Technolgy 100 - The Leaders who will shape New York

Anyone reading accounts of the downfall of Silicon Alley might surmise that New York's technology sector consists entirely of new media. As Crain's Tech 100 attests, that's hardly the case. The list includes digital artists, CIOs, biotech leaders, educators, heads of nonprofits, analysts, venture capitalists and executives at giants Cisco, Compaq, Microsoft and AOL Time Warner. Although the Tech 100 is not definitive, it represents the diversity of the industry. And despite recent turmoil in the sector, those on the list are likely to shape the direction and growth of New York's economy--beyond technology--for years to come.

The Tech 100 mini profiles were written by Laurie Joan Aron, Stephen Grandel, Michael Ha, Alice Lipowicz, Judith Messina, Miriam Kreinin Souccar, Alexia Vargas, Mark Walsh and Heike Wipperfurth.

Nicholas A. Adamo, Cisco Systems Inc.
Maxwell Anderson, Whitney Museum of American Art
Charles Ardai, Juno Online Services Inc.
Gregor Bailar, Nasdaq Stock Market
Zoë Baird, Markle Foundation
John Baker, Baker Capital Corp.
Marc H. Bell, Globix Corp.

Bruce E. Bernstein, New York Software Industry Association
Henry Blodget, Merrill Lynch & Co.
Denis Bovin, Bear Stearns & Co.
David J. Brand, Lehman Brothers Inc.
Steve Brotman, Silicon Alley Venture Partners
Red Burns, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts
Nicholas Butterworth, Viacom Inc.

Lawrence Calcano, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Jerome A. Chazen
, Chazen Capital Partners
Jay Chiat, ScreamingMedia Inc.
Doug Cifu, Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
James Citrin, Spencer Stuart
Gerald Cohen, Information Builders Inc.
Jerry Colonna, Flatiron Partners
Jeffrey Dachis, Razorfish Inc.

Kimberly Daly, Microsoft Corp.
John Delaney, Morrison & Foerster
Mario Dell' Aera, KPMG
Gene DeRose, Jupiter Media Metrix
Jason Devitt, Vindigo Inc.
David Diamond, Russell Reynolds Associates
Joe Digeso, Time Warner Cable of New York City

Allan H. Dobrin, NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications
Robert Druskin, Citigroup Inc.
Karin Duncker, New Yrok Biotechnology
Kevin Dunwoody, Compaq computer Corp.
Esther Dyson, EDventure Holdings Inc.
Kathleen Earley, AT&T Data & Internet Services
Fernando Espuelas, StarMedia Network Inc.

Rubi Finkelstein, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
Robert Fish, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Michael Flannery, Redwood Partners
Mitch Gipson, Audubon Biomedical Science & Technology Park
Eric Goldberg, Unploygged Games
Carl Goodman, American museum of the Moving Image
Raj Gupta, YadaYada Inc.

Jack Hidary, EarthWeb Inc.
James Johnson, Alloy Online Inc.
Richard Johnson, Inc.
Isaak Karaev, Inc.
Ann Kirschner, Fathom Knowledge Network Inc.
Bob Kitts, Thomas Weisel Partners
Jason Kilot, Blow Up Pictures

Scott Kurnit, Primedia Inc.
Paul Lacouture, Verizon Network Service Group
Robert Lessin, Wit SoundView Group Inc.
Arnold Levine, Rockefeller University
Alexander Lynch, Wilson SonsiniGoodrich & Rosati
Franklin Madison, Industrial Technology Assistance Corp.
Douglas McCormick, iVillage Inc.

Dipen Mehta, IBM's Global net Generation Business-NY Metro
Benjamin Narasin, Inc.
Jeffrey Neuburger, Brown Raysman Millstein Fedler & Steiner
Martin Nisenholtz, New York Times Digital
Denis O'Leary, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Alice O'Rourke, New York New Media Association
Carol Parkinson, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center

Charles Phillips, Morgan Stanley & Co.
Robert Pittman, AOL Time Warner Inc.
Jules Polonetsky, DoubleClick Inc.
Mark Popolano, American International Group Inc.
Tim Purcell, J.P. Morgan Partners' Latin America Group
Rosalind Resnick, NetCreations Inc.
Steve Riggio,

James Robinson, RRE Ventures
William Rudin, Rudin Management Co.
Kevin Ryan, DoubleClick Inc.
Glen Salow, American Express Co.
Edwin Schlossberg, Edwin Schlossberg Inc.
Walter Schubert, Gay Financial Network Inc.
Ken Seiff, Bluefly Inc.

Dhiren Shah, Morgan Stanley & Co.
Richard Sherlund
Bill Squadron, Sportvision Inc.
Janet Stites, AlleyCat Information Sciences
Elizabeth Stock, Computers for Youth
Bruce Strzelczyk, Richard A. Eisner & Co.
Chan Suh, Ltd.

Benjamin Sun, Community Connect Inc.
Ravi Suria, Duquesne Capital Management
Nicholas Tanzi, Metromedia Fiber Network Inc.
Kevin Tice, Credit Suisse First Boston
Jackson Tung, New York City Board of Education
Neil Tyson, American Museum of Natural History
Harold Varmus, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Kristin Wait, Korn/Ferry International
Samuel Waksal, ImClone Systems Inc.
Jeffrey Walker, J.P. Morgan Partners
Omar Wasow,
Fred Wilson, Flatiron Partners
Joanne Wilson, Marketing Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education
Nina Zagat, Zagat Survey and
Tami Zori, Silicon Alley Connections

Nicholas A. Adamo
Vice President, Northeast Area
Cisco Systems Inc.
Age 37

Cisco Systems, the network equipment maker, may be suffering some financial difficulties; two weeks ago it reported its first overall quarterly loss in its 11-year history. But New York customers using its access servers, telephony products and software are feeling no pain. That’s mostly because of Nicholas Adamo.
Mr. Adamo is in charge of the organization that not only sells Cisco products from New Jersey to Maine but also tries to keep each and every customer happy, including those notoriously demanding ones in New York City. Mr. Adamo is responsible for more than 1,000 accounts in the city alone-mostly top corporate clients-which make up 10% of Cisco’s total sales.

"We have been known time and time again to do whatever it takes to get our customers’ networks up and operational in a crunch," explains Mr. Adamo, who has plenty of Fortune 500 clients in his region. "We are also there to support them in times of outages or problems. We’ll drop what we’re doing to get it done. And in this tough community, that is essential."


Charles Ardai
Juno Online Services Inc.
Age 31

Charles Ardai didn’t imagine he’d be running an Internet company when he graduated from Columbia University in 1991 with an English degree. But four years later, he started Juno with hedge fund wizard David E. Shaw, whose firm Mr. Ardai had joined after college.
Since then, the Silicon Alley company has become an Internet service provider with 4 million active users and 16 million registered subscribers.

While Juno now ranks as one of the nation’s biggest ISPs, Mr. Ardai has had a harder time proving that a free service can become profitable. Over the years, Juno has added advertising, subscription-only premium services and different types of e-commerce to reach that goal. Most recently, Juno embarked on a controversial plan to boost revenues by selling the unused processing power residing in subscribers’ computers.

A former pulp fiction writer before joining D.E. Shaw & Co., Mr. Ardai will have to come up with new plotlines to keep Juno’s story going.


Maxwell Anderson
Director Whitney Museum of American Art

Techie museum chief maps digital landscape

Miriam Kreinin Souccar When Maxwell Anderson came to the Whitney Museum of American Art two years ago, the institution was practically in the dark ages of digital.

To Mr. Anderson, his next move was obvious: The first thing he did was get Internet access for his staff and build an interactive Web site for the museum. After that, the Whitney director forged ahead, creating digital art exhibits-both on-line and off-line-well beyond what other museums have done. He also used the Internet to create partnerships with museums around the world.

"In the past, museums have collaborated only on exhibitions, not on acquisitions and information exchange, and I’m hoping we can change that landscape," says Mr. Anderson, who came to the Whitney from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, where he had been director since 1995. Before that, he was director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta.

Digital art pioneer

Mr. Anderson has long been an advocate of using technology to create synergies among museums. As director of the 5-year-old Art Museum Network, he has helped build a database of exhibition information from 200 of the world’s leading art museums. Before that, in Toronto, he founded the Art Museum Image Consortium, a group of 30 art museums in North America that have pooled their works into a database for use by teachers and students around the world.

"A couple other museums have aspirations to be leaders in technology, but they haven’t in any way achieved the tangible results that Max has," says Tim Nye, chief executive of Alltrue Networks Inc., a Manhattan-based on-line video and broadband company, and a member of the Whitney’s tech advisory committee. "He’s extremely pragmatic and sets very achievable goals."

Though Mr. Anderson advocates collaboration, he seems determined to maintain the leadership role for the Whitney in these activities.

When the Museum of Modern Art announced last month that it would work with retiring Harvard University President Neil Rudenstine to create a digital database of images from museum collections for use in art history classes, Mr. Anderson was quick to point out that MoMA would basically be duplicating his efforts.

Mr. Anderson, who has a Ph.D. in art history from Harvard and speaks five languages, is a self-described "techie." In one of his earlier jobs in the Eighties, as assistant curator of Greek and Roman art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he was the first one there to buy a laptop.

"I have always been seduced by the toys," he says.

Making the museum a destination

Mr. Anderson, 45, was chosen to head the Whitney in part to bring a more scholarly approach to the museum and to make the well-regarded 71-year-old institution a "destination."

Returning to Manhattan after 11 years, Mr. Anderson-son of a distinguished professor of American Literature at Columbia University-has quickly become a figure around town. On Saturdays, he makes the rounds of the Chelsea galleries with his 5-year-old son. His wife, Jacqueline, an actress, recently showed up in the "People" column of The New York Times.


Gregor Bailar
Executive VP of Operations
and Technology and CIO
Nasdaq Stock Market
Age 39

When Gregor Bailar arrived at Nasdaq in late 1997, the average trading volume on the electronic exchange was about 700 million shares a day. Now, an average of about 2 billion shares trade each day, with peak activity spiking at above 3 billion.

Nasdaq’s recent volatility and soaring trading volume have been Mr. Bailar’s greatest challenges as the market’s executive vice president of operations and technology. He makes sure the technology is in place to accommodate the exchange’s rapid expansion.
To that end, Mr. Bailar proved wrong the skeptics who predicted Nasdaq couldn’t handle escalating trading activity and a transition to decimals simultaneously. Though Nasdaq did get a nine-month extension from regulators, the conversion rolled out virtually glitch-free in March and April. Nasdaq's huge extranet system can now handle up to 6 billion shares a day if necessary.

Mr. Bailar came to Nasdaq via Citicorp, where he was a managing director in the global banking area. He has also had high-level positions at Perot Systems and Hewlett-Packard. At Nasdaq, he oversees 1,200 employees and a budget of $450 million.

His priorities now are a rollout of Nasdaq’s next-generation trading platform, the SuperMontage, and development of stock exchanges in Japan and Europe, with the goal of creating a 24-hour global exchange.

For a man who’s tamed Nasdaq’s wild jumps, that shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.


Zoë Baird
Markle Foundation
Age 48

Zoë Baird first made headlines in 1993 when she turned down President Bill Clinton’s offer to be attorney general after it came out that she had employed an illegal alien as a nanny for her child.

However, in public policy and technology circles, Ms. Baird is famous for much more than that.

As president of the Markle Foundation-a private philanthropy that supports both for-profit and nonprofit organizations helping to bridge the digital divide-Ms. Baird is aggressively working to ensure that the Internet is serving public needs from Kosovo to Washington, D.C.

Before joining Markle in 1998, Ms. Baird was general counsel at Aetna Inc., a senior visiting scholar at Yale Law School, a partner in law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and associate counsel to President Jimmy Carter, to name but a few of her accomplishments.

At Markle, a 64-year-old foundation with a $200 million endowment, Ms. Baird has taken action fast. She plans to give away $100 million over the next four years, far more than usual for a foundation that size.

Under Ms. Baird, Markle is working to foster public participation in policy-making, develop interactive media for children, improve health care and support increased access to technology.


John Baker
Founding Partner
Baker Capital Corp.
Age 51

As many of his contemporaries were throwing gobs of money at anything with a .com suffix, John Baker, founding partner of Baker Capital Corp., a New York venture capital firm, didn’t buy into the trend.

His unwillingness to be taken in by the hype of many dot-com business plans was rewarded when a number of his venture capital brethren saw their fortunes come tumbling down with the precipitous decline of the Nasdaq over the past year.
Instead, Mr. Baker and his partners decided to take the long view. They focused their efforts on companies like Akamai Technologies as well as other Web infrastructure outfits, investing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Baker Capital has $1.5 billion under management, one of the largest private equity pools.

"We’ve focused on what we know well. Over the past year, this means we’ve continued to concentrate on real markets with meaningful revenue and solid gross margins that are scalable and well-managed," says Mr. Baker.


Marc H. Bell
Chairman and CEO
Globix Corp.
Age 33

Marc Bell is proof that doing what you love is the secret to success. A self-confessed "computer geek" who wrote his own game program to play Space Invaders on a school computer when he was only 13 years old, Mr. Bell has always enjoyed working with technology.

In 1989, at the age of 21, he founded Globix, a leading provider of Internet hosting, networking and applications solutions. The company now boasts more than 3,500 customers, including many Fortune 500 clients, and $80 million in annual sales.

Globix was one of the first high-tech companies that helped start the Silicon Alley boom, and it continues to provide Web infrastructure and technical services to many local businesses.

