIT Prize (1997), induction into the Computer Hall of Fame and the U.S. National Medal of Technology, presented by President Bill Clinton (2000) and the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition (2005).

  • Charlie Ergen

    Charlie Ergen

    DISH/EchoStar
    Co-Founder

    Charlie Ergen is a bona fide gambler. In between jobs, he and a friend literally tried their hands in Las Vegas dealing blackjack and playing poker. But his biggest gamble was investing in the nascent satellite TV business, a bet that resulted in the founding of EchoStar and DISH, the pioneering satellite TV service.

    Born March 1, 1953, Ergen's interest in technology may well have been influenced by his birthplace – Oak Ridge, Tenn., a sleepy village built into a factory town by the federal government during World War II to produce plutonium for the atomic bomb – and by his father, William, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist. Ergen’s interest in business may have come from his mother, Viola, who was business manager of the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge.

    Ergen earned a bachelor’s degree in general business and accounting from the University of Tennessee, and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. His first job out of school was as a CPA and financial analyst for Frito-Lay, from 1976-1978.

    By 1980, Ergen and a friend, Jim DeFranco, drifted to Las Vegas to make their way as professional gamblers. But they were evicted from a Las Vegas casino for card counting. Once again at loose ends, DeFranco spotted a truck carrying a large C-band satellite dish and a business idea was hatched. DeFranco, Ergen and Ergen's wife, Cantey – known as Candy – started EchoSphere, a door-to-door C-band satellite TV sales and installation business.

    The trio pooled $60,000 in savings, bought two satellite dishes and headed to Colorado – they figured folks got poor over-the-air reception in the mountainous state. Ergen and DeFranco would drive to rural towns to deliver the C-band dishes for up to $15,000 plus $600 for installation, a dollar per mile more past 50 miles outside of Denver – unless the pair was allowed to rest for the night at the customer's home.

    By 1985, EchoSphere had earned more than $100 million in revenue. But Ergen believed the only real path to growth was to launch his own satellite. In 1987, Ergen and DeFranco applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) license, which was approved in 1992.

    Ergen contracted with China to launch his bird, and on Dec. 28, 1995, a rocket bearing EchoStar I was launched successfully from Xichang, China. DISH, with a newly-built satellite uplink center in Cheyenne, Wyo., began broadcasting in March the following year. A second satellite was launched and a second customer service center was opened later that year.

    Within four months, DISH reached the 100,000 subscriber milestone and the company celebrated its millionth customer following the launch of EchoStar III on Oct. 5, 1997, from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

    Two years later, EchoStar bought the broadcasting assets of a satellite broadcasting joint-venture between News Corporation's ASkyB and MCI Worldcom, more than doubling DISH's continental U.S. broadcasting capacity. In 1999, DISH unveiled the DISH 500, the world's first satellite TV system, with more than 500 channels. In 2000, DISH released its first HDTV receiver. Over a six-month period straddling 1999-2000, its stock rose from $5 to $79.

    Ergen also fought for the satellite broadcast industry by helping secure passage of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act in 1999, which allowed satellite broadcasters to carry local stations.

    By August 2003, DISH had launched EchoStar IX from a floating platform at the equator, the first Ka satellite; in all, DISH has launched a dozen satellites. By 2004, DISH became the first satellite TV service to offer local channels to all 50 states, the first to develop a UHF remote control and the first to sell a satellite receiver for less than $200. In 2012, DISH unveiled the Hopper, a whole-home HD DVR system that can record six channels simultaneously and allows customers to automatically skip commercials on most PrimeTime Anytime DISH programming.

    In May 2011, Ergen stepped down from his role as president and CEO to become chairman of the board. When not tending to DISH business, Ergen climbs mountains. A member of the Colorado Mountain Club, Ergen is has climbed each of the state's 14,000-foot peaks, as well as Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Aconcagua in Argentina and the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.

    His biggest achievement, however, is his 30-year-plus marriage to his wife, Candy, and their five children.

  • Larry Finley

    Larry Finley

    ITA (International Tape Association)
    Founder

    Audio cassettes were still a curiosity in the late 1960s, and videotape was used only in television studios. But a Los Angeles restaurateur, radio and TV personality, music recording pioneer and entrepreneur named Larry Finley saw the future of both audio and video tape, founding the ITA (International Tape Association) in 1970. ITA and its later incarnations – IRMA (International Recording Media Association) and, today, the CDSA (Content Delivery & Security Association) – played pivotal roles in establishing the home recording and video business.

    Born May 4, 1913, in Syracuse, N.Y., Finley and his cousins built crystal radio sets like many boys in the early 1920s – except Finley sold them to families who wanted to hear radio broadcasts in their homes. His youngest cousin, Rod Serling, became fascinated by these radios and would go on to write radio plays and create The Twilight Zone.

    Finley began his long and eclectic professional career at 18 as manager of a local nightclub, the Cafe DeWitt. Enticed by the glamour of Hollywood, he moved to Los Angeles and opened Finley's Credit Jewelers in Burbank, adding stores in Hollywood and throughout the LA area. To promote his burgeoning business, Finley staged street dances and concerts featuring famous musicians.

    In 1944, Finley opened the Casino Gardens Ballroom in San Diego, partnering with Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. After the ballroom closed, Finley moved back to Los Angeles in the early 1950s opened up Larry Finley's restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, next door to the world famous Mocambo. On the heels of his MC'ing experience at Casino Gardens, Finley decided to initiate a radio show on KFWB, The Larry Finley Show, broadcast nightly from his restaurant. He recorded his shows on the latest audio tape format, and syndicated them around the country.

    In 1954, Finley produced an early 24-hour TV telethon, raising more than $l.5 million for the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., for which he received the Los Angeles City of Hope Torchbearer Award.

    Finley also became an early television pioneer; Finley Productions Inc. was the first west coast independent TV production company. He hosted a series of music-based local TV shows in the late 1950s on KTLA-TV and KABC-TV. Finley kinescoped and sent these shows by the Armed Forces Network to troops in Korea.

    On radio and TV, Finley interviewed the biggest entertainers of the day and introduced new stars, including Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Rawls, Johnny Ray, Les Paul and Mary Ford. He also became friendly with entertainment industry heavyweights such as Howard Hughes, Louella Parsons, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, and Walter Winchell.

    In 1960, Finley moved to New York City and became president of Tops Records, and later, director of sales at MGM Records. Recognizing the potential of 8-track tape, Finley founded the International Tape Cartridge Corporation (ITCC) in 1965. Finley acquired audio tape rights from the leading 27 record labels, making ITCC the largest provider of entertainment on 8-track tape. During that year, Finley held the exclusive rights and licenses for all music on 8-track tape. Philips licensed much of Finley's catalog for use on its new compact audio cassette format.

    In late 1969, Finley was approached to start an association for this new, quickly developing cassette tape industry. ITA was formed in 1970 with eight member companies, including Panasonic, Philips and TDK.

    To establish quality and ethics standards within the tape industry, Finley contacted 3M, the major supplier of blank tape at the time, and convinced them to adhere to a labeling standard. Finley also fought successfully to keep commercial and consumer analog tape format decisions out of government hands.

    In 1979, Finley left ITA and formed Larry Finley Associates, which acquired programming for home video. He also became a proponent of the VHS format, and by so doing, became known as the Father of Video Tape. He encouraged JVC to license its VHS technology to duplicators and loaders, which allowed third-party vendors to produce and distribute video tape titles around the world – the basis of the entire packaged home video business. In 1984, he was inducted into the Video Hall of Fame.
    Finley passed away on April 3, 2000, at his home in Long Island, N.Y. "It takes a great man to create a business, but it takes a visionary to create an entire industry," said a former associate. "Larry Finley was such a visionary."

  • Fansy and Henry Harold Gregg

    Fansy and Henry Harold Gregg

    h.h. gregg
    Founders

    A man bought a TV from a new electronics and appliance store. Over a holiday weekend, the TV stopped working. The customer called the store's owner – at home. The owner told the customer to meet him at the store with the broken TV in 20 minutes. The owner unlocked the store and got the customer a new TV.

    That story sums up the successful five decade-plus customer-focused "Our progress will come through satisfying the customer" philosophy of Indianapolis-based h.h. gregg and its founders Henry Harold Gregg, better known as "Hine," and his wife, Fansy. It is this philosophy that has allowed h.h. gregg to grow from one small storefront into a nearly 200-store national chain generating more than $2 billion in sales.

