From Zukerberg to RamalingaRaju
The tech world is a cutthroat competitive place to be in. So if you are one of the top people in the business, chances are that you will be controversial.
Meet the men who are on top and are in news not always for the best reasons :
Mark Zuckerberg – ( CEO/President of Face book )
What the history vs. mystery is all about?
Facebook, a social networking site has been into several controversies like; online privacy, child safety, and inability to terminate accounts without first manually deleting the content.
But the CEO and President of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has not reached the top without controversies. The most significant one being ‘originality of the idea’; the connectU controversy.
Divya Narendra, Cameron Winkle Voss, and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of the social networking website ‘ConnectU’ filed a lawsuit against Facebook in September 2004. The lawsuit alleged Zuckerberg had broken an oral contract to build the social networking site, copied the idea and used source code that they provided to Zuckerberg to create competing site Facebook.
They filed a lawsuit in 2004, which was dismissed on technical basis on March 28, 2007. It was re-filed in a federal court in Boston. Facebook counter sued in regards to Social Butterfly, a project put out by The Winklevoss-Chang Group, an alleged partnership between ConnectU and i2hub.
On June 25, 2008, the case settled and Facebook agreed to transfer over 1.2 million common shares and pay $20 million in cash.
Julian Assange – ( Editor-in-chief and spokesperson for WikiLeaks )
Julian, an Australian publisher, journalist, computer programmemer and Internet activist has been in the news headlines recently. Julian is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, which is well known for worldwide sensational news leaks.
The website was created with an intention of creating open governments.
WikiLeaks has been involved in the publication of material documenting extra-judicial killings in Kenya, a report of toxic waste dumping on the coast of Cote d’Ivoire, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay procedures, the July 12, 2007 Baghdad air strike video, and material involving large banks such as Kaupthing and Julius Baer among other documents.
The criticism was on its peak when a number of political and media commentators, as well as current and former US government officials accused Assange of editorial terrorism.
In 2008, Assange published an article entitled ‘The Hidden Curse of Thomas Paine’, in which he wrote ‘What does it mean when only those facts about the world with economic powers behind them can be heard, when the truth lays naked before the world and no one will be the first to speak without payment or subsidy?’
Assange has been criticized by many government officials as well as media. Later in December 2010, Julian was arrested in the UK.
Sean Parker – ( Ex-employee of Napster and Facebook )
The controversies sparked on Sean Parker, when the recent movie “The Social Network” based on Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, showed Sean Parker as a co-founder of Napster. The fact is that he was just an early employee of Napster, a free file-sharing service for music. Lawsuits by various industry associations eventually shut down the service.
Many people believed that Sean co-founded Napster. But detailed contemporary literature shows that he was just an early employee of Napster.
.In 2004 Parker managed to be the first president of Facebook, receiving 7% of Facebook’s stock when the company incorporated later that year.
He was forced to leave Facebook in 2005 after being arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession, while on a kite boarding trip to North Carolina.
Steve Jobs – ( Chairman and CEO, Apple Inc. )
Steve Jobs has been in the news for everything he comes up with; may it be his brilliant, innovative and unique products, or may it be the loopholes in them. Steve Jobs has been dashing through controversies in the recent years.
The top one on the controversies was the iphone- 4 reception problem. The iphone-4 was criticized for its poor signal reception and the signal drop in the handset amidst a conversation. However, Jobs and company dismissed the allegation claiming that every wireless phone face the same issue and the only way to avoid it is to avoid gripping in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band.
One more recent controversies is, the iOS location tracking. A reader sent an email to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, asking for clarification and explanations regarding the ‘consolidated.db’ file built into iOS.
The existence of the file , which appears to keep a log of longitude and latitude coordinates from cell triangulation towers was brought to mainstream attention last week after data researchers created a Mac OS X app that was able to generate a visualization of the data using the file from an iOS iTunes backup.
However, Jobs’ response was to call the ‘info circulating’ as false
Tom Anderson – ( Co-founder of MySpace )
Tom Anderson, the co-founder of MySpace, was extremely popular on the Internet, with more than 250 million friends, as he was added by default to every MySpace account. In 2007 it was discovered that Tom was actually 37 years old and not 32 as he used to claim.
History shows, in 1985, when he was fourteen and in high school in Escondido, California, Anderson was subjected to one of the largest FBI raids in Californian history after hacking into a Chase Manhattan Bank computer system and subsequently showing his friends how to do it. He was never arrested because he was a minor, but the FBI held all of his computer equipment.
