LONDON, Jan. 29, 2008 – Intel Corporation today revealed Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man widely regarded as the founder of the modern-day World Wide Web, as the most influential person in technology over the past 150 years for his impact on society and ground-breaking technology.
As Intel continues to celebrate the innovation of its 45 nanometer (nm) next-generation family of quad-core processors, it brought together a panel of experts including academics, journalists and independent third parties to vote on technology’s 45 most influential individuals.
In the judging session held last week in London, the panel’s full top ten comprised:
- Tim Berners-Lee – Founder of the modern-day World Wide Web
- Sergey Brin – Co-founder of Google
- Larry Page – Co-founder of Google
- Guglielmo Marconi – Inventor of the Radiotelegraph system
- Jack Kilby – Inventor of the Integrated Circuit and Calculator
- Gordon Moore – Co-founder of Intel
- Alan Turing – played a major role in deciphering German Code in WWII
- Robert Noyce – Co-founder of Intel
- William Shockley – Co-Inventor of the Transistor
- Don Estridge – Led the development of the IBM computer
“It’s fitting that the people who have influenced the Internet turn up in the top three of the list,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel. “This emphasises the way the world is heading and that the Internet is our industry’s demand driver. As we saw at CES recently, people want an uncompromised web experience. Technologies such as Mobile Internet Devices and WiMAX promise to deliver just that.”
From an initial short list of 69 suggested influencers, Richard Branson, Charles Dunstone and Trevor Bayliss were replaced by the panel to give way to some lesser known names deemed more pivotal to the success of the industry. In their place, the panel voted for the following, taking the list to 70: Dennis Ritchie, creator of the ‘C’ programming language; Don Estridge, lead developer of the IBM PC; Jack Kilby, inventor of the microchip and Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse.
"It was a very difficult task to rate so many excellent candidates and there was a very lively debate amongst the panel. I think all the judges had a personal favourite who they wanted to see higher up the list. I was backing Douglas Englebart, whose groundbreaking inventions influenced the whole of office automation, although Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a worthy winner" said Professor Clive Holtham, Cass Business School and host for the evening.
Indicative of the gender imbalance within the technology industry just three women made it onto the list of 45: Meg Whitman, chief executive of eBay, Ada Lovelace, developed the analytic engine and Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. Meg Whitman is the only living one of the three although it was announced last week she would be stepping down, further fuelling the debate that more must be done to attract women into the industry.
Nominees were scored one to ten across five categories - Innovation, Ground-breaking technology, Industry success, Impact on society and Influence.