    Hine, a Navy veteran of World War II, was managing the Biddle Screw Products appliance store in Sheridan, a small town 25 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Fansy was the home service director for the Gibson Company in Indianapolis and traveled around Indiana and Illinois teaching retailers to sell and operate appliances and giving customer demonstrations. She would also go to homes and instruct owners how to operate new-fangled automatic clothes washers. One of her Gibson training stops in 1949 was at Biddle, where she met Hine.

    Hine moved to Indianapolis to take a job as an appliance salesman for A.C. Zickler at 4930 North Keystone Avenue and later became store manager. Two years after they married, Hine and Fansy used $3,000 they had saved and purchased A.C. Zickler's 800-square-foot showroom, opening on April 15, 1955. The Gregg's sold Admiral, RCA, Spartan and Whirlpool washing machines, clothes dryers, refrigerators and outdoor grills out front while Zickler continued to run his plumbing business in the rear. They soon also started selling "brown goods" including black-and-white TVs.

    A newspaper ad six months later exclaimed "APPLIANCES at ZICKLER'S," with "h.h. gregg, Proprietor" listed at the bottom. Hine served as the sales force while Fansy was in charge of the office. More importantly, that ad also asserted "We Will Be Here Tomorrow to Service the Appliance You Buy Today."

    The Gregg's used off-duty firemen as delivery men, or Hine and the customer would load the goods into the store's old red pick-up truck and make the delivery.

    Gregg's started to really grow once they started selling color TVs. On January 1, 1960, the couple invited guests to their home to watch the football bowl games on their RCA color TV. After three years of these personal demos, the couple added a "color room" to their new 5,200-square-foot headquarters, three blocks from the former Zickler store and began hosting their annual New Year's Day football festivities there.

    The business' growth didn't diminish the Gregg's dedication to customer service. Hine took the store's TV "tube caddie" home with him in case he had to personally make a house call to fix a tube.

    Mrs. Gregg's son, Gerald Throgmartin, joined the company after 10 years of sales experience at Sears. Her other son, Don, came aboard in 1969, and two years later went to manage the firm's second store in Kokomo, Indiana, for 10 years. Also in 1971, the Gregg's opened their third store, on the south side of Indianapolis.

    Hine died in 1974, the same year a fourth location opened in Anderson, Indiana, and Gerald took over day-to-day management of the company. The following year, a fifth h.h. gregg's opened on Indianapolis' east side, just as Hine and Fansy's grandson, Jerry Throgmartin, joined the business while still a teenager. Fansy continued to work until 1983 before retiring to Florida. She passed in 2004.

    In 1989, Gerald Throgmartin became chairman and CEO, while his son Jerry was promoted to president and COO. In 1999, when there were 19 h.h. gregg stores, Jerry became company chairman, CEO and director. A fourth generation of Throgmartins joined the family business when Jerry's son Gregg started work in early 2001. In 2007, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Thanks to Jerry Throgmartin's leadership and stewardship of Hine and Fansy's devotion to customer service, h.h. gregg's now has 190 locations with stores in 15 states including Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Virginia. Jerry unexpectedly passed away in January 2012 at the age of 57.

  • In Hwoi Koo

    In Hwoi Koo

    LG
    Founder

    Getting into business with friends and family – especially in-laws – can be a trying experience. But Koo In Hwoi, founding chairman of LG, believed in "harmony among people.” At the time of the company's founding, LG was run by several families and organized by close acquaintances, including in-laws. Koo's harmonious business philosophy promoted consensus-based decision-making and support followed by full compliance once a decision was made.

    Koo's "noiseless" business management turned LG into a $120 billion global conglomerate comprising 44 different companies including chemicals, telecommunications and, of course, Korea's first consumer electronics products.

    Koo was born on Aug. 27, 1907, in Jisu-myun, South Gyeongsang province. Raised in a traditional noble family emphasizing Confucian values, he studied the Chinese classics during his childhood. When he turned 14, he married Eul Su Huh. After graduating from Jisu Elementary School, he went to Jungang High School in Seoul. In 1931, he returned to his hometown and, capitalizing on his experience in running a co-op, he opened his own draper called Koo In Hwoi Store in Jinju and began his career as an entrepreneur.

    Shortly after national liberation from Japanese rule following World War II, Koo relocated the base of his business to Busan. He began selling cosmetics, but also decided to produce a cosmetics cream himself and established Lak Hui – pronounced "lucky" in January 1947, the first half of what would become LG.

    The success of Lucky Cream cleared the way for LG to become the first Korean company to enter into the plastics industry. He marketed various plastic household products, including combs, toothbrushes and dishware. He also developed and produced quality Korean toothpaste that replaced U.S.-made Colgate as the top seller in Korea.

    While growing the plastics business, Koo also established GoldStar Co. Ltd. in 1958, the first Korean electronics company. A year later, GoldStar produced Korea's first home-grown consumer electronics product, the A-501 dual-band (medium and shortwave) tabletop radio. This led to a streak of "Korea's first" products, including telephones, fans, refrigerators, television sets and washing machines, which brought tremendous change to the lives of Koreans and accelerated the country’s rise as a global player in electronics and IT. Lak Hui and GoldStar merged in 1995 to establish the modern incarnation of LG.

    Koo went on to found a number of companies in the chemical and electronics industries, including a cable manufacturing company in 1962 that produced cables for electricity and telecommunications installations. Koo's companies also played an important role in building much-needed infrastructure in Korea, including telecommunications, by founding a company that produced switchboards and public telephones.

    Koo established GoldStar's first overseas branch in New York in 1968, the same year it manufactured Korea's first air conditioner.
    For the company, Koo's most important contribution was his business philosophy and management principles – harmony among people, a pioneering spirit and R&D leadership – which are upheld to this day. Koo also called on his employees to become pioneers. He saw R&D not as a reckless challenge, but as an essential component to turn this pioneering spirit into a driver of success. He valued engineers and made strenuous efforts to develop new products and new technology.

    "Find something that others did not try yet," Koo said. "Begin with something that is essential to people's living. Once you begin, continue to move forward. Even if you succeed, do not stop there; challenge yourself to something higher, greater and more difficult."

    In 1968, he built and donated the Yonam Library in Jinju, his hometown. Shortly before his death on Dec. 31, 1969, he established the Yonam Foundation – currently LG Yonam Foundation, a public service corporation which offers systematic professional support in culture and education - and left it as his final gift to Korean society.
    Korean society.

  • Byung-Chull Lee

    Byung-Chull Lee

    Samsung
    Founder

    Byung-chull Lee played a vital role in building South Korea's industrial landscape by establishing and operating more than 30 companies for nearly 50 years in industries ranging from import substituting goods to high technologies.

    Lee's business philosophy comprised of "economical contribution to the nation," "priority to human resources" and "pursuit of rationality." Lee founded and managed companies under this philosophy and cultivated them to be the best. He is considered South Korea's leading pioneer businessman who contributed greatly to the development of society through various cultural, art and educational businesses.

    Lee was born in Uiryong-gun, Kyongsangnam-do, Korea, on Feb. 12 1910, the youngest of four children. In 1930, Lee went to Japan to study economics at Waseda University. Upon his return to Korea, he decided to devote himself to running a business under the belief that building Korea’s economy was the most urgent task. In March 1938, Lee founded Samsung Trading Company to carry out his philosophy of making an "economical contribution to the nation."

    After the success of Samsung Trading Company, Lee took over Chosun Brewery, laying out the foundation for Samsung. In the early 1950s, he expanded into businesses such as sugar, wool and paper manufacturing. He also contributed to the development of the financial industry through insurance and banking businesses, playing a significant role in rebuilding the national economy in the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War.

    In the 1960s, Lee was at the forefront of building Korea's key industries by engaging in businesses encompassing fertilizer, electronics, retail, clothing, textile, media and land development. As part of his efforts to stabilize people's livelihood by enhancing self-sufficiency in food, Lee founded Korea Fertilizer in 1967, which was the world's biggest single production facility. He helped boost the country's exports, led the development of heavy chemical and defense industries and contributed to the development of high technology industries including semiconductor, aviation, fine chemicals and computers.