For more than a decade, Mr. Bell also has been contributing to the community that gave him his success. Every year, through its Community Connection program, Globix donates over $1 million in technology grants to New York-based nonprofit organizations to help them utilize the Internet.


Bruce E. Bernstein
New York Software Industry Association
Age 46

In 1997, Bruce Bernstein left a career in computer consulting to become president of NYSIA.

When it was founded in 1992, NYSIA was a 50-member grassroots organization. Mr. Bernstein now presides over a 500-member association widely regarded as the voice of New York’s software developers, from companies as large as IBM to tiny start-ups.

Mr. Bernstein doesn’t like to take the credit. "We make a collective effort," he says. But the results under his leadership have been significant. The establishment of an advocate’s office, or ombudsman, where Silicon Alley companies can resolve problems with telecom provider Verizon is one recent achievement.

NYSIA has expanded its networking and learning events. The organization has also provided member benefits, like insurance and access to reasonably priced wired real estate.

But Mr. Bernstein puts lobbying first on the agenda. If the state approves the proposal, NYSIA will lead a $34 million effort to develop a New York City Center of Excellence in Computer Science. "Our mission is to strengthen technology in New York," he says.


Henry Blodget
Senior Internet Analyst
Merrill Lynch & Co.
Age 36

Wall Street has a new co-star on celebrity investment panels: Henry Blodget. It’s an unlikely role, especially now, for the Merrill Lynch analyst, who got his first job on Wall Street seven years ago.

Having been taken to the woodshed, albeit belatedly, by the media after many of the stocks he followed and recommended fell dramatically, Mr. Blodget nevertheless has managed to survive.

His staying power comes from the fact that he tempered his bullish stance on dot-com stocks last year, while those companies’ shares were still rising. In early March 2000, Mr. Blodget predicted that most Internet companies would not survive. That forecast has paid off in spades. In April 2000, dot-com stocks began to nosedive, and this year he was named the top Internet analyst by Institutional Investor.

For Mr. Blodget, it was a remarkably quick rise to fame. In 1998, when he was an analyst with CIBC World Markets Corp., he predicted shares of on-line bookseller would climb to $400 from their trading price of $240. They quickly took off, reaching $600 at their peak, and Mr. Blodget’s fame and career followed. In 1999, he was recruited by Merrill Lynch.

Nevertheless, Mr. Blodget still gets blamed for the dot-com bubble and implosion that followed. In March, he was named in arbitration by a Merrill Lynch client who said Mr. Blodget’s advice cost the investor $500,000.

With Internet investment waning, it remains to be seen whether Mr. Blodget, who now covers Microsoft Corp., will also fade.


Denis Bovin
Vice Chairman of
Investment Banking
Bear Stearns & Co.
Age 54

Denis Bovin says the best investment banking advice he ever got he picked up from working with defense companies: The way to win a war is to pick your battles. That’s precisely what he’s done as co-head of technology investment banking at Bear Stearns.

After two decades at Salomon Brothers, where in the late 1980s Mr. Bovin advised AT&T on its breakup, the dealmaker joined Bear Stearns in 1992.

He launched Bear Stearns’ technology group with 12 professionals, focused on information services, software and defense-an area that Mr. Bovin says is driven by technology. By choosing specific areas, the firm has been able to compete against larger rivals and win deals. Bear Stearns’ technology team, which has grown to 100 bankers, has underwritten some of the most famous, as well as some of the most infamous, companies of the dot-com boom.
"I don’t think there is a tech banker on The Street who doesn’t have failures," says Mr. Bovin.

As a technology and defense specialist, he serves as a civilian adviser to the Department of Defense and has received a medal for his contributions. Not surprisingly, Bear Stearns is the leading underwriter of defense companies.


David J. Brand
Managing Director
Lehman Brothers Inc.
Age 39

Since his days as a nuclear project engineer at General Dynamics, David Brand has always been involved in technology. But it wasn’t until he joined Lehman Brothers in 1987 that he started working on the business side of technology and became a strategic adviser for high-tech mergers and acquisitions and corporate financing.

Over the past 14 years, he has been one of the leading advisers in the industry as head of Lehman’s global technology mergers and acquisitions department, managing more than 200 transactions with a combined worth of over $100 billion. His clients include IBM, AT&T, Honeywell, Loral and L3 Communications, to name just a few.

"Working with technology companies has been enormously interesting and challenging, given the rapid pace of change in the industry and the impact these companies are having on the world," he says.

Mr. Brand sees the current economic slowdown as merely a challenge that will become an opportunity for his clients. "We are clearly in a period of significant valuation readjustment, which could last through the end of the year," he says. "However, we expect leading tech companies to execute significant acquisitions during this uncertain period to enhance their market positions."


Steve Brotman
Managing Director
Silicon Alley Venture Partners
Age 33

It’s a difficult time to be a technology venture capitalist, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to Steve Brotman.

In fact, Silicon Alley Venture Partners, the VC firm he co-founded three years ago, has been weathering the dot-com shakeout remarkably well. Its portfolio of companies includes several successful New York-based start-ups, with no wipeouts so far. Mr. Brotman also has pulled off the "hat trick" of funding three, so far, winning companies in a row with LivePerson Inc., Inc. and Inc.

Prior to launching SAVP, he founded AdOne Classified Network in 1994, which provided Internet infrastructure to the newspaper industry, and sold it
to a media company syndicate that included Hearst, Scripps and Advance/ Newhouse.

AdOne now has a combined on-line circulation of more than 24 million.

Starting a new business seems to be in Mr. Brotman’s blood. "Some people say that everyone should spend at least one year living in New York City," he says. "I think everyone should also spend some time at a start-up company."


Red Burns
Chair, Interactive Telecommunications
NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts

Red Burns brings art to science. A lifelong experimenter in media and its power to communicate, she has been instrumental in the union of creativity and computers that’s called new media, and a major force in New York’s

Ms. Burns, who won’t reveal her age, speaks and writes in soaring prose about the newest medium, the Internet: "Blips race down networks at incomprehensible speeds. The siren song has us in its grip," she says cryptically. But her goal is straightforward: to teach others to use communications technology in free-spirited, imaginative ways.
She’s sent 115 students from NYU’s two-year program-launched in 1979-to companies and institutions like Viacom, Microsoft and the American Museum of Natural History.

The Tisch program had its roots in the Alternate Media Center, where in the 1970s and 1980s Ms. Burns worked on two-way television and teletext. Today’s program’s goal is even broader.

"It is about enhancing the human spirit, using the power of technology to respond to the human need for communication and expression, she writes.


Nicholas Butterworth
CEO of the MTVi Group
Viacom Inc.
Age 33

When MTVi inked a deal earlier this year to provide a legal, for-pay music download service and got the green light from five major record labels, it made sense that Nicholas Butterworth was in the middle of the post-Napster agreement. The Brown University graduate has always been pushing for the convergence between music and the Internet.

As chief executive of SonicNet Inc., Mr. Butterworth presided over innovations in streaming audio and live Webcasting. His vision caught the eye of Viacom’s MTV Networks, which acquired SonicNet and created the MTVi group in 1999, appointing Mr. Butterworth CEO. Early last year, he became one of MTVi’s directors.

"Opportunities are the same now as they were five years ago. They’re just exponentially greater," says Mr. Butterworth.

In the wake of the Napster controversy the recent coup by MTVi in the music download arena should also help MTV Networks leverage its MTV360 initiative, which is intended to better integrate the two cable channels MTV and MTV2 with


Lawrence Calcano
Head of East Coast Technology Banking Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Understanding the Alley IPO game

Stephen Gandel

Looking around Lawrence Calcano’s office is enough to stir an investor’s ire.

His cherry bookshelf holds an array of trophies commemorating Internet stock offerings-deals that made his firm, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., hundreds of millions of dollars and cost investors nearly the same amount over the past year.

That makes Mr. Calcano an easy target to blame in the aftermath of the tech fallout. But by his own account, he is no more at fault than anyone else. All investment banks were jockeying to underwrite Internet companies. And once those companies went public, investors were all too willing to buy their shares at ever-rising prices.
"We tried to work with companies that we believed had a competitive advantage," says Mr. Calcano, who heads Goldman Sachs’ East Cost technology group and its team of 55 investment bankers. "Every single one of our deals was highly sought-after by investors and other underwriters."

Early lessons

Mr. Calcano and his team of bankers turned out to be the most successful, though, at landing those deals. In all, Goldman Sachs underwrote 106 initial public offerings from 1998 through 2000, raising a total of $16 billion. "We won the lion’s share of deals on the East Coast," he admits.

His willingness to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit was learned early on. While he was growing up in North Point, Long Island, his father was one of the first executives at a small software company called Video Graphics, which wrote programs for mainframe computers.
In his career, Mr. Calcano has chosen to focus on young companies. After working with such large companies as Microsoft at Goldman Sachs, he became in 1993 the firm’s first and only dedicated technology investment banker based in New York. At the time, most local technology companies were embryonic at best. But Mr. Calcano, now 38, saw the potential for scores of start-ups that would one day be embraced by public investors.

The Dartmouth business school grad’s success is due in part to his keen understanding of how to play the IPO game: To land start-ups as clients, you have to follow the money.

Entrepreneurs were often too busy building their businesses. So, initially, Mr. Calcano established connections with venture capitalists. He figured that the VCs would better understand the importance of having ties to an underwriter, even before an IPO was imminent.

Star still shines

As a result, the most prominent technology start-ups on the East Coast, and especially in Silicon Alley, came to Goldman Sachs by way of Mr. Calcano. In the late 1990s, Goldman handled such IPOs as DoubleClick Inc. ($238 million); Inktomi Corp. ($162 million); StarMedia Network Inc. ($105 million); and iVillage Inc. ($88 million).

Surprisingly, though, the recent performance of those stocks doesn’t seem to have tarnished Mr. Calcano’s reputation or his relationship with clients.

Jim McCann, chief executive of 1-800, considers Mr. Calcano one of his firm’s most trusted advisers, even though shares of his company have never traded above the $21 initial offering price in August 1999. In fact, says Mr. McCann, his close ties to Mr. Calcano continue to be one of his company’s most prized assets.

"One of the favors that I get asked most frequently is to provide an introduction to Lawrence Calcano," says Mr. McCann.


Jerome A. Chazen
Founder and Chairman
Chazen Capital
Age 74

Jerome Chazen has always stayed close to his business roots when it comes to his venture capital fund.

As chairman emeritus of apparel maker Liz Claiborne and one of its four founders, he continues to focus on investing in New York City’s fashion companies. While the scope of his fund’s focus is wide, he has particular enthusiasm for tech companies serving Seventh Avenue and the people who buy its products.

His first dot-com investment,, an on-line retailer, has fared poorly, he says. Nevertheless, he’s still excited about a new e-fashion investment in, which provides virtual showrooms, as well as tools, to help buyers allocate their budgets and visualize merchandising their floors with a vendor’s goods.

Despite the current downturn in his venture fund’s portfolio, Mr. Chazen is taking a far longer-term view than most of Silicon Alley. "I’ve always been skeptical, where others have been believers," he says. "The Internet hasn’t been a magic carpet ride."


Jay Chiat
ScreamingMedia Inc.
Age 69

Leave it to Jay Chiat. After he reached the pinnacle of Madison Avenue, he became a player in Silicon Alley.

The legendary ad man was the driving force behind Chiat/Day, known as much for its innovative processes, such as account planning and creating a virtual work environment, as for its memorable ad campaigns.

And it’s this pioneering spirit that drew Mr. Chiat to the Internet. He became an investor in 1993 in The Interactive Connection, which eventually morphed into ScreamingMedia, a Web-based content facilitator that traffics syndication-minded content providers to content-starved Web sites. Mr. Chiat became chairman and chief executive in 1998 before handing over the day-to-day reins to new CEO Kevin Clark in 1999, though he remains active as chairman.
As for his legacy, Mr. Chiat has a simple request: He hopes people will remember him as a man who "wasn’t too boring."


Doug Cifu
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison
Age 35

Though Silicon Alley has yet to thaw from the chill of last spring’s stock market plunge, Doug Cifu seems surprisingly upbeat.
Mr. Cifu, in fact, actually seems to be enjoying the change of pace. These days, he is busy working on funding distressed businesses and restructuring financing relationships.
"You get a lot more interesting work when the markets are rougher than when the Nasdaq is at 5000," says Mr. Cifu, who heads the Internet, media and technology practice at law firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

Maybe that’s because Mr. Cifu has always seen himself as more of a consultant than just a lawyer dictating the language needed to complete a deal.
"I’m not shy about telling my clients what I think of their deals," says Mr. Cifu. "They look to me for more than just legal advice."

His frankness has helped land some of New York’s largest technology investors. As a summer associate, Mr. Cifu was noticed by executives at Metromedia Fiber Network Inc., the $3.5 billion telecommunications firm. He has worked on deals for the company and its owner, John Kluge, ever since.


James Citrin
Managing Director
Spencer Stuart
Age 41

In 1993, while serving as director of corporate planning at Reader’s Digest, Mr. Citrin became aware of certain habits in his management style, which inclined him to working with clients, building teams and recruiting people into his organization.

Around the same time, a partner from Spencer Stuart, the world’s largest privately held search firm, suggested that he consider becoming an executive recruiter.
"It hit the mark just right," he says. "And it’s been a perfect marriage ever since."

After joining Spencer Stuart in 1994, Mr. Citrin became the firm’s technology matchmaker, specializing in finding the perfect fit for many Internet executives. He currently serves as managing director of Spencer Stuart’s global Internet practice.
As one of the most influential recruiters for New York’s digital economy, his major high-tech placements include top executives of Primedia,, RSL Communications and Motley Fool.