MySpace remained mum on this post, and so did Tom. However, the information was out online and is available everywhere in Internet today. Sources claim that Anderson, using the name Lord Flathead, was a computer hacker at least since he was 13-year-old.
Anderson was able to hack into computer systems by simply figuring out the right phone number. It was called war dialing and was done with the help of a simple computer programme that dialed sequential phone numbers until it received a modem response, signaling a computer system on the other end, usually a UNIX mainframe that often had a default password or no password at all.
In July and August 1985, between his freshman and sophomore years, Anderson hacked into a Chase Manhattan Bank DEC VAX computer system that handled “much of Chase’s data processing and record keeping, including records of home mortgages and portfolios of major customers such as pension funds. The bank notified the FBI and they set up an ‘electronic trap in the computer system that traced the calls to at least 23 homes in the San Diego area’.
Fifty FBI agents then raided the homes of Anderson and his friends and seized 25 personal computers. This was one of the largest FBI raids in California history.
Carlos Slim – ( Chairman of Telmax )
How did Slim earn lot of money? The Mexican telecom magnate’s growing financials pushed him into controversy, because Mexico was a developing country where 17% of people lived in poverty and the percapita income was as meager as $14,500 per annum.
Slim’s wealth is the equivalent of roughly 5% of Mexico’s annual economic output. Telmex, of which 49.1% is owned by Slim and his family, charges highest usage fee in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Critics claim that Slim is a monopolist, pointing to Telmex’s control of 90% of the Mexican landline telephone market. Slim’s domination of Mexico’s conglomerates prevents the growth of smaller companies, resulting in a shortage of paying jobs and forcing many Mexicans to seek better lives north of the Rio Grande.
Slim claims indifference about his position on Forbes list of the world’s richest people and says he has no interest in becoming the world’s richest person. When asked to explain his sudden increase in wealth at a press conference soon after Forbes annual rankings were published, he reportedly said, “The stock market goes up … and down”, and noted that his fortune could quickly drop.
Larry Ellison – ( Co-founder & CEO of Oracle Corporation )
Oracle has been into many conteversies, but the major one was multi-million dollar controversy that happened in 2002.
In 2000 Oracle gained attention of press and computer industry, when Larry Ellison defended his company by hiring an East Coast detective agency to investigate groups that supported its rival the Microsoft Corp during the antitrust trial. He called this as a “public service”
The investigation reportedly included a $1,200 offer to janitors at the Association for Competitive Technology to look through Microsoft’s trash. Asked how he’d feel if others were looking into Oracle’s business activities, Ellison said: “We will ship our garbage to Redmond, and they can go through it. We believe in full disclosures.”
At one point, Oracle Corporation marketed many of its products using the slogan “Can’t break it, can’t break in,” or “Unbreakable.” This signifies a demand on information security. Oracle Corporation also stresses the reliability of networked databases and network access to databases as major selling points.
Rather than representing a literal claim of Oracle’s products’ impregnability, she saw the campaign in the context of fourteen independent security evaluations that Oracle Corporation’s database server had passed.
Ramalinga Raju – ( Former Chairman of Satyam Computer Services )
What the history vs. mystery is all about?
The Satyam Computers CEO’s accounts scam, which was admitted by RamalingaRaju on January 7th, 2009 and took an exit from the company; was shocking news for six million share holders of Satyam Computer Services. This scam took the headlines of all the news papers and the inside facts were brought into light.
Satyam Computers went public in 1992. In 1999, the firm rode on the Y2K phenomenon, which saw India’s software industry get huge orders and earn good profits. Then in 2001 started, falsification of accounts to keep Satyam’s share price high. Riding on the high price, Satyam promoters offloaded their shareholding in the market and used the proceeds to buy land. This phase continued till 2004, when things started going wrong. Finally in mid-2007, the company showed huge cash balances and fixed deposits in several banks of international repute. It was, however, actually starved of funds and the promoters were desperate to raise money to keep the company afloat.
In December 2008, Satyam’s CEO, Ramalingam Raju, took responsibility for broad accounting improprieties that overstated the company’s revenues and profits and reported a cash holding of approximately $1.04 billion that simply did not exist. Satyam’s Raju shows the markers of this pathology. He states that, “What started as a marginal gap between actual operating profits and ones reflected in the books of accounts continued to grow over the years. It has attained unmanageable proportions. …” Later, he describes the process as “like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten.”
On April 13, 2009, via a formal public auction process, Mahindra & Mahindra-owned Tech Mahindra, as part of its diversification strategy, purchased 46% stake in Satyam. Effective July 2009, Satyam re-branded its services under the new Mahindra management as ‘Mahindra Satyam’.