    Lee established a network of TV broadcasting, newspapers and other publications, marking an important milestone in the development of Korea's media culture. His Ho-Am Art Museum helped foster pride among Koreans in their cultural heritage among, and with the Samsung Foundation of Culture, he promoted a culture of morals and advanced the arts.

    Lee's foresight that the future of his business relied on the electronics industry led him to found Samsung Electronics in 1969. The company has become the world's largest IT company that leads the global TV, mobile phone, memory and LCD (liquid crystal display) markets.

    In 1973, Samsung Electronics developed a 19-inch transistor black-and-white television. Following the success of this television, the company expanded into other electronics products including refrigerators and washing machines. By 1981, the company had manufactured more than 10 million black-and-white televisions.

    Samsung Electronics expanded into the semiconductor business in 1974, acquiring Korea Semiconductor, and entered the telecommunications business by acquiring Korea Telecommunications in 1980. In 1983, Lee made what has come to be known as the "Tokyo Declaration," announcing that Samsung Electronics would enter the DRAM (dynamic random access memory) business. A year later, the company became the third company in the world to develop 64K DRAM. In 1984, it introduced the world's first 256K DRAM and later started mass production of 1Mega DRAM, helping South Korea become a semiconductor powerhouse and setting the groundwork for the company to be the global technology leader.

    Lee was one of Korea's most highly-regarded businessmen and his pen name, Ho-Am, means "filling up a space with clear water as lakes do, and being unshakeable as a large rock," in reference to his magnanimity and volition as a businessman.

    After his death on Nov. 19, 1987, he was awarded the Korean Order of Civil Merit, Mugunghwa Medal by the Korean government and the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government. In honoring his father, Samsung Electronics Chairman Kun-hee Lee established The Ho-Am Prize. Since 1991, Koreans who have made distinguishable accomplishments in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, arts and community service have been awarded Ho-Am Prizes annually.

  • George Smith

    George Smith

    CCD imaging chip
    Co-Inventor

    Like he did almost every day, Dr. George E. Smith wandered into the office of his boss, Willard Boyle, at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., on Sept. 8, 1969, for their usual brainstorming session. Less than an hour later, they emerged with the single most important invention in the history of photography – the charged-couple device (CCD), the imaging sensor chip which ignited the digital camera revolution.

    This was not what they intended to create at all.

    Smith was born in White Plains, N.Y., on May 10, 1930. Smith's parents could not afford to send him to college, so upon graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy. After attending aerograph school – Navy speak for meteorology – he was assigned to the Navy Hurricane Weather Central in Miami. The Navy was slated to kill a research project aimed at finding the location of hurricanes using seismographs to measure the vibrations made in the ocean floor. Smith designed a different seismographic method and saved the project.

    Smith also took courses at the University of Miami. He worked part-time jobs at the university, running an ancient mechanical differential analyzer and making basic measurements on semiconductors.

    Back from the Navy, Smith entered the University of Pennsylvania as a sophomore, earning his B.A. in physics in 1955. He moved west and earned his master's (1956) and his Ph.D. (1959) in physics from the University of Chicago, submitting one of the shortest doctoral thesis on record – just three pages on "The Anomalous Skin Effect in Bismuth."

    Following graduation, Smith joined Bell Laboratories, where researchers were given the latitude to work on what interested them. In 1964, he became head of the Device Concepts Department, a group formed to devise next-generation solid-state devices.
    On that fall afternoon in 1969, Smith and his boss convened to brainstorm about semiconductor integrated circuits. They had been asked to examine whether it was possible to devise a form of bubble memory using semiconductors.

    Smith had been involved with an effort to create an electron beam imaging tube for the Picturephone, with a target consisting of an array of silicon diodes. After jotting some notes on the blackboard, Smith realized what they were devising could store data, and would also be an image sensor. The CCD takes advantage of the solid-state equivalent of the photoelectric effect that won Albert Einstein his Nobel Prize in 1921.

    According to Smith, “metal-oxide-silicon (MOS) capacitors were already being extensively studied as the gate structure for MOS transistors, which form the basis of today's vast integrated circuit technology. Charge stored on these capacitors could represent digital information for memory – no charge for a zero and maximum charge for a one – devices or analog information formed by incident light and the solid state equivalent of the photoelectric effect, the amount of charge being proportional to the light intensity.”

    The first model based on their idea was constructed and successfully demonstrated a few weeks later. The device was publicly announced in 1970, and was quickly picked up by several companies including Fairchild, RCA and Texas Instruments. Bell Labs also developed and demonstrated a CCD camera for Picturephone but the effort was terminated when AT&T decided not to develop a Picturephone network.

    A researcher at Kodak, CEA Hall of Famer Steve Sasson, procured CCD chips from Fairchild and, in December 1975, built the first working digital camera. But before the CCD was used in the first consumer digital cameras in 1994, it was installed in the Hubble Telescope in 1990 to snap digital photos of distant galaxies.

    Smith has been a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, was made a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He holds 31 U.S. patents and is the author of more than 40 papers. Since 1970, Boyle and Smith have received several awards for their accomplishment and, in 2009, they were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics for the invention of the CCD.

    Smith retired from Bell Laboratories as head of the VLSI Device Department in April 1986. He then started a world cruise aboard his 9.5-meter sailboat, APOGEE, which he completed in 2003 after 55,000 miles of ocean sailing. He lives in Barnegat, N.J.

  • Willard Boyle

    Willard Boyle

    CCD imaging chip
    Co-Inventor

    It's not as far from a small logging community in north Quebec, Canada, to Stockholm, Sweden as you might think. Willard Boyle made only a slight detour through Murray Hill, N.J., on his way to collecting a Nobel Prize with his fellow Bell Labs researcher George E. Smith for co-inventing the CCD (charged-couple device), the first digital imaging chip, which transformed the world of photography.

    Boyle was born on Aug. 19, 1924, in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and was raised in the village of Wallace until his family moved to Chaudiere, Quebec. His father was the local physician, and Boyle was home schooled by his mother, who believed in the Socratic method of teaching. She asked him questions that required detailed explanations as answers. Boyle described her as a curious woman, and through her teaching, he developed a strong curiosity as well.

    When he was 14, Boyle began his formal education at Lower Canada College in Montreal. He continued to pursue his scientific interests at McGill University, but in 1943, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and learned to land Spitfire fighter planes on aircraft carriers.

    Boyle later returned to McGill, where he met his wife, Betty, whom he married in 1946. He completed his bachelor’s, master’s and finally his Ph.D. in physics in 1950. After earning his doctorate, he remained at McGill in Canada's Radiation Laboratory for a year, and then spent two years teaching physics at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.

    In 1953, Boyle took a job at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J. In 1962, he worked with Don Nelson to create the first continuously operating ruby laser, and, with David Thomas, was awarded a patent that helped lead to the development of the semiconductor injection laser, found in many electronic appliances. That same year, Boyle was named director of space science and exploratory studies at Bellcomm, a division of Bell Labs in Washington, D.C. While at Bellcomm, he worked on the Apollo program, and helped select lunar landing sites. Boyle returned to Bell Labs in 1964.

    On September 8, 1969, Boyle entertained fellow researcher and CE Hall of Fame inductee George Smith in his office for one of their regular brainstorming sessions. That day's assignment: forming bubble memory using semiconductors.
    After jotting some notes on the blackboard, Smith realized what they were devising could not only store data, but also could be an image sensor. The pair worked quickly, and within an hour had essentially created a digital imaging chip, the CCD. "[We] knew we had something special," Boyle said later. "We are the ones who started this profusion of little cameras all over the world."
    The first model based on Boyle's and Smith's ideas was constructed and demonstrated a few weeks later. The device was publically announced early in 1970 and was quickly picked up by several companies.

    A researcher at Kodak, CE Hall of Famer Steve Sasson, built the first working digital camera in 1975. CCDs would soon appear in any gadget that captured images or video, including cell phones, copiers, satellites, fax machines, and the cameras that roamed Mars and the ocean floor.

    Boyle retired from Bell Labs in 1979 as executive director of the Communication Science Division, holding 18 patents. Retired at 55, he sailed his 33-foot boat for six leisurely weeks up the inland waterway from New Jersey, through the New York Harbor, up to Quebec and down the St. Lawrence to the house the Boyles had built in Wallace, Nova Scotia.

