Click here to let us know which once-prominent business leaders and innovators you want to catch up on, and the Fast Company team will do its best to get the goods on those long gone.
Then: CEO and Chairman, Borland International
Now: Philippe Kahn now serves as CEO, chairman, and cofounder of Lightsurf Technologies Inc., a Santa Cruz, California-based company specializing in open standards multimedia messaging services, picture messaging, and premium content delivery. The company launched in 1998 after Kahn sold Starfish Software, which he founded in 1994. Previously, Kahn founded Borland in 1982, serving as CEO until 1994. In 2002, the International Imaging Industry Association selected Kahn to receive its Leadership of the Year Award. Additionally, Kahn cofounded the Lee-Kahn Foundation, which sponsors nonprofit organizations dedicated to increasing access to education, healthcare, and the arts.
Date Requested: Feb. 16, 2004
Correspondent: Gregory Prokter, Softex International
Kahn and Steve Ballmer courtesy of Dan Bricklin.
Jane Metcalfe and Louis Rossetto
Then: Cofounders, Wired Ventures Inc.
Now: Jane Metcalfe and Louis Rossetto left Wired Ventures in 2000. Wired magazine was purchased by Conde Nast, and Wired Digital was acquired by Lycos. Metcalfe is a partner in Forca, an independent investment firm focusing on technology, media, and real estate. She is also a board member of the Expression Center for New Media, a for-profit educational facility in Emeryville, California; Ground Zero: The Art and Technology Network, a nonprofit startup that promotes new media art; and One Economy Corp., a nonprofit startup that helps low-income people participate in the New Economy. Although Rossetto is Metcalfe's partner, the Web is less forthcoming about his current activities. Listed as a "thinker" for General Thinking, an international network focusing on innovation, his bio indicates that he is "now helping others realize their dreams by investing in start ups, funding troublemakers, and supporting various do-gooders."
Date Requested: Feb. 19, 2004
Metcalfe and Rossetto courtesy of Fred Davis.
Then: Founder, CNET Networks
Now: After building CNET into a Nasdaq 100 company, Halsey Minor became chairman emeritus in 2000. He now works as CEO and , chairman of the board for Grand Central Communications, a business process integrator he founded several years ago. Last year, Grand Central was named a Top 100 Company by AlwaysOn, and InfoWorld recognized its products and services as a Technology of the Year, dubbing it the "best Web services integration solution."
Date Requested: Feb. 19, 2004
J. Jovan Philyaw
Then: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Digital:Convergence Corp.
Now: What do you do once you've bilked companies such as the Belo Corp., Radio Shack, Young & Rubicam, and Coca-Cola of investments between $10 million and $37.5 million for a product that flops? You change your name. Philyaw, the masterful pitchman between the CueCat, a cutely named handheld barcode scanner that was supposed to bridge print media and the Web, apparently now does business under the name J. Hutton Pulitzer — or the one-word moniker "Jovan." Operating J. Hutton Pulitzer and Co. out of Dallas, the inventor of what has been decried as "one of the most ridiculed products of the Internet era," now specializes in the "development of unique intellectual property." Such as? Bottled rainwater. Crystals. And a forthcoming book entitled Generational Curses. Will Jovan be foiled again? Only time will tell.
Date Requested: Feb. 19, 2004
Correspondent: Michael Wood
CueCat courtesy of Steven Saar.
Then: CEO, Lotus Development Corp., and CEO, Nets Inc.
Now: Having steered Lotus through a decreasingly hostile takeover by IBM, Manzi moved on in 1996 to Industry.Net — later Nets Inc. — to focus on vertical industry-oriented business-to-business e-commerce. Despite attracting the investment and support of such New Economy heavy hitters as Bill Gates and Perot Systems Corp. CEO Mort Myerson, the company declared bankruptcy in May 1997. Almost a year later, Manzi was one of the first to claim money from the failed company, netting $1.4 million as the first creditor in line after tax agencies and professionals who handled the case. Since the 1998 pay out, Manzi has chaired a handful of companies, including Interwise, Flooz, and Thermo Electron Corp. — his most recent position. Having worked as a fundraiser for Presidential candidate Bill Bradley in 1999, Manzi was also inducted into the 2003 CRN Industry Hall of Fame.
Date Requested: March 3, 2004
Manzi courtesy of Michael Best.
Then: Founder and CEO, Hotmail
Now: After selling Hotmail to Microsoft in 1998, Bhatia launched another company, Arzoo, in 2000. In September of that year, Arzoo began providing Web-based access to a global network of technology experts who offered realtime problem-solving assistance for engineering, IT and tech support applications. Not nine months later, Arzoo shut up shop, declaring on its Web site that the company ceased operations "necessitated by a severe downturn in the US Economy." Also in 2000, Bhatia stepped up as co-chairman of Navin Communications Inc., which provided voice messaging and voicemail services in India. That company's TeliVoice service will no longer be available after April 1, 2004, and Navin will more aggressively work with local partners. In 2002, Bhatia joined the advisory board of Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that facilitates education in poor Asian communities. Room to Read was recently recognized in Fast Company's State of Social Capitalism report. He is also a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneur, a global network of entrepreneurs.
Date Requested: March 9, 2004
Correspondent: Harjoto Roeslan, OGS Rescources
Let us know which once-prominent business leaders and innovators you want to catch up on, and the Fast Company team will do its best to get the goods on those long gone.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine.