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David Neeleman is Chairman and CEO of JetBlue Airways Corporation. JetBlue, which began operations in 2000, serves 23 U.S. cities with 57 new Airbus A320 aircraft. JetBlue is Neeleman's third successful launch in the
aviation business, His goal is to bring people back to air travel by offering low fares, friendly service and a high quality product. JetBlue was rated "Best Domestic Airline" at Conde Nast Traveler's 2003 Readers' Choice Awards for the
second consecutive year, and was runner-up for "Best Domestic Airline" at Travel & Leisure magazine's 2002 and 2003 World's Best Awards. Neeleman's career in the airline industry began in 1984 when he co-founded Morris Air. As
president of Morris Air, he implemented the industry's first electronic ticketing system and pioneered a home reservationist system that is now the foundation of JetBlue's call center. Neeleman sold Morris Air and took the electronic
ticketing to Open Skies. He sold Open Skies to Hewlett Packard in 1999. During this period, Neeleman acted as a consultant to WestJet Airlines, a successful Canadian low-fare start-up airline.
Ashwin Navin is the President and Co-Founder of BitTorrent, Inc. He joined Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, in 2004, moving from Yahoo! where he was an influential member of the company's Corporate Development
group. He possesses extensive experience in structuring and negotiating acquisitions, partnerships and alliances in the tech industry. While at Yahoo!, Ashwin was responsible for M&A, divestitures and company strategy in the U.S. and
key global markets such as India and Korea. Before Yahoo!, Ashwin worked with Wall Street powerhouses Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch as an investment banker and research analyst. Ashwin earned a dual B.A. from Claremont McKenna
in Government and Economics.
SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Prior to SpaceX, he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, and served as the company's chairman and CEO. PayPal has over twenty million
customers in 38 countries, processes several billion dollars per year and went public on the NASDAQ under PYPL in early 2002. Mr. Musk was the largest shareholder of PayPal until the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October
2002. Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation in 1995, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the media industry, with investments from The New York Times Company, Knight-Ridder, MDV, Softbank and the Hearst
Corporation. He served as Chairman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer and in March 1999 sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million in an all cash transaction. Mr. Musk's early experience extends across a spectrum of advanced technology
industries, from high energy density ultra-capacitors at Pinnacle Research to software development at Rocket Science and Microsoft. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a business degree from Wharton and originally
came out to California to pursue graduate studies in high energy density capacitor physics & materials science at Stanford.
Pairing with charities enables entrepreneurial companies to offer a morale-boosting perk to employees while enhancing traditional marketing strategies, says the founder of a consultancy that facilitates such sponsorships.
John G. Melo is the Chief Executive Officer of Amyris Biotechnologies, a synthetic biology company working to reduce the cost of curing malaria and producing lower carbon, second generation bio-fuels. He was previously
president of U.S. Fuels for BP, where he led one of the world's largest petroleum marketing, logistics, and trading businesses. While in this role he successfully grew revenues from $25 billion to $34 billion and increased net cash by $1
billion. During this time his team developed one of the world's most successful ethanol blending and marketing businesses. He also worked on the development of BP's "Helios" re-branding. Prior to his eight years with BP, Mr. Melo was a
director with Ernst & Young in San Jose, California, and a management team member for several Northern California start-ups, including Computer Aided Services and Alldata Corporation. John serves on the Board of Directors for U.S. Oil,
a $1.6 billion energy company, and Cilion, a leading low-cost ethanol manufacturer. John is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Club, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and YPO. He enjoys visiting his home country of
Azores, Portugal, as well as skiing, biking, tennis, golf, and time with his children.
As an entrepreneur you're probably looking for ways to increase executives' perks as a method of attraction and retention. One program you might consider is a medical reimbursement plan. Another is a key-man insurance policy--especially if you have business partners.
When Michele McGeoy sold her first software start-up, she thought she was doing the best thing for her stakeholders. But, a few years later the new owners resold the company out of state, leaving her and her employees out of work. Having lost control by giving up ownership, McGeoy found a better solution for her next venture: She empowered employees by making them stakeholders and created a culture that promotes healthy growth.
William McDonough is an internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he and his partners call 'The Next Industrial Revolution.' Time magazine recognized him
in 1999 as a 'Hero for the Planet', stating that "his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world." Time magazine again recognized Mr.
McDonough and Michael Braungart as "Heroes of the Environment" in October 2007. In 1996, Mr. McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation's highest environmental honor; and in 2003 earned the U.S. EPA
Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. In 2004 he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. In October 2007, Mr. McDonough was elected an International Fellow of the Royal
Institute of British Architects. Mr. McDonough is the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, an internationally recognized design firm practicing ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning
in the U.S. and abroad. He is also principal of MBDC, a product and systems development firm assisting prominent client companies in designing profitable and environmentally intelligent solutions. Mr. McDonough is a Venture Partner at
VantagePoint Venture Partners in San Bruno, California. Mr. McDonough is an Alumni Research Professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and Consulting Professor of Civil and Environmental
Engineering at Stanford University. He also serves as U.S. Chairman and member of the Board of Councilors of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. He is part of the Management Committee of HRH The Prince of Wales's Business
& The Environment Programme at Cambridge University. From 1994-1999, Mr
Marissa leads the product management efforts on Google's search products- web search, images, groups, news, Froogle, the Google Toolbar, Google Desktop, Google Labs, and more. She joined Google in 1999 as Google's first
female engineer and led the user interface and webserver teams at that time. Her efforts have included designing and developing Google's search interface, internationalizing the site to more than 100 languages, defining Google News, Gmail,
and Orkut, and launching more than 100 features and products on Google.com. Several patents have been filed on her work in artificial intelligence and interface design. In her spare time, Marissa also organizes Google Movies- outings a few
times a year to see the latest blockbusters- for 6,000+ people (employees plus family members and friends). Concurrently with her full-time work at Google, Marissa has taught introductory computer programming classes at Stanford to over
3,000 students. Stanford has recognized her with the Centennial Teaching Award and the Forsythe Award for her outstanding contribution to undergraduate education. Prior to joining Google, Marissa worked at the UBS research lab (Ubilab) in
Zurich, Switzerland and at SRI International in Menlo Park, California. Graduating with honors, Marissa received her BS in Symbolic Systems and her MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. For both degrees, she specialized in
artificial intelligence. Courtesy of Google, Bart Nagel
When key leaders are ready to move on to new challenges or even retirement, their legacy can be greatly diminished without good succession planning.
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