    Over the years, Boyle has been honored many times including winning the Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute (1973), the Morris Lieberman Award of the IEEE (1974), the Progress Medal of the Photographic Society of America, the Breakthrough Award by the Device Research Conference of the IEEE, the Edwin H. Land Medal from the Optical Society of America (2001), the Charles Stark Draper Prize from National Academy of Engineering (2006), and, with Smith in 2009, the Nobel Prize for Physics for the invention of the CCD. He was inducted into the Canadian Science & Engineering Hall of Fame in 2005.

    Boyle lived in Wallace until his death on May 7, 2011.

2011 Inductees

  • Ralph Baer

    Ralph Baer

    Inventor, Home Video Game

    Few people can claim to have invented a billion dollar industry. Ralph Baer, who in 1966 invented the first home video game system, is one of them.

    Baer was born March 8, 1922, in Pirmasens, Germany. His parents Leo and Lotte left the young Ralph alone to play with his Erector set, which he did when he wasn’t reading anything he could get his hands on, especially books on science. “I practically lived in the library,” he later noted.

    Along with all other Jews, Baer was expelled from school by the Nazis, ending his primary education. The Baer family left Germany in August of 1938, just three months before Crystal Night, when the major pogroms began. The family settled in New York City, where Baer ran three radio service stores from 1939 until 1943, when he joined the U.S. Army.

    Baer was assigned to the Army’s Military Intelligence Service and served in England, France and, briefly, in Germany, becoming an Army expert in foreign small arms.

    Before and during the war, Baer enrolled in numerous correspondence courses to make up for his lack of education after the age of 16. Following the war, Baer enrolled in an accredited engineering program thanks to the G.I. Bill, earning a B.S. in television engineering in 1948 from the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago.

    Upon graduation, Baer went to work for Loral Corp., where he built a projection TV set from scratch and speculated on building in a primitive form a video game. However, Loral’s chief engineer nixed the idea. Baer left Loral one year later and, together with Loral’s chief engineer, founded a military electronics business in New York City. In 1958, he joined Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire, which later became a division of Lockheed. Over the course of his 30-year career with Sanders, Baer ran a division of some 500 engineers, technicians and support people, becoming an Engineering Fellow in 1975.

    His experiences with both small arms and television technology provided the impetus for his idea to use ordinary home TV sets for interactive game play. In 1966, Baer wrote a four-page treatise that laid out the entire concept of home video games. Seeing promise, Sanders management provided a small amount of funding.

    In March 1967, Baer set technician Bill Harrison and engineer Bill Rusch to work part-time on developing several demonstration systems. Over the next nine months, the group developed a large number of games using the relatively primitive but cost-effective technology of that period.

    As early as December of 1967, Baer’s team was playing ping-pong, handball and shooting at the screen with a light gun. The activity culminated in the development of the “Brown Box,” a multi-game console.

    In 1969, Baer demonstrated the Brown Box to most of the major television set manufacturers and signed a patent licensing agreement with Magnavox. The engineering group then took the Brown Box and designed a production model, the Odyssey system, which officially went on sale in 1972.

    While not an initial sales success — consumers first thought Odyssey would work only on Magnavox TVs — Baer’s ideas were quickly emulated, often illegally. Atari released the arcade game, Pong, and later became the first licensee under the Baer, Rusch and Harrison patents. In 1978, Baer developed Simon, a single-chip, microprocessor-controlled memory game that became a best-seller for Milton Bradley, and is still available from Hasbro.

    Over his 50-year engineering and inventing career, Baer accumulated more than 150 patents worldwide. By 2010, the business he and the Magnavox Odyssey system inaugurated topped $25 billion in revenue. In 2004 Baer received the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush. In 2007 he was made an honorary Doctor of Laws by the Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire. In 2008 he received the IEEE Masaru Ibuka (Sony) award for Excellence in Consumer Electronics. In 2010 Baer was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

    Baer was married to Dena Whinston Baer for 53 years, until she passed away in 2006. They have three children and four grandchildren.

  • Ralph Baer

    Ralph Baer

    Inventor, Home Video Game

    Few people can claim to have invented a billion dollar industry. Ralph Baer, who in 1966 invented the first home video game system, is one of them.

    Baer was born March 8, 1922, in Pirmasens, Germany. His parents Leo and Lotte left the young Ralph alone to play with his Erector set, which he did when he wasn’t reading anything he could get his hands on, especially books on science. “I practically lived in the library,” he later noted.

    Along with all other Jews, Baer was expelled from school by the Nazis, ending his primary education. The Baer family left Germany in August of 1938, just three months before Crystal Night, when the major pogroms began. The family settled in New York City, where Baer ran three radio service stores from 1939 until 1943, when he joined the U.S. Army.

    Baer was assigned to the Army’s Military Intelligence Service and served in England, France and, briefly, in Germany, becoming an Army expert in foreign small arms.

    Before and during the war, Baer enrolled in numerous correspondence courses to make up for his lack of education after the age of 16. Following the war, Baer enrolled in an accredited engineering program thanks to the G.I. Bill, earning a B.S. in television engineering in 1948 from the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago.

    Upon graduation, Baer went to work for Loral Corp., where he built a projection TV set from scratch and speculated on building in a primitive form a video game. However, Loral’s chief engineer nixed the idea. Baer left Loral one year later and, together with Loral’s chief engineer, founded a military electronics business in New York City. In 1958, he joined Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire, which later became a division of Lockheed. Over the course of his 30-year career with Sanders, Baer ran a division of some 500 engineers, technicians and support people, becoming an Engineering Fellow in 1975.

    His experiences with both small arms and television technology provided the impetus for his idea to use ordinary home TV sets for interactive game play. In 1966, Baer wrote a four-page treatise that laid out the entire concept of home video games. Seeing promise, Sanders management provided a small amount of funding.

    In March 1967, Baer set technician Bill Harrison and engineer Bill Rusch to work part-time on developing several demonstration systems. Over the next nine months, the group developed a large number of games using the relatively primitive but cost-effective technology of that period.

    As early as December of 1967, Baer’s team was playing ping-pong, handball and shooting at the screen with a light gun. The activity culminated in the development of the “Brown Box,” a multi-game console.

    In 1969, Baer demonstrated the Brown Box to most of the major television set manufacturers and signed a patent licensing agreement with Magnavox. The engineering group then took the Brown Box and designed a production model, the Odyssey system, which officially went on sale in 1972.

    While not an initial sales success — consumers first thought Odyssey would work only on Magnavox TVs — Baer’s ideas were quickly emulated, often illegally. Atari released the arcade game, Pong, and later became the first licensee under the Baer, Rusch and Harrison patents. In 1978, Baer developed Simon, a single-chip, microprocessor-controlled memory game that became a best-seller for Milton Bradley, and is still available from Hasbro.

    Over his 50-year engineering and inventing career, Baer accumulated more than 150 patents worldwide. By 2010, the business he and the Magnavox Odyssey system inaugurated topped $25 billion in revenue. In 2004 Baer received the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush. In 2007 he was made an honorary Doctor of Laws by the Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire. In 2008 he received the IEEE Masaru Ibuka (Sony) award for Excellence in Consumer Electronics. In 2010 Baer was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

    Baer was married to Dena Whinston Baer for 53 years, until she passed away in 2006. They have three children and four grandchildren.

  • Ivan Berger

    Ivan Berger

    Leading CE and Technology Journalist

    Any list of the most knowledgeable and authoritative consumer electronics journalists must include Ivan Berger, who has spent decades experiencing, tinkering with and writing about consumer electronics gear.

    A Brooklyn native, Berger was born July 9, 1939, to Leynard and Celia Berger. His mother died when he was young and his father remarried. The family moved to Naugatuck, CT, where Leynard started a children’s-wear store.

    Berger was always interested in technology. His father subscribed to Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Mechanix Illustrated – magazines that Berger eventually would write for. Ivan himself subscribed to a host of car, photo and airplane magazines. The young Berger developed a keen interest in photography, saving up several weeks’ worth of allowance to make his first major purchase, a Kodak Brownie Reflex. In high school, he bought a used prewar Leica with several lenses, built his own darkroom and took photos for the school paper and yearbook.

