Who are the men behind the mask? CBR exposes the CEOs responsible for IoT.
With billions of dollars spent every year on the IoT space, this CEO generation is all about creating the future of technology and humankind.
CBR lists five CEOs that are putting the ‘Thing’ in IoT.
1. Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T
Randall L. Stephenson, 55, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US. He was appointed AT&T’s CEO on May 9, 2007. Stephenson holds a Master of Accountancy degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Central State University.
Previous roles include CFO at Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 and, CTO and later as COO at SBC. Stephenson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Under Stephenson ‘s leadership, AT&T’s IoT solutions range developed a global automotive platform and connected car centre. The company also developed a cargo management solution to track and monitor cargo loads with near real-time location information.
The telco firm also introduced the Global SIM card to give worldwide M2M connectivity for large-scale, multi-national operations. It still offers a M2M Platform with tools and APIs for M2M application developments.
2. Jeffrey R. Immelt, GE
Jeffrey R. Immelt, 59, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, US, has been GE’s CEO since September 7, 2001. He joined the company in 1982, and became part of the Capital Board in 1997.
In February 2009, the CEO was appointed as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Immelt has been named one of the "World’s Best CEOs" three times by Barron’s.
His company is known for having invented the "Industrial Internet" term opening doors to the iIoT, following Kevin Ashton’s creation of the term ‘IoT’ in 1999.
Immelt led the company through its smart portfolio which includes the Predix platform, which is a software solution that helps companies of any size to build and deploy their own customised software smart applications.
3. Lawrence Page, Google
Lawrence Page, 42, was born in East Lansing, Michigan, US and was appointed Google’s CEO in 2011, taking over from Eric Schmidt.
Page studied computer engineering at the University of Michigan and then went on a masters degree at the Stanford University where he met Sergey Brin, whom he partnered with to create a search engine names BackRub, to be later renamed Google.
Being with Google since day one, the CEO set a vision of smart things for the search engine enterprise. Being mostly known for its M2M driverless cars, the company dived into the IoT space when it spent $3.2 billion to acquire Nest and its smart home solutions.
Page’s Google unveiled Project Brillo in late May 2015, a new OS for the IoT, which allows developers and manufacturers build connected devices. The OS includes Weave comms protocol, which offers developers a common language for locating devices on a network.
4. James E. Heppelmann, PTC
James E. Heppelmann, 50, born in Minnesota, US is the President and CEO of PTC since October 1, 2010, having previously served as CTO from 2001 to 2009. In 2014 he was honoured as IoT CEO of the Year.
Heppelmann joined PTC in 1998, when the company acquired Windchill Technology, a Minnesota-based company that he co-founded and served as its CTO. Previous jobs include being CTO for Metaphase Technology.
Heppelmann ‘s company is nicknamed as one of the best kept secret companies in the IoT space. With nearly 30,000 customers, it is a $1.36 billion company who released to the market several IoT solutions.
The CEO drove PTC through its main IoT acquisitions including ThingWorx on December 30, 2013, and Axeda on August 12, 2014.
5. César Alierta Izuel, Telefónica
César Alierta Izuel, 70, was born in Zaragoza, Spain and has been the Executive Chairman and CEO of Telefónica since July 26, 2000 and also a member of the Board of Directors of China Unicom.
Izuel has been part of the company’s board of directors since 1997. Previous companies include Banco Urquijo, Beta Capital, Tabacalera and Altadis.
The Spaniard led Telefónica’s take on IoT and developed several solutions based on managed connectivity, fleet management, the connected car, wearables and the smart utilities industry.
Under Izuel’s term in the office, the company designed a M2M start-up accelerator, the WAYRA, and an IoT platform – Thinking Things – to help developers create solutions. Among the products released, highlights go to Arduino, an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software.