An avid runner who has completed seven marathons and the World Triathlon Championship, Mr. Citrin also has written numerous articles describing his experiences in the recruiting industry and has co-authored a best-selling book, Lessons from the Top: The 50 Most Successful Business Leaders in America.


Gerald Cohen
President and CEO
Information Builders Inc.
Age 60

Among the early founders of New York’s high-tech community, Gerald Cohen is regarded as a forerunner of Silicon Alley.
Mr. Cohen is the co-founder of Information Builders Inc., one of the first successful New York-based software companies, which develops Web-based technology for businesses.

Since launching his company nearly 26 years ago, Mr. Cohen has transformed a three-man outfit into 32 offices with more than 2,000 employees worldwide. "But one thing hasn’t changed," he says. "People continue to have a constant need for information. The only thing that has changed is how it’s being delivered."

One reason for the company’s success is that Mr. Cohen understands his customers and how their technology needs constantly evolve.

True to its name, Information Builders is currently the leader in business intelligence on the Web, helping companies and government organizations build valuable intelligence systems from their massive databases and deliver them through the Internet.

It now has more than 9,000 global customer sites, including 92 clients from Fortune 100 companies, and over $300 million in annual sales.


Jerry Colonna & Fred Wilson
Managing Directors
Flatiron Partners
Ages 37 (Colonna), 39 (Wilson)

Founded in the spring of 1996, Flatiron Partners was one of the first venture capital firms in Silicon Alley.

Jerry Colonna, a former editor at InformationWeek, and Fred Wilson, a longtime venture capital investor with Euclid Partners, had each independently conceived the notion that investing in early-stage Internet companies could be a great business. They also were willing to jump into those investments at a stage when even angels feared to tread.

"We each saw a bunch of opportunities that no one was chasing," says Mr. Wilson.
Flatiron pioneered the intense role VCs came to play in their Internet start-ups. "A good early-stage venture capitalist is a combination spiritual adviser, source of capital, business adviser and parent to companies in their most dysfunctional phase," says Mr. Colonna.

It was a formula that’s worked over the years. Of 55 investments, 15 have been sold and 10 went public. "In 1999 alone, we sold five businesses," says Mr. Colonna. "The internal ROI was extraordinary."

Naturally, Flatiron, having witnessed the birth of high-tech, new media New York, is now embroiled in its difficult adolescence. Four of its investments have gone belly-up in the last year. "Hey, we’re not losing as much money as Cisco," jokes Mr. Wilson.
Adds Mr. Colonna: "Nobody expects us to have sustained performance. This is a lifetime achievement award."

But nothing has beaten the thrill of working with new companies trying to break new ground, and helping eager executives compress what should be a years-long process into a suitable Internet-speed interval, creating a culture, destiny and, the partners hope, some profits to go with it.

But Flatiron’s 22 employees are not so much mulling the dot-com crash as analyzing new ventures. "We’ve taken our losses already," says Mr. Wilson.


Kim Daly
General Manager, New York region
Microsoft Corp.
Master of software sales brings her talent to NY

by Michelle Leder

She may not be from New York, but Kim Daly has already mastered the art of the New York minute.

Of course, as general manager of Microsoft’s New York region, overseeing more than 100 sales employees who are responsible for more than $500 million in software sales, Ms. Daly has to be fast on her feet. After all, she’s not in Denver or Dallas, two pit stops along the way in her 10-year career with the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant.

After nearly a year running the New York sales operation, Ms. Daly, 33, says she fits in better here than in some of the other places she’s called home.

"I was always considered a bit uptight to be working on the West Coast," she says, though the Japanese rock garden in her office belies a New Age influence. One of her top priorities is to make people more aware of Microsoft’s growing New York presence. "A lot of people don’t even know that we’re here,’’ she says of the 350 employees in New York City.

From her corner office on the 21st floor of Worldwide Plaza on Eighth Avenue and West 49th Street, Ms. Daly surveys her new turf. As general manager, Ms. Daly is responsible for nearly 5,000 Microsoft customers, many of them Fortune 500 companies in the New York area.

No time for sales calls now

But as much as she’d like to go out there and sell Microsoft software to them and everyone else within her view, she no longer has much time to go on sales calls. Still, she considers herself a master at selling and tries to share that knowledge with her employees.

Bob Vellone, vice president of Microsoft East and Ms. Daly’s boss, says she is a natural in her new job. "She’s very good at mixing it up with different people, and she brings a good balance of career and life experience to her job," he says.

Getting started

Ms. Daly got her start in technology as a receptionist at a small computer components company while working her way through college at the University of Phoenix. Though her job was to answer the phones, she quickly realized that she was good at selling, even if she didn’t understand what she was talking about.
When the phones were slow, she started reading up on technology. She later joined Microsoft as a "demo girl" in Dallas, where her family had moved when she was in high school.

"I was more than Vanna (White), but not much more," Ms. Daly now jokes.
Her responsibilities entailed demonstrating new Microsoft software to businesses in the Dallas area. Gradually, she began taking on larger projects at the software giant and in 1992 helped to open Microsoft’s new Houston office. It was there that she became an itinerant executive. For two years, she commuted daily between Dallas and Houston, flying up in the morning and back in the evening.
"You know it’s bad when the flight attendants get to know your name," she says. New York is Ms. Daly’s third move in as many years.

Outside of a brief stint in the mid-Nineties at Sybase Inc., another large software company, Ms. Daly has spent her entire professional career at Microsoft. "They’ll take risks and give people a chance to try different jobs," she says.

As a rising star at Microsoft, she has had about a dozen opportunities over the past year to meet the big boss, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates Jr. Along with other key Microsoft executives, Mr. Gates visits New York frequently for analysts meetings, product announcements and charitable events. It’s a lot more exposure than Ms. Daly ever got in Houston, Denver or even Redmond, where she worked just before coming to New York.

When asked what Bill Gates is like, she replies, "He’s very smart and direct. You can almost tell he has 10 things going on at once."

That’s kind of the way she feels here in New York.


Jeffrey Dachis
Co-founder and Chairman
Razorfish Inc.
Age 34

This year is shaping up to be a pivotal one in the tumultuous career of Razorfish co-founder and Chairman Jeffrey Dachis.
After a strong initial public offering in 1999, the Web consulting and services company was perched atop the glittery world of Silicon Alley. When the stock market took a dive a year ago and the economy started to sputter, Razorfish’s share price also went south, as many old economy companies started to rethink their Web plans.

As a result, 2001 has been a particularly bad one for Mr. Dachis and Razorfish. The company reported a first-quarter loss of $24.9 million on revenues of $42.7 million, down from $50.1 million for the previous quarter.
Since October, Mr. Dachis has been forced to cut more than 1,000 employees. He and his co-founder, Craig Kanarick, stepped down as chief executive and chief strategic officer, respectively, earlier this month after releasing the company’s financial results, though both remain as co-chairmen. But Razorfish’s new Chief Executive Jean-Phillippe Maheu, previously the COO, will have to contend with additional cutbacks.

Mr. Dachis, who since the launch of Razorfish in 1995 has proven himself to be a P.T. Barnum of the new economy, is now scrambling to reignite the momentum that has been stalled during the past year. Though Razorfish still has plenty of cash, this year’s challenges should prove to be a litmus test of Mr. Dachis’ leadership. The company must find a way to survive amid an industrywide malaise.


John Delaney
Co-Chair of New Media Practice Group
Morrison & Foerster
Age 36

Since leaving San Francisco in 1994 for Morrison & Foerster’s Manhattan office, John Delaney has been instrumental in developing the firm’s New York technology law practice, which is regarded by many in the Silicon Alley community as the city’s best.

The Bay Area’s loss has clearly been Silicon Alley’s gain. Mr. Delaney has been working to provide New York-based Internet companies with the same high-quality legal expertise that is available to Silicon Valley companies.

Born and raised in Alaska, Mr. Delaney believes that he takes after his grandfather, an Irish immigrant who eventually became mayor of Anchorage. "Maybe in choosing to become an Internet attorney," he muses, "I was at least subconsciously influenced by my grandfather’s pioneering spirit."

When asked about the ongoing Internet shakeout, he points out that this is the first down cycle for many of New York’s high-tech entrepreneurs.
"It is a necessary learning experience," Mr. Delaney says. "The downturn will ultimately prove to be an essential step in the maturing of Silicon Alley and will result in a more talented pool of entrepreneurs in New York."


Mario Dell’ Aera
Age 42

Among New York’s growing cadre of Internet companies in 1995, young KPMG partner Mario Dell’ Aera saw an opportunity to carve out a niche. Six years later, he oversees one of the top accounting practices catering to Silicon Alley as head of KPMG’s national new media/Internet group. Clients of the affable Levittown, L.I., native range from CBS New Media to IntraLinks to Comet Systems.

In that span, he has witnessed firsthand the dizzying rise and fall of the dot-com phenomenon. "We’ve learned a lot about what went wrong and why," says Mr. Dell’ Aera, who began his career 18 years ago by developing audit technology for KPMG. Now, he’s intent on helping the next generation of Internet businesses benefit from the mistakes of the first.

"Today, we can have the biggest impact being involved with companies right at the outset," says Mr. Dell’ Aera. In the meantime, he’s busy dealing with the financial woes of former Alley highfliers like and 24/7 Media Inc. "I’ve aged a lot in the last few years," quips Mr. Dell’ Aera.


Gene DeRose
Jupiter Media Metrix
Age 38

Gene DeRose describes last year’s merger between Jupiter Communications, the leading Internet analysis provider, and Media Metrix, the Silicon Alley audience measurement company, as finding a soul mate.

"We complete each other, to quote Tom Cruise," says Mr. DeRose. "The data validates the analysis, and conversely, we extend and enhance the data by providing analysis around it."

Although Mr. DeRose became second fiddle in the orchestra when Media Metrix acquired Jupiter for $414 million in stock-taking a backseat to Chairman Tod Johnson on the organization chart-his role and reputation as one of the new economy’s prophets have not changed.

This year is shaping up to be pivotal in the young life of the newly merged company. Messrs. DeRose and Johnson are in the thick of an extensive search for a new chief executive as they gird for battle with new competition from DoubleClick Inc., which recently started a research division called Diameter.


Jason Devitt
CEO and Co-Founder
Vindigo Inc.
Age 32

Jason Devitt’s eureka moment came one night while he was standing on a street corner with a business partner, looking for the nearest place to buy a cup of coffee. Mr. Devitt says he realized that despite the fact that he was packing more raw computing power than Apollo 11, he had no idea how to get to the nearest Starbucks, let alone the moon.

His experience led him to launch Vindigo, a cyber city guide that works with palm devices to help users navigate the Internet and find the nearest places to eat, shop and play.

After releasing its first version in 1999, the company has attracted several content partners, including, and The Washington Post.

The service is now available in 20 U.S. cities and has added new features like customer reviews and discount programs from participating stores. Mr. Devitt hopes Vindigo will continue to expand and one day become a wireless map of the world that allows customers "to see every street and every store in the world" in the palm of their hand.


David Diamond
Executive Director
Russell Reynolds
Age 33

At executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds, David Diamond is the top headhunter scouting high-level managers for consumer-oriented technology companies. He has worked on more than 30 senior-level searches since he joined the Manhattan-based firm in 1999.

"I’m influencing the technology leaders of tomorrow," says Mr. Diamond of his job.
His efforts also have included nepotism. In 1997, he recruited two executives for his brother Matt Diamond, chief executive of teen marketer Alloy Online Inc.

Throughout his career as a recruiter, which includes a two-year stint as managing director of the e-commerce practice at Levy-Kerson, now part of Korn/Ferry International, he has developed a nose for finding executives who succeed in tough environments. Before switching to executive recruiting, Mr. Diamond held several retail jobs following graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To unwind, Mr. Diamond, has taken up a hobby: He likes to ride his motorcycle from Manhattan to upstate New York. "It’s a thrilling, dangerous experience, like the fast-paced world of technology companies," he says.


Joe DiGeso
Vice President and General Manager, Road Runner
Time Warner Cable
of New York City
Age 34

If you want to get high-speed Internet access throughout much of New York City, then Joe DiGeso is your man. Since January 1999, he has been responsible for rolling out Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner, a high-speed cable-based Internet service, in the Big Apple.

Since its launch in September 1999 to New York’s residential cable customers, Road Runner has attracted more than 100,000 subscribers and is now available in over 1.6 million homes throughout the city. But Mr. DiGeso, who first joined Time Warner Cable in 1993 as finance manager, still has plenty of work cut out for him.
He will lead the continuing expansion of Road Runner’s commercial broadband service and keep a close eye on its main rivals, Excite@Home and Earthlink.

A longtime resident of New York-he received both his undergraduate and M.B.A. degrees from NYU-Mr.DiGeso also was recently recognized by an industry publication as one of Silicon Alley’s top executives. He is also involved in various cable industry associations.


Allan H. Dobrin
Commissioner NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications
Age 53

As a veteran city official with nearly 20 years of experience in the Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani administrations, Allan Dobrin is an expert at navigating the complex bureaucracy of New York City. But he says it’s still a challenge for him to bring brick-and-mortar agencies into the digital economy.

As the commissioner of DoITT, he is responsible for managing voice, video and data technologies in government operations that range from approving new fiber-optic lines to regulating cable television franchises. Mr. Dobrin is also the man behind the city’s plan to take numerous government services to cyberspace. As part of this goal, DoITT signed a deal earlier this year that is expected to bring hundreds more public Internet kiosks to New York City during the next few years.