    It was Berger’s high school chemistry teacher who introduced him to hi-fi. Inspired by his teacher, Berger upgraded the eight-inch speaker in the family RCA TV to a Lafayette SK98, a $10 driver with a hardened center section for better highs. He eventually added a ported enclosure and a used 12-watt realistic amp. After that, Berger was hooked on audio.

    Berger started out at Yale as a physics major but changed to English. When he and his roommates put together a stereo system, he wanted to make sure he spent his meager funds wisely so he studied catalogs and haunted local audio salons, learning about audio features and specs. Finding no help in existing books, he vowed that once he’d mastered hi-fi he’d write such a book himself. He later wrote two books on the subject. Berger soon became the Yale radio station’s classical music director and a member of its recording department; there, he engineered live recordings and remotes, adding to his audio experience.

    After graduating, Berger wrote his first piece on hi-fi audio for Saturday Review, marking the beginning of a 16-year relationship with the magazine. Berger also joined the staff of BMI’s promotional magazine, BMI: The Many Worlds of Music, writing about opera, ballet, folk and country-western music.

    Covering audio for Saturday Review, Berger was introduced to other editors, including Larry Klein (then at Electronics Illustrated and later at HiFi/Stereo Review, for whom Berger wrote for 18 years). Over the next decade, he wrote copy for several agencies handling tech clients, while writing regularly for Stereo Review, High Fidelity and Audio (under pen names, at his editors’ suggestion, since they were direct competitors), as well as for Popular Science, Esquire, and other consumer magazines.

    In 1972, he took a full-time job at Popular Mechanics. As electronics and photography editor, he found his two lifelong interests beginning to converge. In his five years at PM, he covered the precursors of today’s digital cameras, the first home video recorders, Polaroid’s revolutionary SX-70 instant photography system, and the first home computers.

    After leaving Popular Mechanics, Berger spent two years as senior editor at Popular Electronics. In October 1978, Jay Rosenfield, publisher of Video Magazine, approached Berger to become the magazine’s technical editor. Since Berger’s specialty was audio, he asked Lance Braithwaite to be a joint technical editor, and the pair agreed on a combined byline, Berger-Braithwaite Labs. Their first issue, in spring 1979, included six joint reviews. It was a heady time in video, with Betamax and VHS battling each other and the first portable video recorders entering the retail scene.

    In 1982, Berger became technical editor of Audio Magazinewhere he’d spend the next 18 years as a highly respected audio editor. While at Audio, Berger contributed the car stereo section of Chilton’s Guide to Auto Electronic Accessories, and wrote his own long-gestating home stereo guide, The New Sound of Stereo. In 1985, Berger married publicist Roberta Thumim. She died in 1995.

    When Audio ceased publication in 2000, Berger returned to freelancing, writing for The New York Times, Wired, Sound & Vision, Car Stereo Review, Road & Track, Digital Photography Buyers Guide, several IEEE publications, and others, which he continues to this day.
     

  • Samuel Bloomberg

    Samuel Bloomberg

    Tweeter
    Co-Founder, CEO

    Starting with a $10,000 investment and a 1,000-square-foot space, Sandy Bloomberg grew the electronics store Tweeter into the largest high-end specialty retailer in the country.

    Bloomberg was born in Boston on June 19, 1951, into a family steeped in retail as far back as 1889. His father, Harvey, and his uncle, were the second-generation owners of a furniture store chain. His father focused on buying, advertising, merchandising and customer service, priorities he handed down to his son.

    Bloomberg attended Boston University (B.U.) while working full-time at the Harvard Square branch of Audio Lab, one of the first audio component specialty retailers in the country. After quitting school in his sophomore year, Bloomberg traveled to Europe where he noticed there was greater appreciation for high-end stereo components and a host of high-end specialty retailers. Upon his return to the U.S., Bloomberg and his cousin Michael Bloomberg each put in $5,000, and on Valentine's Day 1972, they opened their first Tweeter store near B.U. in a 1,000-square-foot retail space.

    Bloomberg credits the easy, extended terms offered by Japanese manufacturers, most still looking for footholds in the U.S. market, for Tweeter's early success. Merchandise bought on 120-day terms was sold in 30 days, supplying cash to expand the business.

    A year-and-a-half later, the pair moved to a larger retail location near B.U., and opened a second store in the audio store crowded Harvard Square. During this post "Sgt. Pepper's" period, when rock musicians started producing more sophisticated work in the studio, nearly all component stores were strategically located near colleges where high-end audio gear was considered not simply a luxury, but a necessity.

    Tweeter grew fast thanks to a franchise model, allowing many Tweeter employees to open their own outlets. Many of these stores were located in suburban Massachusetts malls, following the migration of the college demographic as they graduated and started families. As the company continued to grow, Bloomberg wanted more control over merchandising and product mix and began to buy back the franchises.

    Bloomberg's product mix focused on exclusive items not offered by other retailers. Tweeter was one of the first area dealers to sell gear from Nakamichi, Yamaha, Boston Acoustics and Bang & Olufsen. In 1976, the stores started selling and installing car stereo, and a few years later, expanded into the new high-end video category.

    Tweeter began to earn a reputation for its exclusive products and knowledgeable, well-trained sales team. Prospective employees went through an intensive five-and-a-half-week training program to create a confident, service-oriented sales staff that often won out over big box retailer prices. The store�s slogans stressed Tweeter's mix of exclusive high-end products and expertise: "Audio, video and a boatload of know-how," and "Some hi-fi salesman can sell you anything. The problem is they do."
    Expansion continued in the mid-1980s when Tweeter opened Media Systems, one of the first high-end custom installation showrooms, in Boston. In 1979, Tweeter had six stores in the Boston area. By the end of 1986, there were 13 Tweeter stores in the U.S.

    Competition, especially on price, arose from new national retailer chains. On August 16, 1993, soon after the chain reached 20 stores, Bloomberg introduced the first automatic price protection (APP). Tweeter checked the prices listed in all the local electronics' stores newspaper ads. If a customer bought an item and Tweeter found that same item advertised at a lower price within 30 days, the company automatically sent a check to the consumer for the price difference. The program was so innovative, it was reported on in the Wall Street Journal.

    The first year APP was available Tweeter sales grew more than 20 percent. Over the course of the program, Tweeter sent out more than 100,000 checks.

    In 1996, Tweeter went on a national buying spree, acquiring 10 chains and reaching a peak of more than 150 stores with more than 3,000 employees. However, new and expanding big box retailers began to challenge Tweeter's exclusive merchandise mix and sales staff training and service. On Dec. 2, 2008, the remaining Tweeter stores closed for good.

    However, the company's focus on buying, advertising, merchandising and customer service left an indelible mark on the consumer electronics retailing industry. In 1997, Bloomberg received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the New England chapter of Deloitte Touche.

    Bloomberg is now a partner at cabinet home theater speaker maker ZVOX Audio. He and his wife, Carolina, have two children, Joshua and Mikaela.

  • Lance Braithwaite

    Lance Braithwaite

    Leading Video Technology Journalist

    Lancelot Lawford Braithwaite has likely forgotten more about how video gadgets work than most tech reporters ever knew. Braithwaite transformed himself from an English professor and video engineer into one of the most respected video technology writers of his generation.

    Braithwaite was born on November 29, 1936, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, to Ena Delores and Lawton Lawford Braithwaite. His father, a lawyer, civil servant and Conveyancer of Crown Lands, introduced him to electricity by letting him fix hot plates and lamps when he was as young as five-years-old, the same age he received his first camera. His father also influenced his interest in physics, chemistry, biology and technical writing. Braithwaite’s mother — an office manager, teacher and piano instructor — also encouraged his study habits.

    Braithwaite’s childhood was filled with tinkering. With friends he would rebuild wrecked cars, and he hung around a neighbor’s ham radio shack. He parlayed a fourth-place prize in a photo contest to his first paying job, as a wedding photographer, and at times, funerals — he once photographed a dead woman in her coffin, a job no adult photographer wanted. But not all of his interests were benign. He hurt his eyes and was forced to wear glasses for a few years when an attempt to make fireworks literally blew up in his face.

    Braithwaite enrolled at New York University to study engineering physics, electrical engineering, accounting and finance, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science in what is now Communications Arts from NYU in 1964.

