Tech chiefs get seat in ranking of most influential Israelis
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Tech chiefs get seat in ranking of most influential Israelis

TheMarker financial website names more than 20 tech luminaries in its annual list of the top 100 people with the most influence in Israel

Amnon Shashua, co-founder and chairman of Mobileye arrives to a Mobileye and Intel Workers Conference in Jerusalem, March 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Amnon Shashua, co-founder and chairman of Mobileye arrives to a Mobileye and Intel Workers Conference in Jerusalem, March 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s business and financial newspaper TheMarker, owned and operated by the Haaretz Group, has named more than 20 tech luminaries in its annual list of the top 100 people with the most influence in Israel.

The list was compiled from the online votes of some 35,000 TheMarker website readers, the paper said, announcing the ranking last week.

Major General Nadav Padan who heads the IDF’s C4I and Cyber Defense Directorate leads the tech grouping, ranked 11. He is followed by Checkpoint Software CEO, Gil Shwed, ranked 12th, whose cybersecurity company this year surpassed Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. as Israel’s most valuable company.

Amnon Shashua, who sold his automotive technology firm Mobileye to Intel Corp. for $15 billion, is number 13.

Check Point Software’s founder Gil Shwed speaking at CyberTech 2017 (Courtesy: Gilad Kavalerchik)

The ranking comprises also civil servants (including several in the technology space), elected officials, financial services, businesspeople (including Shahar Waiser the founder of Gett and Adam Neumann the founder of WeWork), and 12 “others,” including Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tops the general list, ranked number 1, with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Israel’s biggest selling daily Yedioth Ahronoth in second place.

Further tech names are grouped as “Serial Entrepreneurs,” “Venture Capitalists,” and “Tech Includers” — people who head organizations that work to include the Orthodox, Israel-Arab, and periphery populations into the Israeli tech ecosystem. KamaTech‘s Moshe Friedman is among these “includers,”  thanks to KamaTech’s efforts to to include ultra-Orthodox men and women into the tech workforce.

Number 14 on the list are the heads the Israel R&D operations of foreign tech giants Microsoft, Google, Intel and IBM.  Nadav Zafrir, the founder of cyber security think tank and VC fund Team8 is ranked 15, while Intel’s general manager in Israel, Yaniv Garty, is ranked 16.

Esti Peshin, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries’ cyber division, gets 18th place, while Aharon Aharon, the CEO of Israel’s Innovation Authority, which sets out the nation’s innovation policies, ranked 20. Venture capitalists Alan Feld, of Vintage Investment Partners, and Adam Fisher, of Bessemer Venture Partners are jointly ranked 22.

The editors also named four technology industry luminaries as Israel’s “Tech Ambassadors”, placing them jointly at number 21.

Eugene Kandel (Courtesy)

The four are Start-Up Nation Central CEO Eugene Kandel, entrepreneur and DLD chairman Yossi Vardi, SOSA NYC general manager Guy Franklin, and collaboration network ICON founder Yasmin Lukatz.

In explaining its decision to include the “Ambassadors,” TheMarker said the four organize events, speak on important stages, and make sure that Israel’s innovation story is heard everywhere in the world. They do this to attract more global collaborations with Israeli tech and to increase the flow of investment into the Israeli ecosystem, TheMarker said.

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