"We feel that this will be a significant improvement in access to government by the people," says Mr. Dobrin.

He is determined to make city agencies as efficient and technology-savvy as any e-commerce firm in Silicon Alley. Thanks to him, New Yorkers may soon be able to pay their parking tickets or even renew their driver’s licenses with just a click of a mouse.


Robert Druskin
Chief Operations
and Technology Officer
Citigroup Inc.
Age 53

Robert Druskin’s appointment as head of global operations and technology at Citigroup came last August, just four months after Sandy Weill took over as sole chairman and chief executive of the financial conglomerate.
Mr. Druskin, a longtime Smith Barney manager, rose to his new position when Citigroup’s former head of information technology left the company. His latest title makes him a member of the elite management committee that runs Citigroup. He’s responsible for operations and technology, purchasing, shared services and real estate across the country.
Mr. Druskin’s role at Citigroup stems from his tenure at Smith Barney, which he joined 10 years ago as chief administrative officer and senior executive vice president. He became vice chairman in 1993. Mr. Druskin put in a stint as head of asset management and the futures division before returning to the post of chief administrative officer in 1997 to oversee the merger with Salomon. The investment bank was eventually taken over by Mr. Weill’s Travelers Group, which merged with Citigroup in 1998.


Karin Duncker
Executive Director, New York
Biotechnology Association
Age 38

Karin Duncker joined the New York Biotechnology Association as executive assistant and the organization’s second employee in 1994. The 4-year-old trade group was gradually raising its profile from a casual association of biotech leaders to a voice for the nascent local industry.

Ms. Duncker was quickly bumped up the ladder at NYBA as positions were created, until she landed in the director’s seat two years ago.
Her greatest challenge isn’t jump-starting biotech, but keeping it here.

Each year, the 30 or so companies spun out of New York City’s one biotech incubator tend to find greener pastures. That means the trade association must work on developing sources of seed money, educating venture capitalists and lobbying the state for better financial treatment, like the 1998 high-tech tax credits that NYBA helped push through.

Up there on the agenda is educating the public about biotech. "In the past, the industry has been arrogant," Ms. Duncker says of the way the sector has dealt with community concerns. "Now, we’ve got to convince people it’s safe."


Kevin Dunwoody
Vice President for the Northeast Region
Compaq Computer Corp.
Age 50

He’s been Compaq’s vice president for the Northeast region for less than four months, but Kevin Dunwoody brings to his new post 28 years of management experience from technology heavyweights like Apple Computer and Xerox. Given the flagging PC market, he’ll need every bit of it.

The Northeast region, which includes New England and New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, is key for Houston-based Compaq. Last year, the area generated $3.5 billion in sales for the computer maker. In order to keep that number growing, Mr. Dunwoody is closely involved with the company’s top 20 customers here.

"I’m a working executive," he says. "I’m engaged with our biggest clients to make sure they’re satisfied."

Mr. Dunwoody is responsible for Compaq’s sales, support and services in his territory. Already, he’s developed a reputation for working long hours, and he greets the office cleaning staff most nights.

Not everything is hard work. The St. John’s University graduate, who grew up in Queens, relishes the fact that Compaq has a box at Yankee Stadium. "I’m a big Yankees fan," he says.


Esther Dyson
EDventure Holdings Inc.
Age 49

If anyone’s been in charge of the Internet, it’s Esther Dyson-venture capitalist and publisher of influential newsletter Release 1.0.

As founding chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, she presided for the past two years over an international agency responsible for the Internet’s core infrastructure.

As chairman of EDventure Holdings in Manhattan, she invests in nascent technologies and markets and acts as the moderator of a global conversation about technology and the future.

And there’s no better place than New York to do that, says Ms. Dyson. "You can go to a restaurant and hear people talking about fashion, Russian election reform and operating systems," she says.

Known for her wit and honesty in an overhyped industry, Ms. Dyson remarks: "I consider myself the industry’s court jester. I watch the throne, but I do not sit on it. I see a lot, use discretion and tell the truth."


Kathleen Earley
AT&T Data & Internet Services
Age 49

When Kathleen Earley says "voice is the next killer application," you can be certain she’ll play a role in getting it out into the world. She’s an expert at delivering new technology to the masses.

As the president of AT&T’s $8 billion Data & Internet Services unit for nearly two and half years, Ms. Earley built the company’s vaunted Internet Protocol Services unit-which is now the market leader-from scratch in two years. The unit offers a broad range of connectivity, including cable and DSL lines, and virtual private networks, which allow businesses to connect remote offices securely through the Internet.

She also has led AT&T’s expansion of its huge Web hosting business and high-speed data services. Both are central parts of the conversion to what Ms. Earley terms an "Internet-centric" company.

As for voice, AT&T already has 38 locations internally where it utilizes voice-over-Internet-protocol technology, in which voice is sent as data but is still fully intelligible as voice.

Since Ms. Earley says it’s coming, you can bet you'll be hearing it soon.


Fernando Espuelas
StarMedia Network Inc.
Age 34

Fernando Espuelas can’t remember a time when he wasn’t an entrepreneur.

When he was just 6 years old, he would sell the presents he received for Christmas and his birthday to make money. When he was a little older, he would rent his soccer balls to neighborhood kids in his native Uruguay. That may explain why he’s one of the few Silicon Alley chief executives still around today.

Mr. Espuelas is holding on to his $16 million Spanish- and Portuguese-language portal, though industry investors would like to see him put his
5-year-old venture up for sale. "StarMedia demonstrates that Latin entrepreneurs can succeed big-time," he says.

At work, Mr. Espuelas is known for being thorough and direct. During quarterly company meetings, called "all hands" meetings, he answers each and every question about StarMedia’s financial situation-he hopes to reach profitability by year-end-sometimes in a brutal manner. He gives his managers extensive input and feedback, but he also holds them responsible for their actions.

Mr. Espuelas says he’s driven by a sense of unifying the poor and the rich in Latin America through the Internet.

"Millions of people there are not realizing their full potential," he says. "They’re just focused on feeding themselves.


Rubi Finkelstein
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe
Age 42

When the Nasdaq tumbled last year and the initial public offering market dried up, the actual mechanics of Rubi Finkelstein’s job may have been altered, but the overarching principles of her securities law practice remained unshaken.

"The fundamentals of a good practice remain the same regardless of what the current fad is," says Ms. Finkelstein, a partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, one of the technology sector’s pre-eminent law firms.

In the past, she has advised such Internet players as iVillage Inc. and BigStar Entertainment Inc.

"As the tech sector has crumbled, our focus on solid companies with good business models has held us in good stead," Ms. Finkelstein says.
So, until the IPO market rebounds, Ms. Finkelstein will continue to advise her clients to pursue alternative financing strategies, such as private placement of securities or even selling their companies. And whenever there is a good fit, she’s not shy about introducing clients to each other.


Robert Fish
Age 53

Long before anyone had ever heard of Silicon Alley, Robert Fish was pioneering a venture capital and technology practice as a young partner at Coopers & Lybrand, prior to the accounting firm’s merger with Price Waterhouse.

His head start in cultivating ties to the local technology community in the 1980s paid off in the following decade, as scores of fast-growing Internet start-ups hired PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Now an elder statesman of the Alley, Mr. Fish oversees a group that boasts as clients more than 100 local technology and biotech firms in New York-including DoubleClick, iVillage and Juno Online Services-not to mention an equal number of venture funds, from General Atlantic Partners to Euclid Partners.

The son of a Manhattan specialty carpet dealer, Mr. Fish learned early on about the challenges of running a small business in New York. When he was asked to launch Coopers’ New York high-tech practice in 1980, he jumped at the chance to work with emerging companies. Now, he’s using his experience to help clients that have been hit hard by the tech downturn to survive.


Michael Flannery
Founder and CEO
Redwood Partners
Age 34

When technology executives are looking for new opportunities, it’s Michael Flannery’s job to help them land on their feet.

He is the founder and chief executive of Redwood Partners, one of the first firms in the country to offer executive search and consulting services to Internet technology companies. Since its launch in 1994, his firm has developed an impressive track record of a 96% success rate on its search assignments, among the best in the business.

An influential voice on Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s technology committees, Mr. Flannery also serves as a strategic partner to NYC Economic Development Corp. initiatives and the Mayor’s Task Force on New Media.

When asked about the current tech decline, he echoes the sentiment shared by many other recruiters: "Last year represented one of the most turbulent times in the history of the technology marketplace. Being able to support all of our clients throughout has proven to be a substantial challenge."

Mr. Flannery predicts, however, that the shakeout will eventually strengthen the Silicon Alley community. "Over the next several years, it will have created a platform of businesses that will enable the New York technology industry to flourish," he says.


Mitch Gipson
Executive Director
Audubon Biomedical Science & Technology Park
Age 42

Whether New York becomes a major biotechnology center will be determined in part by the efforts of Mitch Gipson.

As the executive director of the city’s only university-related research park and biotech business incubator since 1995, Mr. Gipson has been working to make that possibility a reality.

Located at Columbia University’s campus in upper Manhattan, Audubon supplies a state-of-the-art research facility and business infrastructure to biotech start-ups.

But for Mr. Gipson and others in New York’s fledgling biotech industry, there are still a number of hurdles to overcome. Those include a shortage of affordable lab space and a lack of interest by many New York biomedical academics in turning their world-class expertise into commercial opportunities.
There are 35 biotech companies based in the city, with fewer than 2,000 combined employees. But those figures could soon improve, as more lab facilities become available to entrepreneurs. Columbia plans to build a second incubator building next to its center, and other institutions, including NYU, are also leading an effort to build more biomedical laboratories.

All this is a welcome development for Mr. Gipson, whose Audubon center may one day rival leading biotech centers in northern California and Boston.


Eric Goldberg
Founder and President
Unplugged Games
Age 40

Can’t wait for the cell phone chatter to stop? Eric Goldberg has the answer: He wants people to start playing games on their cells instead.

Unplugged Games was founded on the success of Mr. Goldberg’s previous company-Crossover Technologies Inc.-which supported multi-user games on the wired Internet. In December, Mr. Goldberg and his team decided that wireless multiplayer games were the way to go. His company has distribution agreements with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, three of the largest wireless carriers.

"Portability is prized," says Mr. Goldberg. "There are more Game Boys out there than Nintendo 64s and Sony PlayStations combined."
Even better, wireless carriers are desperate to figure out how to charge users for Internet services, something that telephone companies’ antiquated billing systems can’t handle.

More important than the games themselves is the Unplugged Games billing technology that helps telecommunications companies collect. "People have always been willing to pay for games," says Mr. Goldberg.

Of course, if you insist on talking on your cell after winning a mobile game, you can always call and gloat.


Carl Goodman
Digital Media Curator
American Museum of the Moving Image
Age 34

When Carl Goodman started working as a digital media curator at the American Museum of the Moving Image nine years ago, most people hadn’t even heard of the Internet, let alone a digital curator.

Mr. Goodman was hired in part because he knew how to operate a $100,000 computer that recorded audio digitally, something the museum was trying to use as part of an installation. But his position quickly grew into developing exhibits about technology’s effect on movies and television.

Now, Mr. Goodman-who sits on the boards of innovative arts organizations such as Creative Time and Harvestworks-is also responsible for developing interactive exhibits, a growing trend in museums.

One of his current projects is the creation of a handheld wireless device that visitors can use to access information as they browse through the museum’s artifacts.
"This application goes beyond the usual examples of applications that would drive the adoption of wireless and mobile devices," Mr. Goodman says. "It creates a cultural application of these technologies."


Raj Gupta
YadaYada Inc.
Age 29

With his extensive background in bankrolling the new economy, it was a logical next step for Raj Gupta to migrate toward entrepreneurship in the world of wireless technology.

During his stint at CIBC Oppenheimer Corp., he was involved in putting together deals totaling $2 billion, many of them in the wireless arena. In 1999, Mr. Gupta hung out his shingle under the aegis of YadaYada, an integrated mobile Web portal and Internet service provider for personal digital assistants. He currently has offices in New York City, San Diego and Birmingham, Ala.

His belief in mobile applications was affirmed last September, when he secured $15 million in financing, which allowed him to launch a content service with the support of such major telecoms as AT&T, Verizon and Novotel Wireless.

Like a barnstorming evangelist, Mr. Gupta shares his enthusiasm for the wireless world by making time in his busy schedule for frequent speaking engagements.


Jack D. Hidary
Chairman and Co-Founder
EarthWeb Inc.
Age 32

Jack Hidary’s experience with the Internet began when he was a student at Columbia University in the late Eighties. He helped develop ColumbiaNet, one of the first college Internet information services.

"I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I’ve always been excited about building teams to accomplish a great goal," Mr. Hidary told Crain’s New York Business for a 1999 profile.

In 1994, along with his brother Murray, Mr. Hidary founded Manhattan-based EarthWeb, which soon will be renamed Dice Inc. During Jack’s tenure as chief executive, the on-line provider of information technology career resources raised about $20 million from Warburg Pincus Ventures.

In December, EarthWeb sold 14 Web sites and 18 e-mail newsletters to Corp., an on-line publishing business. At that time, EarthWeb laid off employees.

Mr. Hidary resigned from his CEO post earlier this year, but was named chairman. He’s now focusing on philanthropic activities, including promoting entrepreneurship.

"I’m traveling to a wide range of countries to understand the state of technology and social and political conditions," he says.


James K. Johnson
President and Chief Operating Officer
Alloy Online Inc.
Age 33

At teen catalog marketer Alloy Online Inc., James K. Johnson is the company founder you rarely hear about-the other co-founders are oft-quoted Chief Executive Matt Diamond and Chief Financial Officer Sam Gradess. That his name is not often mentioned has little to do with his influence at Alloy Online. Mr. Johnson oversees the company’s information technology system, which targets potential customers and enhances business operations. He has the last say on IT issues.