    While at NYU, Braithwaite served as head lighting and sound technician for plays and operas at the school’s Hall of Fame Playhouse, including Hal Holbrook’s first New York presentation of Mark Twain Tonight. He also served as a gaffer for the play, The Fantastiks, as well as for Martin Scorsese’s first film, It’s Not Just You Murray, shot while both were still students at NYU.

    He then spent six months training at RCA Institutes (now TCI) for camera work, technical directing and lighting. Braithwaite soon got a job at WWOR TV and radio in New York. He helped the radio station get back on the air during the great Northeast blackout on November 9, 1965, by jumping the phone lines from the FM transmitter site on the top of the then-powerless Empire State Building to a phone line at the AM transmitter site in New Jersey.

    When looking for a sound system, Braithwaite couldn’t afford good speakers, so he decided to buy the best headphones available instead. Dissatisfied with the available information on headphones, he conducted his own research and comparisons. A friend introduced him to Ivan Berger, an established audio tech writer. Berger saw Braithwaite’s research and suggested that he shouldn’t be reading reviews, but writing them. Berger off-loaded a column to Braithwaite — reviewing hi-fi equipment for FM Guide New York.

    Braithwaite contributed articles to CB World and Popular Electronics magazines while spending the next five years as an assistant professor of English at Penn State University.

    In October 1978, Jay Rosenfield, publisher of Video Magazine, approached Berger to become the magazine’s technical editor. Berger, a respected audio writer asked Braithwaite to be a joint technical editor. The two agreed on a combined byline – Berger-Braithwaite Labs. Their first issue in the spring of 1979 included six joint reviews.

    Berger typed while the two argued in print about their conclusions. Their differing viewpoints — Braithwaite stressing performance, Berger insistent on ease of use — morphed into insightful, thorough reviews that proved to be popular with readers. Braithwaite soon became the industry’s most authoritative and respected video equipment reviewer.

    In 1982, Berger became technical editor of Audio Magazine, but Braithwaite stayed at Video and continued to write under the Berger-Braithwaite Labs byline. After 20 years at Video, the magazine was folded into Sound & Vision and Braithwaite went to work as technical editor for Good Housekeeping’s brandwise.com website in 1999.

    Braithwaite wrote for a number of publications in the succeeding decade, including Sound & Vision, Popular Electronics, Audio Magazine, CB World, Audio/Video International, the New York Post, and Widescreen Review. In addition, he served as a product engineering consultant for Samsung’s QA Labs, as a judge for the EIA/CEG’s (now CEA) Design and Achievement Awards and Audio/Video International’s Video Grand Prix Awards. He also worked on several EIA/CEG video standards committees, including methods for measuring low light performance in camcorders and for measuring DVD players.

  • Dr. Eli Harari

    Dr. Eli Harari

    SanDisk
    Founder

    Recognizing that new-fangled digital cameras would need “digital film,” in 1988 Dr. Eli Harari co-founded and led SanDisk, helping launch the flash memory revolution to become the global leader in flash memory cards.

    Harari was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1945. His parents came to Palestine from Poland in 1933, as Nazism was on the rise in Germany. At age 17, while studying in a boarding school in England, Harari met his future wife, whom he married in 1972.
    Harari put himself through Manchester University in England, graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science in physics. In 1973, Harari earned a PhD in solid state sciences from Princeton University under a research scholarship from the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

    The newly-minted young physicist worked on space-borne electronics in early satellites at Hughes Microelectronics. In his spare time, he would check out consumer products, and was soon dabbling in prototypes for new fishing rods and self-illuminating screwdrivers. It was his wife who suggested that he apply his physics expertise to invent new semiconductor memory devices.

    From 1973 to 1983, Harari held research and management positions with Hughes, Intel and Honeywell. In 1975 while at Hughes, he invented the industry’s first commercial floating-gate electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), a precursor to flash.

    In 1983, he founded Waferscale Integration, a startup company in Silicon Valley, serving as the company’s president and chief executive officer until 1986 and as chairman and chief technical officer until 1988.

    After a dispute with the board over strategy and direction, Harari was forced out of the company he founded. He started working on SunDisk, which later became SanDisk. Soon Harari recruited Sanjay Mehrotra, a former memory chip designer whom he met at Intel, and Jack Yuan, a former Hughes colleague and chip process engineer. The three founded SanDisk in a two-room office in Santa Clara, CA.

    Under Harari’s leadership, SanDisk’s small team of engineers invented a revolutionary concept they named “system flash,” which required radically new flash memory chip architecture, tightly coupled to a dedicated controller. This combination overcame flash’s inherent deficiencies and led to the industry’s first flash-based solid state drive (SSD). These smaller, more power-efficient SSDs were able to mimic a standard hard disk drive (HDD) with increased durability.

    Armed with funding from venture capitalists, AT&T and Western Digital, SanDisk developed its first 4-megabit flash chips and dedicated controller chips, and then outbid Intel, Texas Instruments and Western Digital to nab IBM as its first customer.
    SanDisk shrunk the technology by inventing multi-level “cell” flash, which allowed more data to be stored on each physical cell. This advancement and other innovations became the foundation for today’s flash memory products, resulting in the price of flash memory to consumers dropping by a factor of 50,000.

    Harari believed consumer markets would accelerate once industry-standard card formats were adopted. So SanDisk licensed its unique patents to competitors, and invited industry giants such as Canon, Kodak, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba to participate in developing standard card formats. In addition to CompactFlash and SD cards, SanDisk invented the microSD card, the USB flash drive and embedded memory for the quickly growing mobile phone market.

    In 1999, the total flash memory market totaled less than $1 billion. Harari predicted the flash memory market would reach the size of the HDD and DRAM markets within a decade. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, Harari’s prediction is coming to fruition; the total flash memory market approached $25 billion in 2011 while growing at a faster pace than any competing memory technology.

    Harari holds nearly 150 U.S. and foreign patents. Along with SanDisk co-founders Mehrotra and Yuan, Harari received the 2006 Reynold B. Johnson Data Storage Device Technology Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2008, he received the Global Semiconductor Alliance’s Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award, and in 2009 received the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal recognizing his “leadership in the development and commercialization of flash memory technology.”

    When Harari retired as SanDisk CEO and chairman of the board at the end of 2010, SanDisk was an S&P 500 company with 3,330 employees worldwide, revenues of $4.8 billion and the leading company with a 37 percent share of the global flash memory card market, more than twice that of its nearest competitor.

  • Stanley S. Hubbard

    Stanley S. Hubbard

    Hubbard Broadcasting
    Chairman and CEO

    Stanley Hubbard was literally born to be a broadcaster. Taking over a radio empire founded by his father during the dawn of broadcasting, Hubbard formed United States Satellite Broadcasting (USSB) in 1981, becoming one of the first — and most persistent — proponents of direct broadcast satellite.

    Ten years before Hubbard was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hubbard’s father, Stanley E. Hubbard, founded WAMD — one of the nation’s first radio stations to rely solely on the sale of advertising for income — which later became the 50,000-watt station KSTP.

    Growing up, the young Hubbard was interested in electronics, especially portable radios, ship-to-shore radios, monitoring short wave broadcasts, and television. Hubbard was naturally fascinated by his father’s pioneering TV efforts — he bought the first RCA television camera ever sold and, in the summer of 1938, he held the first demonstration of television in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. A decade later, the senior Hubbard established KSTP-TV, the upper Midwest’s first commercial television station and today’s only locally owned and operated broadcasting company in the Twin Cities.

    After his graduation from the Breck Military School in 1951, Hubbard officially became an employee of KSTP-TV, starting in the station’s telephoto department. He worked his way through the ranks while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. Soon after graduating in 1955, Hubbard became KSTP’s vice president.

    In 1967 Hubbard became president of Hubbard Broadcasting. A year later, the company built WTOG-TV, Channel 44, in St. Petersburg, Florida, arguably the first successful UHF independent station to operate in a VHF market.

    In 1981, Hubbard started USSB (United States Satellite Broadcasting Company) to create a new satellite TV business. Three years later, after Hubbard was named Hubbard Broadcasting chairman and CEO, the company built and proved the feasibility of the first satellite news gathering vehicles, the design of which would become standard. The first unit, Model GT/AC, is on display at the Newseum, in Washington, D.C.

