Gates, Jobs Top CompTIA Poll on Most Influential IT Personalities of Past 25 years

By Julio Franco
Nov 7, 2007
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  1. Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., November 7, 2007— The co-founders of two of the world’s most successful, recognizable and innovative information technology (IT) companies are the industry’s most influential personalities of the past 25 years, according to a poll by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

    Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation, claimed the top spot on the most influential list. Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975, was named by 84 percent of the 473 IT industry professionals who participated in the web-based poll.

    Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976, placed second on the list of most influential IT person of the past 25 years. Jobs was selected by 73 percent of voters.

    Placing third was Michael Dell, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Dell, the company he founded in 1984. He was named by 53 percent of voters.

    Tied for fourth, at 47 percent, was Linus Torvalds. As a 21-year-old computer science student at the University of Helsinki, Torvalds wrote the original code for the operating system known as Linux.

    Also at 47 percent were Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who, as Stanford University Ph.D. students, founded Google in 1998.

    Rounding out the top ten in the CompTIA poll on the most influential IT industry personalities of the past 25 years were:

    • John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems (44 percent)
    • Larry Ellison, CEO and member of the board of directors of Oracle (36 percent)
    • Vinton Cerf, widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet" and the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet (35 percent)
    • Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft (35 percent)
    • Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay since 1998 (30 percent)
    The poll was conducted in conjunction with CompTIA’s 25th anniversary. The majority of poll respondents (91 percent) have worked in the IT industry for at least three years; and two-thirds have been in the industry for five years or more. For more information on the poll please visit: http://www.comptia.org/sections/research.aspx .
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