Known for his very hands-on style, Mr. Johnson has traded in his business suits for jeans and T-shirts. That’s the ideal attire for someone who works seven days a week in a firm known for its cramped office space.

"Even the founders have a small cubicle," says Mr. Johnson, who helped start the company in 1996.

A former corporate auditor at General Electric Co., Mr. Johnson says his motivation for being an entrepreneur came from GE’s CEO, Jack Welch, whom he describes as a dynamic business leader.

"I wanted to do something with technology, marketing and the underserved teen space," Mr. Johnson says. So far, he’s succeeded. Last March, Alloy reported a fourth-quarter operating profit of 4 cents a share, on revenue of $42.5 million.


Richard Johnson
Chairman Inc.
Age 40

Richard Johnson has chutzpah. Two years ago, he bet $2 million-nearly half the revenues of his startup, HotJobs-on a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. The move paid off in increased traffic to the site over the next three months. Unlike a lot of other Super Bowl dot-com advertisers, HotJobs has not only survived, but also prospered.

The 6-year-old recruiting site now has over 9,100 corporate customers, including half the Fortune 500. The number of job seekers registered with the site passed 3 million this year, and revenues in 2000 nearly tripled, to $96.5 million.
That isn’t to say HotJobs isn’t feeling the pain of the technology slide. This year, it has laid off 15% of its staff of about 600 and its stock has been trading below $5 a share. The company has yet to turn a profit.

In March, Mr. Johnson stepped down as chief executive to jump-start the company’s business-to-business exchange for staffing agencies and hiring managers.

Having made HotJobs known to the world, "I’m going to spend more time just focusing on innovation," says Mr. Johnson.


Isaak Karaev
Chairman and CEO Inc.
Age 54

Isaak Karaev’s story is a classic tale of an immigrant making good in America-with a new economy twist. Armed with a computer science background and very little else, Mr. Karaev came to New York from Russia in 1980 during a brief period when Soviet Jews were permitted to leave the country.

Now chief executive of, a leading on-line hub for financial research and one of Silicon Alley’s few profitable ventures, he’s made the most of the opportunity.

"It wasn’t an overnight success," explains Mr. Karaev, who in 1986 launched Multex Software Inc., which provides real-time quotes and other financial data to individual investors.

The company was snapped up by payroll giant ADP in 1989 and subsequently began selling its financial software to Wall Street investment banks. Multex was spun off again four years later to capitalize on the Internet’s emergence as an efficient way to distribute financial information. "It was free and better than having to maintain our own infrastructure," he says.

Today, claims many of Wall Street’s top firms-from Merrill Lynch to Salomon Smith Barney-as customers, which rely on the company to distribute their research on-line and help run their technology systems.

"The main difference is that we’re a business that operates on the Internet, not because of the Internet," says Mr. Karaev.


Ann Kirschner
President and Chief Executive
Fathom Knowledge
Network Inc.
Age 50

Ann Kirschner, together with Columbia University, has lifted on-line learning from the practical to the sublime. How else to describe the experience of clicking through course offerings aggregated from 13 institutions as prestigious as Columbia, the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago?

Although 1,000 short seminars are free, the rest of the academic paradise-600 courses so far-costs money. Fathom is a business venture, not a blessing. Short and long courses range from $25 to $1,000 and are designed for lifelong learners who want to get their chance to study Japanese culture or catch up on data-flow systems.

Ms. Kirschner, who was seduced by television from an academic career at Princeton, sees the Internet as the ultimate medium and New York as the ultimate place to create the message. "New York is the capital of intellectual capital," she says.


Bob Kitts
Thomas Weisel Partners
Age 42

Late last year, Bob Kitts re-emerged from the wreckage of his career. His starry tenure at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter had come to an abrupt and controversial end in 1999, when Mr. Kitts resigned after allegations that he’d had an affair with a woman he supervised, who complained of sexual harassment.

Thomas Weisel, who launched Thomas Weisel Partners, a San Francisco investment bank, in 1998 during the salad days of the Internet, quietly lured him back into the game to run the firm’s financial sponsors unit, which centers on the venture capital business.

Based in New York, Mr. Kitts is enjoying his new role. Although Thomas Weisel Partners is a relative upstart, Mr. Kitts often finds himself competing against firms like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in the technology arena.

"Our unique proposition is that a lot of our senior bankers have bulge-bracket (top firm) experience, but we also have a boutique sense," says Mr. Kitts.

Although the IPO market is drying up, Mr. Kitts is confident that Weisel’s robust sales and trading operations will compensate.


Jason Kliot
Blow Up Pictures
Age 37

When Jason Kliot started a digital movie studio two years ago, it was more than a business move-it was a creative necessity.

After running Open City Films-the production company he started with his wife, Joana Vicente-for three years, the duo was tired of relinquishing creative control to major movie studios in order to get their films funded. So they launched Blow Up.

Using digital technology, Blow Up is able to produce films at a fraction of the cost, because the process does not require costly film stock and films can be shot with smaller crews. The digital studio now has a production fund with enough money to make four films a year.

Blow Up’s first two digital films, both of which were hits, have marked Mr. Kliot’s company as one of the leaders in digital filmmaking, a trend that is expected to become mainstream in the next few years.

But for Mr. Kliot, who worked as an assistant director, produced public service announcements and co-founded the hunger-fighting group City Harvest before starting Open City and Blow Up, digital filmmaking is a way for him to make the movies he wants.

"We always ask, ‘Do they push the boundaries?" he says.


Scott Kurnit
Chief Internet Officer
Primedia Inc.
Age 47

The AOL and Time Warner coupling may have dominated last year’s headlines, but don’t underestimate the other merger between a bricks-and-mortar company and an on-line outfit—the one that brought Primedia and together. The two companies, each in its own way, focus on vertical, niche markets.

"There’s a wonderful commonality of approach," says Primedia’s Scott Kurnit, the mastermind behind, which was previously known as The Mining Company. "When you bring two cultures together, you worry about clashes. But both of these companies are based on technology." was founded on the simple idea that one site could direct users to hundreds of micro-sites, each of which can offer in-depth information on topics ranging from bungee jumping to gourmet cooking. Mr. Kurnit is one of new media’s trailblazers, having held key positions at both Prodigy and News Corp. when it briefly explored digital before he started The Mining Company in 1996.


Paul Lacouture
Verizon Network Service Group
Age 50

Paul Lacouture’s job is to run the largest wireline telecommunications network in the United States, a giant hunk of it operating in New York City. He’s also on the front lines of Verizon to meet the burgeoning demand for bandwidth created by the high-tech explosion in Silicon Alley, on Wall Street, and in offices and homes throughout the city.

Though Verizon has less than 60% of the high-bandwidth market in New York right now, Mr. Lacouture says, that share has grown 40% per year over the last three years. "We’ve caught up, and we continue to meet demand," he says.

That has meant accelerating its annual investment to keep the entire network up to speed. In 1996, Nynex, a Verizon predecessor, invested $1.3 billion in its telecommunications network in New York state. Last year, Verizon invested $2.4 billion.

"Sometimes, we’re taken for granted, but a lot of people access the Internet through our network," says Mr. Lacouture.


Robert Lessin
Wit SoundView
Group Inc.
Age 46

In 1998, Robert Lessin decided to scratch his entrepreneurial itch by leaving the world of investment banking behind. After stints at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Smith Barney, he joined Wit SoundView Group, a leading Silicon Alley venture capital firm.

In June 1999, Mr. Lessin took Wit SoundView public, and at its height the company traded at $22.25-though its share price has fallen considerably along with the rest of the tech market. In February, Mr. Lessin gave up his CEO duties at Wit, but he remains active as chairman; he’s looking for robust businesses, especially in the European market. He has said that he is likely to become more involved with the firm’s venture investing arm.

Every now and then, he says, he has twinges of regret. "Of course, I would have been worth more money if I had stayed on Wall Street, but the value of being at the cutting edge of the new economy is priceless."


Alexander Lynch
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Age 39

Lately, Alexander Lynch has been changing jobs at a very fast clip.
In the past year and a half, he has added two law firms (Gunderson Dettmer and Brobeck Phleger & Harrison) and one start-up (TradeOut Inc.) to his résumé. His latest move was in February, when he joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as the head of the Silicon Valley-based firm’s New York office.

At each step in Mr. Lynch’s career, his employers have touted their new recruiting coup. That’s because the Columbia University Law School graduate is one of Silicon Alley’s pre-eminent dealmakers.

Over the past few years, Mr. Lynch has helped New York companies raise $3 billion in funding, and advised on over $2 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions. His largest score was the assignment to do legal work for DoubleClick Inc.’s initial public offering at Brobeck Phleger, which he landed by spending a weekend writing up the company’s offering documents even before it had agreed to become a client.
"Running a New York office for an 800-lawyer firm is a unique opportunity for someone who is 39," says Mr. Lynch. "I’m looking forward to staying in one place for a while."


Franklin Madison
Technology Program Director
Industrial Technology Assistance Corp.
Age 41

Franklin Madison comes from a service background: He’s tended mainframes at a major retailer and taught Harlem churches to apply for federal housing grants. And he’s a self-described geek.

That makes him the perfect lifeline for literally thousands of New York technology companies, from software to biotech. He’s handled 100 consulting projects in his two years with ITAC-a nonprofit economic development corporation that is the New York Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research’s local arm-for which the clients paid a fee. He’s also swamped with phone calls from companies who want, and readily receive, a little free advice.

"We specialize in the tech-teens," says Mr. Madison. Those are the companies debuting in the world of angel funding and venture capital.

Mr. Madison doesn’t just supply contact information. He also evaluates companies’ business plans and talks them up to funding sources.

A full 75% of the companies he’s helped are still in business. "That’s our mandate," says Mr. Madison. "To help businesses make a profit in New York City and state."


Douglas McCormick
Chairman and CEO
iVillage Inc.
Age 51

Douglas McCormick, a 27-year advertising and media veteran, has been a part of the wave of old media executives sent to rescue the new.

"At iVillage, I have to turn a brand into a business," he says. "It was a great vision. Now we have to get it to work."

Luckily for iVillage, whose stock has fallen precipitously, Mr. McCormick has been a turnaround artist before, putting the Lifetime Network on its feet. He’s eager to point out that he’s been hired for his hardheaded business approach.

Mr. McCormick, under founder Candice Carpenter, rose quickly from his appointment as president in April last year. Since then, he assumed her duties as chairman and chief executive under a cloud of increasing losses. While iVillage, the on-line women’s network, is encountering rough waters, Mr. McCormick insists its fundamentals-solid editorial and 250 million page views a month-and its vision are sound.

"My role is to provide the leadership and fiscal discipline to move us to profitability," he says.


Dipen Mehta
IT Strategy and VC
Relationship Manager
IBM’s Global Net Generation Business-NY Metro
Age 27

Dipen Mehta joined IBM’s Global Net Generation Business, which nurtures tech start-ups with advice and one-stop shopping for hardware and software, last September, but he’s already had an impact on dozens of companies.

In his role as tech consultant, Mr. Mehta helps new companies figure out their infrastructure strategy-what IT architecture will support their business objectives.

Essentially, he works under the hood, as critical an operator in the tech business as a mechanic is in the auto industry.

"My job is to help companies assess their needs and recommend technology," he says. "It’s not that sexy a subject."

Sexy or not, Mr. Mehta can help make the difference between a smooth-running system and a clunker. Those companies fortunate enough to have hooked up with Net Generation and Mr. Mehta get an extra boost. He works with a select group of venture capitalists to mentor their most innovative portfolio companies and pave the way for IBM to do business with them.


Chan Suh
A free agent no more, consultant endures

Mark Walsh

Chan Suh recalls the early days at, when he and co-founder Kyle Shannon would celebrate company milestones with a trip to Tad’s Steakhouse for the $5.99 dinner special. The restaurant was around the corner from the Time & Life Building, where they had bartered Web development work for Time Inc. in exchange for a small office.

Mr. Suh has been reflecting on those shoestring start-up days as his company fights to hang on through the brutal shakeout in the Internet consulting sector. "That’s part of our DNA-our survival instinct and our frugality," says the chief executive, who now oversees an e-services company of 1,050 worldwide.

To that end,’s founders last week announced they will sell their shares in the firm to Seneca Investments, a holding company formed recently by investor Omnicom Group Inc. and venture fund Pegasus Partners II. The founders will receive an initial payment of 94 cents a share, followed by a potential second payment of 47 cents a share, depending on the company’s financial results through 2006.

Both will remain with the company, though Seneca will own a controlling stake.
Through this deal, Mr. Suh aims to help his firm avoid the fate of competitors like marchFirst, which filed for bankruptcy in April. He has also seen rival Razorfish’s founders, Jeff Dachis and Craig Kanarick, give up operational control of their company amid sliding earnings and drastic cutbacks.
So far, has fared better. The company last week cut its workforce by 25% after reducing staff in December. As of the end of March, the company had $72 million in the bank, and it expects to save $55 million in 2001 through restructuring.

The right strategy

Going after Fortune 1000 clients from the start, instead of flimsier dot-coms, has helped to endure the downturn. "We always targeted large existing companies that would benefit the most from changing the way they do things via the Internet," says Mr. Suh, 39, who worked as a media planner at big publishers including Time Warner and Condé Nast in the 1980s.