    In 1987, Hubbard and his son, Stanley E. Hubbard II, and Ray Conover, as chief engineer, established the first satellite news gathering company, Conus Communications, and became the first broadcaster to own a Ku-band transponder. At its height, Conus serviced more than 150 television stations around the world.

    In 1991, USSB, in partnership with Hughes Aircraft, launched the first high powered direct broadcast satellite.  Three years later, both USSB and DirecTV initiated the first direct-to-consumer satellite TV broadcasting and started competing with cable for customers.

    Within a year, satellite TV had more than half a million subscribers, while USSB had about 300,000 subscribers. In 1996, USSB earned $224.1 million in its initial public offering. In January 1999, DirecTV and USSB merged in a deal reportedly worth $1.3 billion.

    In recognition of his contributions to both broadcasting and his pioneering effort in the satellite TV business, Hubbard and his late father were given the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995.

    While running both Hubbard Broadcasting and USSB, Hubbard served on the FCC’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service to develop HDTV, and on the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council, which helped develop policies and plans for America’s new information and telecommunications infrastructure.

    Hubbard was an inductee in Broadcasting & Cable magazine’s first Hall of Fame in 1991, the Society of Satellite Professionals International Hall of Fame in 1992, a recipient of the SBCA’s Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1994, and the Dealerscope Hall of Fame in 1996. He married Karen Elizabeth Holmen in 1959, and has five children. Of Hubbard’s 15 grandchildren, the three oldest are already active in Hubbard Broadcasting, carrying on the family legacy.

  • Dr. Fujio Masuoka

    Dr. Fujio Masuoka

    Inventor, Flash Memory

    Each time you slide a flash memory card into a digital camera, or a thumb drive into a USB jack, sync your music to a digital music player, or store data on a tablet PC, thank Dr. Fujio Masuoka, who invented flash memory.

    Masuoka was born May 8, 1943, in Takasaki City, Gunma, Japan. When he was 10, his mother encouraged him to study mathematics and hired a private teacher. By the time he was 12, Masuoka had mastered advanced mathematics. In high school, Masuoka concentrated on theory, believing that advances in technology or electronics were achieved only through theoretical work. As a result of his studies, Masuoka also developed a deep understanding of economics and law.

    He received his Bachelor of Science, Masters of Science and PhD in electrical engineering from Tohoku University in 1966, 1968 and 1971, respectively. Soon after graduating, Masuoka joined Toshiba Research and Development Center in April 1971.

    Three months into his new job, Masuoka’s boss, Dr. Yoshiyuki Takeishi, showed Masuoka Intel’s Ultraviolet Erasable Electrically Programmable Read Only Memory (UV EEPROM), which was announced a few months earlier. Masuoka studied the Intel technology for two months and discovered a new structure, a stacked gate avalanche injection type MOS read-only memory (SAMOS), which became Masuoka’s first patent in 1972.

    Between 1972 and 1984, Masuoka made other significant memory breakthroughs, pairing a dynamic memory cell with a double poly-silicon structure. In 1977, he moved to Toshiba’s semiconductor division, where he developed 1 Mbit DRAM.

    Masuoka later transitioned to Toshiba’s memory product engineering division in 1980 to begin his work on developing flash memory. He then shifted to Toshiba’s memory design engineering division in 1984, where he perfected and patented NOR flash memory. He presented his findings at the International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco. A year later, he progressed to 256 Kbit flash memory.

    In April 1987, Masuoka returned to the Toshiba research and development center, where he began to successfully develop more advanced NAND-type flash memory. Despite his breakthroughs, flash was not yet ready for commercialization. What slowed Masuoka down was not technology, but money.

    In order to create and manufacture a commercial pre-fabricated 4 Mbit flash memory chip, Masuoka needed to develop a mask to serve as a high-tech stencil to project the various circuit patterns on each layer of a microprocessor. But the cost estimate to create a mask was 10 million yen, which Toshiba was initially unwilling to invest. Masuoka convinced Toshiba’s consumer electronics research executives that a 4 Mbit flash memory chip could be used to create a consumer-ready digital camera with the flash memory serving as “digital film.” With funding from the consumer electronics division, Masuoka continued his development and presented the 4 Mbit NAND-type flash memory at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in New York City in 1989.

    In 1994, Masuoka joined Tohoku University where he was a professor for 13 years before being appointed Professor Emeritus of the university’s Research Institute of Electrical Communication.

    For his pioneering work on flash memory, Masuoka has been presented with numerous honors and awards in Japan including the inaugural Watanabe Prize in 1977 and the National Invention Award in 1980. In 2007, Masuoka was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon from Emperor Akihito.

  • Dr. Robert Metcalfe

    Dr. Robert Metcalfe

    3Com
    Founder & Inventor of Ethernet

    It looks like an oversized phone jack, but the now-familiar Ethernet jack and the computers and Internet network that it links us to, was the creation of Bob Metcalfe.

    A native New Yorker, Metcalfe was born on April 7, 1946, to Robert I. Metcalfe, an aerospace technician, and Ruth, a high school secretary. His father helped him build model trains in their basement and, while in the fourth grade, presciently wrote that his son would one day earn a degree in electrical engineering from MIT.

    For his eighth grade science project, Metcalfe cannibalized switches, relays and neon lights from his model trains and built a neo-computer that could add any number between one and three to any number between one and three to yield their sum between two and six, for which he received a memorable “A+++ H Superior.”

    Metcalfe’s father co-founded BAM Electronics, which repaired televisions. Metcalfe senior arrived home one day to find his son unconscious in the basement among some of his broken TVs. The youngster had reached inside the back of a set and grabbed the high-voltage cable leading into the cathode ray tube (CRT). After that, Metcalfe stuck to voltages below 5V.

    Metcalfe did indeed attend MIT. As an undergraduate, he worked for Raytheon, programming submarine target computers and design automation for the Air Force’s Cambridge Research Lab. He earned his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 1969, along with a B.S. in industrial management.

    Metcalfe transitioned to Harvard for his post-graduate degrees. When the university refused to let him connect the school’s computers to the brand new network created by the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), he joined MIT’s Project MAC to help engineer ARPANET hardware and software, and link MIT’s computers to the fledgling Internet.

    He earned his master’s in applied mathematics from Harvard in 1970 and his PhD about packet communication and ARPANET in 1973.

    While working toward his PhD, Metcalfe went to work for ARPA at MIT. Metcalfe then moved west to work at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where many of today’s familiar computer technologies such as the graphical user interface (GUI) and mouse were created.

    On May 22, 1973, Metcalfe circulated “Alto Ethernet” memo, which included a rough schematic of how a new local network would work, recognizing antecedents such as the Alohanet at the University of Hawaii.

    On November 11, the co-inventors of Ethernet — Metcalfe along with David R. Boggs — successfully demonstrated the first Ethernet system. They went on to connect the far-flung offices of Xerox Corp. In 1979, Metcalfe founded 3Com Corp, short for “computer, communication and compatibility,” to develop standard hardware and software products for the Internet, based on three proposed standards: Ethernet, TCP/IP, and Unix. 3Com went public in 1984 and Metcalfe retired in 1990.

    Metcalfe spent the next decade as a publisher and pundit. He served as CEO of IDG’s InfoWorld Publishing Company from 1992 to 1995, and as IDG’s vice president of technology from 1995 to 2000. For eight years, he wrote a syndicated Internet column for InfoWorld. He spoke at conferences, on radio and television, hosted a weekly webcast, and was executive producer of industry events including ACM97, ACM1, Agenda, PopTech and Vortex. He also authored several books including Packet Communication, Internet Collapses and Beyond Calculation.

    Metcalfe collected numerous honorary degrees, honors and tributes from the computer industry, beginning with the Association for Computing Machinery Grace Murray Hopper Award in 1980. In 1988, he received the IEEE Bell Medal and later earned the IEEE’s Medal of Honor. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997, and, in 1999, to the International Engineering Consortium. In 2003, Metcalfe received the Marconi Prize, and in 2005, he received the National Medal of Technology from President Bush. Metcalfe was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007 and Computer History Museum Hall of Fellows in 2008.

    In 2001, Metcalfe became a venture capitalist at Polaris Venture Partners, serving on the boards of a number of Polaris-backed start-ups and as a director-trustee-advisor to Avistar Communications, USC Stevens and MIT. He also worked with MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, Department of Chemistry, Department of Mathematics and Deans of Engineering and Science.

