Leaders League has selected 25 Innovative leaders in diverse sectors such as Intellectual Property Institutions, Hardware/Software, Telecom, Internet, Media and Life Sciences, and realized a portrait for each. Check out Part II.
Michelle Kwok Lee
Director, the United States Patents Office (USPTO)
First woman to ever hold the position of Director of the USPTO, Michelle K. Lee began her career as a clerk for federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker. She graduated from Stanford Law School and as a private practice attorney specialized in both counselling high-technology companies and patent litigation. The first generation Chinese-American also served as Google’s first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. During her nine-year tenure, she participated in building the company’s impressive portfolio of about 10,500 patents. “I am a long time user of the patent system,” she insists, which is understandable when you find out that, once an engineer, she holds a degree from MIT. Lee was also a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories.
President, European Patent Office
Battistelli has been head of the European Patent Office (EPO) since March 2010. Before this tenure he was CEO of the INPI, responsible for IP in France. In spite of a management style often criticized by media and politics, Battistelli has made impressive contributions in preparatory work for the introduction of the unitary patent system. In 2014, his role was extended for 3 more years with one goal: increase the number of ratifications of the UPC agreement.
Paulin Edou Edou
Chief Executive, African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI)
Paulin Edou Edou is bringing African intellectual property to the light. Elected chief executive in 2007, Edou Edou has now gathered more than 17 countries into the African Intellectual Property Organization, more than the number of European nations with the unitary patent system. Keeping it simple: one office with greatest efficiency, valid in all 17 jurisdictions! The Gabon-born executive has one goal for OAPI: “make it become a laboratory able to undertake, without any complexities, all the issues relative to IP.”
EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation
Carlos Moedas is in charge to ensure Horizon 2020 attracts more participation from the private sector and small businesses. Other priorities are; improving investments in infrastructure and achieving a balanced combination of Horizon 2020 funds with regional structural funds for innovation.
CEO & Founder, Salesforce
Is Marc Benioff the software god? Your bet, but his quest is clear: the end of software, and nothing less! To achieve his goal, he is acting like quite the predicant, evangelizing every company and individual on his path. His “tour de force,” desecrating the design and distribution model of classical software. SaaS (Software as a Service) is Benioff’s Bible. He started Salesforce.com in 1999 in a rented flat in San Francisco, although this was not his first venture. At age 15 he founded his first company, Liberty Software. Liberty created and sold Atari games with licensing fees, generating approximately $1500 per month, which allowed him to graduate the University of South California. Before developing Salesforce, Benioff also spent 13 years with Oracle and at 26 was appointed it youngest ever VP at 26!
Former CEO, Kymeta
Vern Fotheringham is a universally recognized expert in early-stage company development and maturation through IPO or M&A activities. Under his tenure, Kymeta, a company developing antennas for next generation satellite communications and recognized as the next billion-dollar idea bankrolled by Bill Gates, raised $70 million from venture capital financing.
During his 25 years of professional experience in broadband wireless and satellite communications industry, Fotheringham directly participated in the worldwide development and expansion of cellular telephone industry. Related companies include Qualcomm, SkyTerra, Matrix, AT&T, SmarTone and Harris. Vern Fotheringham left Kymeta at the end of 2014 and has newly joined Leosat, a start-up high-tech company.
Chief Executive Officer, Qualcomm Incorporated
Before becoming the CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, Mollenkopf served in the company for more than 20 years. First joining QCT in 1994, Mollenkopf worked as an engineer. He was appointed as the CEO of the company in 2014. Mollenkopf played a central role in developing QCT’s roadmap and led the development of the company’s chipset and smartphone business. He succeeded in helping QCT attaining a leading position in LTE technology industry and expanding business of 4G & CDMA technology. QCT now has 90% of the market for chips and it has generated $30 billion revenue in the past five years from that market.
In his first year at the helm of QCT, Mollenkopf also resolved the regulatory investigations in China and the U.S and led the company to reach an increase in revenue.
CEO, Lending Club
Over $220 million. This is the cash generated with the IPO of Lending Club that Renaud Laplanche founded in 2008. The former lawyer has come a long way since the selling of his first company, Matchpoint, to Oracle. Need some cash? A simple & innovative concept: use the internet to facilitate loans between individuals.
A few years later R. L. is seen as one of Finance 2.0’s leaders, independent from giant banks. With $3.28 trillion consumer lending in the U.S, perspective is still large enough for the Frenchman. Best of luck.
CEO & Co-founder, Instagram
US directors, if you have not yet found the sequel to The Social Network, have a look at Kevin Systrom. Graduated from Stanford in 2006, Systrom spent his first years with Google before creating Burbn with Mike Krieger, which would eventually become Instagram. In the first week they hit 200,000 downloads and 13 million at the end of the year before being acquired by Facebook less than 2 years after the launch. Indeed, Systrom’s success is due to natural leadership, evidenced in his independent running & growing of Instagram, which he defines as “a new form of communication that’s an ideal fit with the always-with-you iPhone in today’s social media world.”
Partner, Sequoia Capital
He is the only institutional backer in WhatsApp, the largest venture capital-funded exit of all time. His success was complete: strategic & financial. Goetz combined $60 M or so in 3 rounds to support WhatsApp which means now Sequoia Capital holds $3 billion in Facebook stock since the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook. Goetz also had a string of public exits such as Palo Alto Networks (IPO 2012) and Nimble Storage (IPO 2013).
General Counsel, Twitter
At 39, Gadde is heading a team of 90 dealing with Twitter’s 271 million users. Her biggest battle: allowing most content to be freely distributed though Twitter. In March 2014, when the Turkish government blocked Twitter, Gadde filed lawsuits in local jurisdictions. She has also been involved in several suits against patent trolls with 100 % success. Vijaya Gadde and Katie Jacobs (VP Global Media) comprise the only two women on Twitter’s management.
Chief Executive Officer, Waze Mobile
Hailed as one of Business Insider’s 100 biggest stars in Silicon Valley, Noam Bardin has been leading the Israel-headquartered social mapping startup to turn to world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation application. Bardin was also the key member to execute Google’s famous acquisition of Waze.
Subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter “Leaders Wisdom Journal”.
Other articles of the same issue:
Pierre Nanterme (Accenture): "Yes, Leadership = Learnership"
The H(app)y Mr. Schmitt
Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World
Wisdom on Innovation
Video: Laws that Choke Creativity by Lawrence Lessig (Source: TED)