Early on, landed large accounts, such as Hitachi, GTE and American Express’ college division. The company proved adept at snapping up other interactive agencies as it grew. While firms such as marchFirst and Xceed have seen their roll-up strategies unravel, has melded its seven acquisitions more successfully.

Taking a year to integrate the consulting shops before going public in 1999 was a crucial factor in keeping from coming apart during the tech meltdown, says Mr. Suh. But even he admits that the future is uncertain for all e-consultants.

Consolidation in the works?

The holding company poised to acquire also controls Omnicom’s minority stakes in Razorfish and Organic, fueling speculation that the three shops could be consolidated. If that happens, analyst Dirk Godsey of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. predicts, Mr. Suh will wind up as chief executive of the combined entity.

"He never seemed to be as caught up in the Internet hype as many others," says Mr. Godsey.


Arnold Levine
President Rockefeller University
In search of the next science payoff
Judith Messina

When Arnold Levine changed his graduate major from dentistry to microbiology, it wasn’t a difficult decision. After only a semester of dental school at the University of Pennsylvania, it was clear where his passions lay-he got A’s in science courses and C’s in dentistry.

There was just one hitch he hadn’t counted on. Three weeks into his new studies, one of his professors received a phone call from Mr. Levine’s mother back in Brooklyn, demanding to know how her son could possibly make a living with a degree in microbiology.

"Your mother called," the professor later told a mortified Mr. Levine. "But don’t worry. I took care of it."

It’s a good thing he did. In the 40 years since that phone call, Mr. Levine, 61, has collected a string of the world’s most prestigious awards in science and, according to some, is on the short list for the Nobel Prize for his discovery of a gene that plays a role in more than half of all human cancers.

"He is a superb scientist," says his colleague, Dr. Herbert Pardes, chief executive of New York Presbyterian Health System.
Like many scientists who make a major discovery, Mr. Levine wasn’t exactly sure what he was dealing with when he initially found the gene P53, but he knew it was important. Later it was discovered that the gene helps prevent aberrant cells from reproducing and turning malignant.

Science alliances

Now, as president of Rockefeller University, he is continuing to take risks, gambling on where the payoffs will be in an era in which the human genome will dominate every corner of biomedical research. In the process, he is pulling Rockefeller into more collaborative ventures with other institutions.

"The tradition has been to live within these gates," says Mr. Levine. "Now Rockefeller is moving into the world."

The gregarious, slightly rumpled Mr. Levine seems especially suited to the task. A Bay Ridge native, he spent his teenage years ushering in his father’s movie houses and first developed his passion for science at SUNY’s Harpur College in Binghamton.

In previous posts at Princeton and at Stony Brook, he developed a reputation for being an entrepreneur and for attracting top researchers. At Rockefeller, where there are no departments and the heads of the university’s 75 research laboratories report directly to him-an organizational nightmare for most executives-he relishes the interaction with other scientists.

Mr. Levine is also forging new relationships with institutions that Rockefeller once counted as rivals. Its new center for the study of hepatitis C is a joint venture on the part of Rockefeller, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College. A program with NYU’s Courant Institute helps train Rockefeller students in computer science, and an unusual alliance with Bard College in Annandale, N.Y., brings liberal arts students to Rockefeller to learn about science and sends Rockefeller post-docs to Bard to get teaching experience.

A $350 million renovation program is preparing the university for genomics by adding labs and overhauling its 40-bed hospital to put more emphasis on clinical research.

Prize winner

Mr. Levine has received myriad awards for helping to unlock the puzzle of cancer, including the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University-considered a precursor to the Nobel Prize-and the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation’s Charles F. Kettering Prize. This year, he was the first recipient of the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize, the largest annual prize in the United States for science or medicine.


Benjamin Narasin
Founder and CEO Inc.
Age 35, a leading portal for bricks-and-mortar and on-line retailers, was definitely one of the more popular dot-coms in the acquisition game this past year.

Wooed by several interested buyers, played hard to get, dissatisfied with the offers that came in below the cash value of the company. That doesn’t mean that the company, led by founder and Chief Executive Benjamin Narasin, will stay pat.

"We would explore strategic opportunities that would help us grow in terms of broadening our client base and growing our ad revenue," admits Mr. Narasin. "It’s clearly much more challenging for a pure Internet company to succeed versus companies that have strategic allies."

Prior to starting in 1994, which he took public in 1999, Mr. Narasin was chief of his own clothing label-Boston Preparatory Co.-combining his design skills with his business acumen. During his stint as CEO of BPC, Mr. Narasin schooled himself in technology by creating networking systems for the company.


Jeffrey Neuburger
Brown Raysman
Millstein Felder & Steiner
Age 40

Jeffrey Neuburger is more than just any Internet lawyer. He wrote the book; actually, two.

His first, Multimedia Law: Form & Analysis, was published in 1994 by Law Journal Seminars-Press, at a time when few lawyers cared about cyberspace.

"A number of colleagues told me I was wasting my time," says Mr. Neuburger. "They thought the Internet was just another flash-in-the-pan technology-like CB radios."

Those same lawyers said Mr. Neuburger was silly to leave Weil Gotshal & Manges, after six years, for the much smaller Brown Raysman to
build an Internet practice.

But Mr. Neuburger had a background in technology after working six years in the computer department of GE Capital, and from his college days as a computer science major at the State University of New York at Albany.

Even after the dot-com stock market crash, Mr. Neuburger, who counsels such media clients as the cable division of AOL Time Warner, music company Zomba, and magazine publisher Playboy, says he is still busy.

He represents Playboy in a lawsuit against Excite Inc., because the search engine is posting banners for X-rated sites whenever users request the adult magazine’s dot-com address. Playboy claims that is target advertising using the magazine’s name, and infringes on its trademark.

"My clients turn to me for the deals that need to get done," says Mr. Neuburger.


Martin Nisenholtz
New York Times Digital
Age 46

Sometimes the best-laid plans are simply put on hold, as in the case of the New York Times Digital unit.

Initially spurred by the prospect of creating a Web site with the currency to attract on-line viewers and advertising much like the newspaper, the Times’ unit, led by
Chief Executive Martin Nisenholtz, was gearing up for its IPO last fall. But with deteriorating market conditions and poor ad sales, it was forced to pull back. Recently, it’s also had to scale back other digital projects, including information-sharing service Abuzz, and lay off almost 150 employees.

Nevertheless, the Times Digital unit is arguably the most formidable Web site among the city’s local newspapers-both in visitors and advertising.

"I don’t think content-plays alone on the Web can be successful. That’s why we’re in terrific position," says Mr. Nisenholtz, whose varied career path has included stints at Ogilvy & Mather and Ameritech.

Nevertheless, he is confident that when the markets turn around, his unit will be well-positioned. "We’re The New York Times and we have different ways to get information to the public: print, on-line, and even TV as a programming vehicle. So I don’t see us as just a Web company."


Denis O’Leary
Co-head, LabMorgan
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Age 44

It makes sense that Denis O’Leary ended up in the growing technology financial services sector. He began writing computer programs in high school, long before he became a banker at Manufacturers Hanover.

After heading up, the unit dedicated to new economy investments, Mr. O’Leary will continue on that path, but with the help of a new partner.

As a result of the recent merger between Chase and J.P. Morgan, he will be working with Nick Rohatyn, son of banker Felix Rohatyn.

Mr. O’Leary is convinced that broadband will be important in developing the next stage of the new economy, but critical mass isn’t expected for several years yet. Nevertheless, he sees plenty of other opportunities to be leveraged currently.

"As opposed to building companies from scratch, we’re taking existing franchises and building Net-centric systems for them," says Mr. O’Leary. "Brick-and-click companies look very promising."


Alice O’Rourke
Executive Director
New York New Media Association

When Alice O’Rourke joined NYNMA in 1998, people were still questioning whether the Internet would last.

Now, she’s hard at work countering the public perception that Silicon Alley is fading away, all while expanding career and education programs for temporarily displaced dot-comers.

"The Internet continues to be a powerful force for successful entrepreneurial activity here in New York, while it has recreated our global powerhouse industries to continued dominance," she says.

Now, the association is reaching out to some shell-shocked tech troops with the "Control-Alt-Reboot" program, which includes a six-month reduced-priced membership. "If you lose your community at work, you can join the NYNMA community," says Ms. O’Rourke, who would not disclose her age.

Under her leadership, in boom times and bust, the 7-year old NYNMA has quadrupled its membership to 8,500, making it the world’s largest regional Internet association. "NYNMA has helped new media and technology companies get started and grow," says Ms. O’Rourke.


Carol Parkinson
Executive Director
Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center
Age 47

When Carol Parkinson started working at Harvestworks in the mid-Eighties, digital art and music were considered fringe art forms, reserved for the downtown scene.

At that time, Harvestworks’ annual operating budget was only $40,000, and few patrons even understood what the group was doing, says Ms. Parkinson, who is also an artist. Now, the center has a budget of $500,000, and digital art has become the latest trend among mainstream collectors.

The center houses studios for digital art and CD-ROM design, and has a digital audio production studio where soundtracks and voice-overs are done for films. Each year, about 500 students take classes in digital media production and Web page design at the center.


Charles Phillips
Managing Director
Morgan Stanley & Co.
Age 41

If the military service is ideal training for the business world-as so many recruiting commercials suggest-then Charles Phillips is the poster boy, at least when it comes to Wall Street.

A former Marine, the Morgan Stanley analyst used to program software designed to facilitate the loading and unloading of aircraft carriers. To his surprise, when Mr. Phillips came to Wall Street, few analysts knew much about enterprise software—large computer applications developed for businesses, much like the ones he had worked on in the Marines—or, for that matter, any of the companies in the enterprise software sector. Right away, Mr. Phillips found his niche and has dominated the area as Institutional Investor’s top-ranked enterprise software analyst for the past seven years.

"Most people didn’t like to cover technology companies," says Mr. Phillips. "And enterprise software was seen as even more backwater."

Mr. Phillips has used the money he has made on Wall Street to fund his more artistic ambition-music. Former co-owner of a Lower East Side jazz and R&B club called Diana’s, which closed six months ago, he is hoping to reopen in a new space with his partners.


Robert Pittman
Co-Chief Operating Officer
AOL Time Warner Inc.
Age 47

AOL’s Robert Pittman, who is overseeing the day-to-day activities involved in the largest old media-new media merger in history, denies that there is any effort to marginalize Time Warner execs, as some have speculated. In fact, Mr. Pittman points out, he actually reports to former Time Warner chairman
Gerald Levin, the new AOL Time Warner CEO.

"The company of origin is becoming a nonissue. Gerry Levin has been intent on building a strong collaborative team that’s moving ahead faster than any of us had hoped for," asserts Mr. Pittman, who was previously president of AOL Inc. and is now responsible for helping integrate the newly merged AOL TW behemoth.

While most of the media and technology sector languishes in the current economic environment, AOL TW reported robust first-quarter results, $11 billion in earnings. The first postmerger numbers released by the company indicate healthy increases in revenue and cash flow versus the same period in 2000 for the combined companies.

Mr. Pittman has shepherded AOL’s growth to nearly 30 million subscribers on-line, a testament to the company’s strength as much as its earnings.


Jules Polonetsky
Chief Privacy Officer
DoubleClick Inc.
Age 35

Jules Polonetsky didn’t invent the role of chief privacy officer, but he’s made himself a role model. DoubleClick, an Internet advertising agency, pushed the privacy issue into the spotlight in February 2000 by announcing a plan to connect people’s names, addresses and other personal data with information about where they go on the Web.

In March 2000, DoubleClick, backtracking fast, appointed Mr. Polonetsky, an attorney and former New York City consumer affairs commissioner, to a highly independent post. He reports to DoubleClick’s board and is responsible for protecting the privacy of consumers.

"Privacy is about consumer protection," says Mr. Polonetsky. "Before a new site can be part f our system, one of my staff has to click a box."

Between policing and policy development, Mr. Polonetsky has noticed that he’s set off a trend. "Not a month goes by when another chief privacy officer isn’t announced," he says.


Mark Popolano
Chief Information Officer
American International Group Inc.
Age 44

"I am the man behind the curtain, the Wizard of Oz," says Mark Popolano, chief information officer of AIG, one of the world’s premier insurance companies. "I am setting up the structure that connects everyone."

But it’s not all smoke and mirrors. Mr. Popolano is responsible for overseeing AIG’s Web-based technology system, which connects its 61,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of customers around the world. As the company’s technology chief, he says that AIG’s business’ interests always come first.

"We don’t build technology for technology’s sake," says Mr. Popolano. "We build technology to meet our business and customer’s business questions."

Mr Popolano began his career at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he held senior technology positions in New York and Hong Kong. Six years ago, he joined AIG’s international property and casualty operation as senior systems officer. He rose to his current position a year ago.

How does he do it? "I am a good sleeper," he says.


Tim Purcell
Managing Partner
J.P. Morgan Partners’ Latin America Group
Age 41

An avid traveler who once climbed Mount Everest and crossed Tibet and China by bicycle, Tim Purcell has found a new outlet for his adventurous spirit. He explores new investment opportunities for J.P. Morgan Partners, the private equity investment division of J.P. Morgan Chase. The Latin American Group has $15 billion under management.

Since 1996, Mr. Purcell has served as the group’s leading investor in Latin American and Hispanic markets and funded technology firms in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Despite its rewards, investing in Latin America is not for the faint of heart. "You have early-stage risk to be added to business, country and currency risk," he explains. "You have to work especially hard to make sure you are being compensated appropriately for the risks you are taking."

Mr. Purcell also has been an influential investor in New York’s technology companies, including Spanish- and Portuguese-language portal StarMedia Network and Lumina Americas, an e-consulting business serving Hispanic and Latin American clients.