    In January 2011, Metcalfe joined The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, where he is now Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise.

  • Sam Runco

    Sam Runco

    Runco International
    Founder

    Sam Runco’s name is literally synonymous with home theater — he actually trademarked the term in California, and his namesake company, Runco International, became the most innovative and highly respected projection television makers in the world.

    Born into a coal mining family in Scranton, Penn., Runco devoured monthly issues of Popular MechanicsMechanics Illustrated andPopular Science, and spent his spare time tinkering. He even built a number of models of the futuristic products featured in these magazines.

    Runco also was greatly influenced by Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, especially by Carnegie’s belief that developing the ability to speak in front of people was a shortcut to distinction.

    Runco never made it to college. Instead, in his early twenties, he took a job with a motivational training company. Runco traveled around the country to Michigan, Seattle, and then to San Francisco, where he ended up in the walk-in cooler business.

    He soon discovered he not only had technical aptitudes, but also could cogently explain the technical aspects of products, a combination of skills that soon came in handy. At age 22, Runco was fiddling with a Fresnel lens in front of a 13-inch television, and was able to project a faint six-foot picture onto a sheet pinned to the wall. He was hooked. Runco continued to refine his big-screen concept until he achieved what he felt was “a good picture.”

    Runco began to make and sell projection television kits to local bars and via mail order. By the late 1980s, as the home theater concept gained traction, Runco was well ahead of the curve. He and his wife, Lori, formed his eponymous company in 1986; two years later, the company received a California trademark on the phrase “home theater.”

    Working from their garage in Foster City, CA, Sam and Lori shipped projectors one at a time until they could ship two. In the next few years, as the company grew, Runco made two technical innovations that gained Runco an almost cult following in the exploding home theater scene.

    In 1991, he introduced the first projector with a built-in line doubler, the Super IDTV (improved definition television) system, which consisted of the IDP-800 projector mated to the SC-1050 line doubler. Then Runco hit upon what would become both a legendary product and an enduring concept: the ARC-IV aspect-ratio controller, which allowed users to switch from standard television’s 4:3 aspect ratio, to the theatrical formats of 2.35:1, 1.85:1 and to the anamorphic widescreen ratio of 16:9, which became the HDTV format. This allowed Runco International to deliver HDTV-capable products seven years prior to the adoption of HDTV.

    In 1997, Runco improved the successor to the Super IDTV by designing and building the high-definition DTV-852, the first CRT projector with a built-in line doubler. He also developed the first nine-inch cathode-ray tubes in a consumer projector, the first corner convergence controls, and the first application of digital light processing (DLP) for home theater.

    Runco also has been very active in promoting the interests of the CE industry. He served on CEA’s Board of Industry Leaders from 2003 to 2008 and was a member of the CEA Video Division. He served as a director of Focus Enhancements Inc. from August 2004 to September 2008.

    By the time he sold his company to Planar in 2007 for $36.7 million, Runco International recorded net annual sales of $54.6 million.

    Runco and his wife still live in the San Francisco bay area, and have three children, Sarah, Sammy and Nick.

  • Dr. Claude Shannon

    Dr. Claude Shannon

    Inventor, Digital Data Communications

    Who would have thought that a series of 1s and 0s could be used to create and transmit words, pictures or video? Claude Shannon did. His 1948 paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” created the foundation for the entire digital data communications revolution and is considered the Magna Carta of the information age.

    Claude Elwood Shannon was born in Petoskey, Michigan, on April 30, 1916. As a boy, Shannon excelled at science and mathematics. At home, he constructed model planes, a radio-controlled model boat and a telegraph system to a friend’s house half a mile away ingeniously using two barbed wires around a nearby pasture. He earned spending money from a paper route and from delivering telegrams, as well as from repairing radios for a local department store. His childhood hero was Thomas Edison, who he later learned was a distant cousin.

    After earning Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1936, Shannon became a research assistant in MIT’s electrical engineering department. There he was one of four assistants who operated the Bush differential analyzer, the era’s most advanced calculating machine.

    While studying how the analyzer operated, Shannon became interested in the theory and design, and determined that symbolic logic and Boolean algebra could be used in the analysis and synthesis of switching and computer circuits. He further developed these theories during the summer of 1937 at Bell Labs in New York City, and while writing his master’s thesis at MIT.

    Shannon’s thesis was awarded the Alfred Noble Prize of the combined engineering societies of the United States in 1940, and was later called “one of the most important master’s theses ever written – a landmark in that it helped to change digital circuit design from an art to a science.”

    In September 1938, at the suggestion of the eminent electrical engineer Vannevar Bush, who later organized the Manhattan Project, Shannon switched from MIT’s electrical engineering department to the mathematics department. He spent the summer of 1939 at the Carnegie Institute’s Cold Spring Harbor branch working on his doctoral dissertation, “An Algebra for Theoretical Genetics.” In the spring of 1940, Shannon received a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and his PhD in mathematics.

    On a National Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton the following academic year, Shannon began to work on his ideas relating to information theory and efficient communication systems.

    With America’s entry into World War II, Shannon returned to Bell Labs and joined a team working on anti-aircraft directors. During the next 15 years at Bell Labs, Shannon worked in many areas, most notably in information theory. In 1948, he published his first foundational treatise on information theory, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” which demonstrated that all information sources — including telegraph keys, people speaking, and television cameras — have an associated “source rate” that can be measured in bits per second.

    “Few other works of this century have had greater impact on science and engineering,” it was later noted. “By this landmark paper and his several subsequent papers on information theory he has altered most profoundly all aspects of communication theory and practice.”

    Shannon published other foundational work and papers including a paper on cryptography which led to his appointment as a consultant on cryptographic matters to the U.S. government.

    While at Bell Labs, Shannon met Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Moore, whom he married in 1949. She combined her interests in hand weaving and computing to pioneer work in computer-controlled looms in the 1960s.

    Shannon became a permanent member of the MIT faculty and also continued his affiliation with Bell Telephone Laboratories until July 1972. He received a host of honorary degrees, fellowships and scientific awards including the National Medal of Science from President Johnson in 1966. He was also a member of the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the board of directors of Teledyne, Inc.

    Shannon’s seminal work, equated with Einstein’s, was far ahead of its time. It was not until the early 1970s and the advent of high-speed integrated circuits did engineers begin fully to exploit Shannon’s work. His insights help shape virtually all systems that store, process or transmit information in digital form, from CDs to computers, in every field of communications, commerce, art and science.

  • Dr. Andrew Viterbi

    Dr. Andrew Viterbi

    Qualcomm
    Co-Founder

    Andrew Viterbi’s eponymous algorithm for signal interference suppression made a major impression on digital cellular and satellite technology, and has helped to give us crystal clear cell phone calls and satellite television images.

    Born in Bergamo, Italy, on March 9, 1935, Viterbi’s family fled the Fascist regime to escape the persecution of Jews in 1939. The Viterbi’s settled first in New York City, and then moved to Boston where Viterbi attended the renowned Boston Latin School.

    Long absences from family members back in Italy instilled the young Viterbi with a desire to find ways of communicating across political and geographical borders. By the time he went to college, Viterbi knew he wanted to become an engineer, influenced by the proximity of his home to MIT.

    He earned a scholarship to MIT in 1952, where he was introduced to statistical communications theory. There he encounterd many renowned scholars, including CEA’s 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Claude Shannon. In 1956, he met and married Erna Finci; a year later, he graduated from MIT with both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.

    Three months after Viterbi joined the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Russian satellite Sputnik was launched. JPL got a contract from the Army to put up a small satellite. Viterbi was a junior member of the team that provided telemetry for the first successful U.S. satellite program, Explorer I. Viterbi specialized in “spread spectrum” as a way to quickly and accurately process and transmit information packets, overcoming the satellite’s weak signal and frequency changes created by rapid orbits. He was one of the first scientists to propose digital transmission techniques for satellite telecommunications.

    While working at JPL in 1962, Viterbi earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. A year later he began teaching courses in digital communications and information theory at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. There he created an algorithm, now known as the Viterbi Algorithm, which he described as a quick method of eliminating dead ends in the communication stream.

    There was only one problem. At the time, only a handful of computers in the