Rosalind Resnick
Chief Executive
NetCreations Inc.
Age 41

Rosalind Resnick pioneered the concept of opt-in e-mail marketing and built a profitable company, $58 million NetCreations, around it. Now, she’s pioneering a new survival concept for lean times in Silicon Alley.

With a softening revenue growth rate and unhappy Wall Street investors, Ms. Resnick struck a deal for her company to be acquired by Sogerim S.A., an affiliate of Italy’s largest Internet service provider and telephone directory publisher, SEAT Pagine Gialle. Instead of just watching dot-com customers die, Ms. Resnick has put NetCreations in a position to grow internationally.

Ms. Resnick plans to combine NetCreation’s abilities in gathering e-mail addresses with SEAT’s strength in gathering postal addresses.

She’s also eager to scout the world for new partners to help NetCreations develop international opt-in e-mail lists. "Opt-in e-mail is still the killer app," says Ms. Resnick.


Steve Riggio
Vice Chairman
Age 46

Steve Riggio has built Barnes & Noble’s Internet business much like he has built his own career.

His rise at the family-controlled mega-bookstore chain has been slow and steady, beginning 25 years ago, right after college. He worked his way up to chief operating officer and is now vice chairman.

Four years ago, when was launched, it received little attention in comparison with its high-flying counterpart,

But Mr. Riggio just kept improving the site and gaining market share. While most of the on-line retail market delivers nothing but bad news, reported increased first quarter sales of $109 million, up 23% from sales of $88.6 million in the same period last year. Gross margin for the first quarter was 23%, an improvement from 15.8% in the year-ago quarter.

How did he do it?

"We’ve remained focused on being the best bookstore on-line," Mr. Riggio says. "We haven’t diluted our brand by venturing into other product categories."


James D. Robinson IV
Founder and General Partner
RRE Ventures
Age 38

James D. Robinson IV’s passion for technology has led to a lifelong career in the field. His latest endeavor is Manhattan-based RRE Ventures, a technology-focused venture capital firm that he founded in 1994 with his father, a former American Express chief executive, and grad school friend Stuart J. Ellman.

The company, whose first fund returned 110% annually for four years, generally invests between $5 million and $10 million in high-tech businesses. More than 50 firms, including ScreamingMedia Inc., have received funding.

Prior to launching RRE, Mr. Robinson was a vice president and a general partner at Hambrecht & Quist Venture Capital, now known as Granite Ventures.

"I swing for the fences," says Mr. Robinson, who is known for being a risk-taker in his deals. But he also makes it a point to take into account the human element. He figures, in the end, that business is about people.


William Rudin
Rudin Management Co.
Age 45

Digital New York needs wired real estate, and William Rudin was the first to provide it. He transformed Rudin Management’s old philosophy of investing in buildings with subway access into "not owning any real estate that wasn’t connected on a broadband basis to the information superhighway."

Since transforming 55 Broad St. into the world’s first totally wired building, Rudin Management has completed four other "smart" buildings: Wired at 110 Wall St., the New York Global Connectivity Center at 32 Sixth Ave., the Reuters Building at 3 Times Square and the Long Island Technology Center in Great River. Two more buildings are coming on line in 2001.

But more than creating space for an increasingly wire-hungry market, Mr. Rudin helped build New York’s tech economy. He serves on city, state and federal new media councils, and the advisory board of the New York New Media Association.


Kevin Ryan
DoubleClick Inc.
Age 37

The recent dismissal by a U.S. judge of privacy lawsuits against Internet advertising company DoubleClick must have buoyed the spirits of CEO Kevin Ryan. Mr. Ryan, who took over last year from Chairman Kevin O’Connor, just had the unenviable task of presiding over two rounds of layoffs.

"Everyone will be affected by the overall ad spending drop. But there is always a flight to quality in this type of setting, which will help us with market share," offers Mr. Ryan.

Look for DoubleClick-the largest new media company in New York in revenues and market cap besides AOL Time Warner-to be aggressive on the acquisition front, armed with a war chest of $850 million in cash.

Surprisingly, Mr. Ryan is not overly concerned about his company’s battered stock price, either. "I’ll be worried when on-line usage drops," he says.


Glen Salow
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
American Express Co.
Age 44

Since he became CIO of American Express in March 2000, Glen Salow has been overseeing technology initiatives in more than 40 countries. Despite the weighty responsibility, he won’t take credit for it-at least not all by himself. The managers of the company’s various business units have plenty to say.

"We get into a room and start throwing things around," he says. "I don’t know which ideas are mine and which ideas are others’."

Mr. Salow came on board four years ago as senior vice president of American Express Technologies Operations, responsible for AmEx’s global infrastructure. Since then, he has worked his way up the proverbial corporate ladder.

One of his biggest challenges is nurturing the partnerships that AmEx has with a number of businesses that help provide services to its customers.

"Frankly, some of the providers out there are having a hard time," says Mr. Salow. "Helping them through the hard times and making sure they don’t disrupt their customer (sales) is clearly the biggest problem for me."


Edwin A. Schlossberg
Edwin Schlossberg Inc.
Age 55

Although Edwin Schlossberg has been at the forefront of interactive design for the past 24 years, his latest work is putting his name front and center beyond the design world.

His most recent projects, both of which opened in the past two months-interactive exhibits for the $65 million Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., and a new section at Ellis Island’s immigration museum-are changing the way visitors experience museums.
Visitors to Ellis Island, for example, now can look up family members in a database of ships’ records from 1892 to 1924, and add to the files by scanning photos and information into the museum’s electronic scrapbook.

"Creating tools to allow the visitor to enter into and become part of the conversation is part of what most institutions will become," says Mr. Schlossberg, who is also well-known because of his famous spouse, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg.

Next up for Mr. Schlossberg is the signage for Reuters’ new headquarters, scheduled to open this fall in Times Square. The electronic displays will feature photographs and breaking news from correspondents around the world.

"We were always the leader in this," Mr. Schlossberg says of his design firm. "But now there’s more attention."


Walter Schubert
Chairman and CEO
Gay Financial Network Inc.
Age 44

Walter Schubert is a man unafraid of risk. After all, he’s the first openly gay member of the New York Stock Exchange.

He launched the Gay Financial Network in 1998. Through, a Web site providing business and financial news and related services, Mr. Schubert set out to bring together two communities: financial services and the gay and lesbian population.

"Corporate America has always wanted to tap into the gay market but was tentative about how to do so. For the gay community, this would be a means of getting the finest products and services delivered to them in a gay-sensitive way, and possibly at discounts," explains Mr. Schubert.

With gays and lesbians increasingly coming out of the closet, Mr. Schubert sees significant growth potential for his company. GFN is considering both starting a print publication and developing content for radio. And Mr. Schubert is waiting for someone with deep pockets to start a 24-hour gay cable TV network so he’ll have another platform for GFN content.


Ken Seiff
Founder and CEO
Bluefly Inc.
Age 36

Ken Seiff launched an on-line outlet store for designer fashions in 1998 and called it Bluefly, thinking his company should be nimble, fast and hard to catch, like a real fly. The name was an appropriate one for an e-tailer that has shown an amazing resiliency and has refused to be caught in the dot-com shakeout.

"Raising capital during the past year as an Internet retail company has certainly been a significant challenge," says Mr. Seiff, whose firm managed to get $15 million in funding in March. "But it is also one that we have navigated successfully." offers discount prices on more than 9,000 items from 300 designers, including Prada, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. It continues to attract cyber bargain hunters and recently reported a record for quarterly revenues.

A native New Yorker, Mr. Seiff is a seasoned entrepreneur. At age 26, he founded golf sportswear company Pivot Rules, which later launched Bluefly. He says his goal is to make Bluefly "the first place consumers go for designer fashions every time they shop."


Dhiren Shah
Managing Director
Morgan Stanley & Co.
Age 41

In the late 1990s, Dhiren Shah helped build Morgan Stanley into one of the largest underwriters of technology companies. But it is this year that his group is showing its true strength.

Although few investors are excited about the market and no one is doing initial public offerings, Morgan Stanley has managed to complete two IPOs for tech companies in 2001, raising a total of $3.6 billion. That’s more than any of its Wall Street rivals handled.

At least part of the reason is Mr. Shah, who heads up Morgan Stanley’s technology practice. Unlike the careers of most other technology investment bankers, Mr. Shah’s predates the rise of the Internet. In the late 1980s, he worked with such troubled corporate giants as industrial manufacturers Union Carbide and Burlington on recapitalizing their debt-heavy balance sheets. He got his first large dose of the tech sector in the early 1990s, while advising IBM.

"That experience taught me how important having cash on hand is for companies, especially when you are going into an economic turn," says Mr. Shah.

These days, he adds, his job has gotten easier in some ways. "A year ago, every CEO thought his company should get a $10 billion valuation," says Mr. Shah. "The market over the past year has brought people back to reality."


Richard Sherlund
Managing Director
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Age 46

"I was born to be an analyst," says Mr. Sherlund, a Cornell graduate who was hooked on covering software companies soon after he joined Goldman Sachs in 1982.

Though he has been Institutional Investor’s top-ranked software analyst for over a decade, Mr. Sherlund’s influence comes mostly from his coverage of Microsoft Inc., which he has recommended for most of the past decade and a half.

When he lowered his revenue projections for the software giant in April 2000, he was credited with sparking a sell-off in all technology stocks that resulted in a one-day drop of 7%-286 points-on the Nasdaq.

"Good stocks make good analysts," says Mr. Sherlund. "You are never far from controversy when you cover Microsoft and it brings you into the limelight."


Bill Squadron
Sportvision Inc.
Age 45

Growing up in Manhattan, where he rooted for the championship Knicks and Mets in the early 1970s, Bill Squadron developed a love of sports.

Thirty years later, his passion has evolved into Sportvision Inc., a leading creator of special effects for sports broadcasts.

Sportvision’s biggest hit to date has been the virtual yellow line that appears on screen during NFL broadcasts to indicate the first-down marker. Such innovations helped the company to raise $25.5 million last year in second-round financing from investors that included Motorola Inc. and ACTV Inc.

Mr. Squadron, a former News Corp. executive, started Sportvision three years ago with a pair of former Fox Sports colleagues, including Chief Technology Officer Stanley Honey, who developed the glowing hockey puck for Fox’s NHL broadcasts. Since then, the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Final Four and Nascar have all incorporated Sportvision technology into their broadcasts.


Janet Stites
Co-founder and CEO
AlleyCat Information Sciences
Age 37

Describing herself as "a journalist at heart, who has a knack for ending up on the business side of projects," Janet Stites has made her mark in both endeavors.

It was her experience as a science and technology writer for Omni magazine, she says, that made her realize there was a need for a publication tracking the high-tech sector for the investment community.

In 1996, she co-founded AlleyCat Information Sciences with Anna Copeland Wheatley, and grew a cash-strapped trade magazine, AlleyCat News, into a $4 million-a-year business and one of the most recognizable brands in the Silicon Alley community.

Ms. Stites also launched a series of highly-influential networking conferences for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to serve the Silicon Alley community. Among them: the Alley to the Valley conference-a first of its kind, which brought together East Coast start-ups with West Coast investors in the dawning days of New York’s Internet economy, and helped put Silicon Alley on the map.


Elizabeth Stock
Executive Director
Computers for Youth
Age 32

The idea for Computers for Youth came to Elizabeth Stock while she was working as a White House fellow in 1997.

At the time, she was involved in a project placing thousands of donated computers from federal agencies directly into needy schools. "But in order to truly bridge the digital divide, I believed, low-income kids needed to have computers in their homes, with Internet access and the training," she says.

That experience led Ms. Stock to launch Computers for Youth, a New York-based nonprofit program that provides computers and training to low-income families. Since its inception in 1999, CFY has distributed more than 400 computers and trained nearly 1,000 people from inner-city communities.

The next step for Ms. Stock is to expand the program and to start a national rollout. "The digital divide is still very real," she says, "and it requires continual effort to transcend."


Bruce Strzelczyk
Founder and Co-chair, Internet and Technology Practice
Richard A. Eisner & Co.
Age 48

At accounting and consulting firm Richard A. Eisner & Co., Bruce Strzelczyk is the high-tech guru.

His introduction to Internet companies came in 1994, when he convinced his firm to invest in a rising Silicon Alley start-up called Inc. Eisner’s involvement with the e-tailer proved to be an excellent primer in learning the ways of the new economy.

"My role is to bring our expertise into the game," Mr. Strzelczyk says. "We have the knowledge of the techniques and the rhythms of the industry."

Today, Eisner’s Internet and technology practice has grown to 14 full-time partners and 250 clients, including on-line accounting service Virtual Growth Inc.


Benjamin Sun
Co-founder and CEO
Community Connect Inc.
Age 27

Having cut his teeth in Merrill Lynch’s Technology Investment Banking Group, Ben Sun, the co-founder and chief executive of Community Connect, is using his dealmaking prowess to turn the Internet into a forum for minority perspectives., and, for the Hispanic market, are the fruits of his labor.

The sites feature free personal pages and news about up-to-the-minute topics important to each ethnic audience. Members also get to engage each other through discussion groups, chat rooms and instant messaging.

"The power of what we’re doing is allowing those voices and issues that haven’t had a strong forum a chance to be heard," says Mr. Sun. "Servicing ethnic markets is a real business."


Ravi Suria
Managing Director
Duquesne Capital Management
Age 30

Ravi Suria probably won’t make’s "recommended" list, but he is a rising star on Wall Street.

Last June, while he was a convertible-debt analyst at Lehman Brothers Holding Inc., Mr. Suria predicted Amazon would run out of cash in the next year. At the time, most analysts were bullish on the on-line bookseller, despite the fact that it has yet to generate earnings.

While Amazon still has yet to fold, its shares have fallen 67%, from $42 to $14, since Mr. Suria's report. But Mr. Suria's growing influence caught the attention of Amazon's CEO, Jeffrey Bezos. In February, when Mr. Suria was set to issue another report on the bookseller, Mr. Bezo reportedly called Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld to block the report's release.

All this has made Mr. Suria a hot commodity. In March, he was recruited by Duquesne Capital Management to be a managing director in the hedge fund group-one of the largest in the world-which is run by George Soros' former chief investment officer, Stanley Druckenmiller.


Nicholas M. Tanzi
President and Chief Operating Officer
Metromedia Fiber
Network Inc.
Age 42

Since joining Metromedia Fiber Network in 1997, Nicholas Tanzi has played an integral part in the company’s efforts to break through the bandwidth barrier. In New York, the company has already installed an extensive fiber-optic network system, giving customers the power to utilize rich media content and e-business applications at lightning speed over the Internet.

"Through our fiber-optic service offering, our customers gain fast and immediate access to virtually unlimited bandwidth at a fixed cost," Mr. Tanzi says.
The strategy appears to be working. Last year, Metromedia reported $188 million in revenues, a 150% increase from the year before. It also boasts an A-list of clients, including Winstar, PSINet and AOL Time Warner.

Currently operating in 10 U.S. cities with roughly 30 additional networks under construction worldwide, Mr. Tanzi’s company will continue to expand its services, "providing relief from the more than 100-year-old technology of bandwidth-starved copper communications infrastructure."


Kevin Tice
Managing Director
Credit Suisse First Boston
Age 39

Had it not been for his love of skiing, Kevin Tice might never have become a technology investment banker. As a junior associate at Salomon Brothers in 1992, the Denver native jumped at the opportunity to work on the acquisition of a technology company based in his hometown, because it was near the slopes.

At that time, few investment banks had dedicated technology teams, and practically none had teams on the East Coast. Working on the Storage Technology deal in Denver and others like it from Salomon’s New York office, Mr. Tice became one of the East Coast’s more experienced bankers in the field.

Last year, when Credit Suisse First Boston, already one of the leading players in underwriting technology companies, was looking to beef up its presence here, it recruited Mr. Tice to lead the firm’s East Coast team.

"As a technology banker in your mid-30s, you used to feel like you were behind the hipness curve," says Mr. Tice. "Now, clients are looking for investment bankers who have done deals in tough markets."


Jackson S.N. Tung
Chief Information Officer
New York City Board of Education
Age 53

It’s a challenge few executives face in the private sector, but keeping more than 1 million children connected to cyberspace is just a part of Mr. Tung’s daily routine.
Since becoming chief information officer for the city’s public school system two years ago, he has been responsible for the technology rollout, including Internet access and workstation projects, to more than 1,200 public schools in the five boroughs.

The school system still has "19th century rules and regulations that hamper the efficiency of modern technological tools," he says. But for Mr. Tung, his work means not just distributing new computer equipment, but also providing a level playing field for New York’s extraordinarily diverse student body.

"Technology can be an equalizer for our students," he says. "Given the same technology support, all students are equal in their opportunity to learn, regardless of their social and economic status."


Neil de Grasse Tyson
Director of Hayden Planetarium
American Museum of Natural History
Age 42

Neil de Grasse Tyson’s fascination with the Museum of Natural History began at a very young age. Growing up in New York City, he got his first clear view of a night sky in the "star-filled dome of Hayden Planetarium," he says. Now Mr. Tyson is in charge of the Planetarium himself.

The Hayden Planetarium, newly created as part of the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Center for Earth and Space, is one of the few museums in the country devoted to space technology and science. It is arguably the most advanced public facility for the study of astronomy.

Since 1996, Mr. Tyson has been in charge of the planetarium’s scientific research efforts and its educational outreach programs. He is now a curator in the museum’s department of astrophysics.

Mr. Tyson, who received his Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University, has published several books and is also a research scientist at Princeton University.
"My childhood visits to the museum were instrumental in my decision to become an astrophysicist," he says.


Harold Varmus
President and CEO
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Age 61

Harold Varmus, Nobel-winning cancer researcher, former faculty member of the University of California at San Francisco and former director of the National Institutes of Health under President Bill Clinton, brings a lot more than stature to New York’s already illustrious medical research community. He may be the first person to finally get major New York institutions to work together. The result, he hopes, will be to rev up New York’s reputation as a biotech center.

Dr. Varmus acts as a catalyst. He already has facilitated a close collaboration of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Rockefeller University and Cornell Medical School, dedicated to basic research.

He’s also been pushing a plan to develop an incubator and lab facility, Queens West, that would help attract more biotech projects to the city.

"Thus far, everything has remained in the discussion phase. But there is plenty of enthusiasm among the academic, industrial and venture capital communities," says Dr. Varmus.


Kristin Wait
Managing Director,
Technology Officers Practice
Korn/Ferry International
Age 35

Kristin Wait has been making her mark in technology recruiting for more than a decade, managing executive searches for both Fortune 500 companies and start-up firms.

In 1992, she became part of executive search company Korn/Ferry International when it acquired her technology-focused recruiting firm Dean Howard & Simon.
Since then, Ms. Wait has been steadily climbing Korn/Ferry’s corporate ladder. She now manages the firm’s Technology Officers Practice, which recruits senior-level executives to meet e-commerce and other technology demands of financial institutions.

Despite the cooling economy, Ms. Wait still has faith in the tech revolution. "We plan to continue to grow the each of our organizaiton and the number of our clients, who we serve both here and abroad," she says.


Samuel Waksal
Founder and CEO
ImClone Systems Inc.
Age 52

Despite its concentration of world-class medical centers and research institutions, New York City has a paucity of biotech entrepreneurs. Count Samuel Waksal as a star among the few.

Mr. Waksal founded ImClone Systems 16 years ago, after stints as a researcher at the National Cancer Institute, Tufts University Cancer Research Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Today, the company is on the brink of having the first approved drug in a new class of cancer fighters.

Unlike most biotech start-ups, which have fled Gotham for friendlier and cheaper digs in New Jersey and Westchester, ImClone has been committed to New York City. "When people can come and hang their hats here and start their companies, that will be a dramatic change," says Mr. Waksal.


Omar Wasow
Executive Director
Age 30

Omar Wasow is nothing if not a proselytizer for the Internet.

When he’s not at the helm of, the leading community Web site for African-Americans, he’s busy helping Oprah Winfrey navigate the Internet, providing consumer information about the Web for local TV news, or dispensing insights as a contributor to MSNBC.

Many dot-coms are faced with the daunting challenge of quelling advertisers’ fears and investors’ impatience. Mr. Wasow’s prescription for his own site includes making content deals with Time magazine and adding new revenue streams.

"The core thing that drives traffic to our site is that we make it really easy for people who share common interests and passions to find each other," says Mr. Wasow.


Nina Zagat
Zagat Survey and
Age 58

Even before Nina Zagat and her husband, Tim, took their successful consumer survey-based restaurant guide business on-line with the launch of, she was an early advocate of the Internet, having done content deals with both Prodigy and Compuserve.

Now, she is at the vanguard of wireless technology, as
was recently named "Best Restaurant Site" at the WAPPY Awards, which honor excellence in the development of innovative Web sites designed for mobile consumers.

Ms. Zagat and her husband have handed over the day-to-day reins of their burgeoning empire to their first chief executive, Amy McIntosh, whose hiring was fueled by $30 million in venture capital seed money. But the Zagats aren’t exactly putting themselves out to pasture; they remain the visionary forces behind the brand.


Tami Zori
Partner and Recruiting Manager
Silicon Alley Connections
Age 33

A successful graphic designer, Tami Zori had no intention of becoming a headhunter when she left Israel for New York five years ago.

Once here, though, she found that she enjoyed her job search so much that she decided to become a recruiter herself. "It is the most exciting way to stay in touch with the new media industry," she says.

In 1997, Ms. Zori joined Silicon Alley Connections, the first recruiting firm in New York to specialize exclusively in the city’s growing Internet industry. Since then, she has led the company’s creative department, helping hundreds of design professionals land jobs in the new media business.

Despite her success, she hasn’t forgotten what it was like when she arrived in America with nothing but a backpack. Ms. Zori’s company has become the New York address for many Israeli immigrants while they try to relocate.


Jeffrey Walker
Managing Partner J.P. Morgan Partners
Stakes are high for financier
Mark Walsh

Comfortably seated in a sunbathed corner office overlooking Manhattan’s West Side and the Hudson River, Jeffrey Walker seems a man very much at ease.
Given the devastation rocking the financial markets in the past year, one might expect the head of the world’s largest private equity operation to be a bit less sanguine. J.P. Morgan Partners (formerly Chase Capital Partners) has hardly been immune to the downturn; in the fourth quarter of 2000, it swallowed a loss of $92 million related to write-downs in technology-related holdings.

Although returns in 2000 were off significantly from the preceding bonanza year, J.P. Morgan Partners contributed nearly $1 billion to the earnings of parent J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. More important, the private equity unit has averaged annualized returns of 40% since Mr. Walker launched it 17 years ago.

"We still had balance in our portfolio last year," explains Mr. Walker, 45, whose equanimity has been a guiding force behind the growth of J.P. Morgan Chase’s venture arm. The unit has $24 billion in assets under management.

Going with the flow

He credits his adaptability to an upbringing during which his family moved often as his father changed jobs. The elder Mr. Walker’s pioneering work as a computer engineer at General Electric also helped spur his son to get a management information systems degree at University of Virginia before earning a Harvard M.B.A.
Early on, an entrepreneurial bent turned the Tennessee native away from a career as an accountant. After joining the investment banking division of what was then Chemical Bank, he spearheaded the launch of the private equity division in 1984.

A good first impression

His plan impressed Chief Executive Walter Shipley and the board of directors enough to earn a $100 million commitment for the bank’s first fund. Two years later, Mr. Walker scored his first success by turning a $2 million investment in a group of TV stations acquired by former CBS CEO John Backe into a $6 million gain.
Since then, the private equity unit hasn’t lost money in a single year. Diversity has been key to this success. Despite all the hype surrounding Internet deals in recent years, middle-market buyouts have historically accounted for nearly half of the firm’s portfolio.
Mr. Walker also prides himself on having developed a corporate culture that encourages the sharing of information and ideas among partners, even as the firm has grown to 160 investment specialists in 30 countries. That effort has included inaugurating weekly meetings with partners around the globe via videoconferencing, as well as creating a mentoring system to help train junior staffers.

Now, as J.P. Morgan Partners undertakes a new $13 billion private equity fund, Mr. Walker is confident that his operation will be able to turn the recent tech slide to its advantage. "We know this is a good time for us to invest, because a lot of other people are frightened and valuations are down significantly," he says.


Joanne Wilson
Chairman Making Opportunities for
Upgrading Schools and Education
Providing the connections to make M.O.U.S.E. roar
Alexia Vargas

In her all-white home office, tucked away on the second floor of a Chelsea townhouse, 39-year-old Joanne Wilson is doing what has made her 4-year-old nonprofit a success: calling donors, answering e-mails and organizing fund-raising events, all while keeping an eye on her three kids.

Although she wears many hats, she’s best-known for being the chairman of Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education, or M.O.U.S.E., a Manhattan-based organization that hooks up public schools with powerful high-tech resources. In that role, Ms. Wilson sees her primary mission as providing disadvantaged children with access to technology.

Since taking over the reins of the board in 1999, Ms. Wilson has used her networking skills to win M.O.U.S.E. more than 100 corporate partners, including Bowne & Co. and Andersen, formerly Arthur Andersen. She’s also been able to garner over $1 million in the past two years to finance the organization’s technology-oriented programs.

"I’m a stump speaker for M.O.U.S.E., 24 hours a day, seven days a week," she says.

Student aid

Founded in 1997, her organization currently works with dozens of New York City public schools to implement its five programs. Although M.O.U.S.E. declines to provide exact numbers, the nonprofit says there are thousands of kids benefiting from its services.
Students, including those from Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Corporate Academy, receive paid training to keep computer systems at their high schools up and running. Through a partnership with Silicon Alley recruiting firm Redwood Partners, M.O.U.S.E. also offers high school juniors paid summer internships at local high-tech firms.

In order to address the lack of interest in technology among female students, M.O.U.S.E. and Andersen launched a technology program for high school girls. The program focuses on building an on-line magazine.

"If kids are not taught how to use a computer, they’re not going to go anywhere," says Ms. Wilson.

New media champion

In 1997, before joining M.O.U.S.E., she worked for a year at the Silicon Alley Reporter as the director of sales. There, she spearheaded the sale of advertising and event sponsorships and built relationships with many Internet start-ups. Prior to that, she ran a company in Manhattan’s garment center, growing its business to $11 million in annual sales from $1 million in just two years.

Ms. Wilson also sits on the boards of Lincoln Center for Performing Arts; Upoc Inc., a developer and marketer of wireless technology; Web Lab, a nonprofit start-up; and the Little Red School House, where her children are enrolled.

"She evangelized the idea of creating a new media industry in New York," says Gordon Gould, a former colleague at the Silicon Alley Reporter, who’s now chief executive of Upoc. "Then she took her Rolodex to M.O.U.S.E."

Ms. Wilson says the only break from her hectic schedule is doing The New York Times crossword, a daily ritual.

"It’s the only time when I’m not a multitasker," she says.