The Top 25 Innovators Of 2012

The Next Generation

CRN’s Top 25 Innovators of the year are knocking down walls that stand between partners and the hottest new technology and services opportunities. Here’s a look at who made the cut in Part 4 of our look at the Top 100 Executives of 2012.

25. Eva Chen

Trend Micro

Chen has Trend Micro firing on all fronts with the company offering next-generation cloud and client content security infrastructure developed to protect customers from email, Web, email, and file threats. Trend Micro continues to lead security technology innovation, in August releasing enhancements to its server security platform and a cloud services program.

24. Peter Blackmore


Blackmore is driving ShoreTel to new heights, guiding the UC vendor as it snapped up M5 Networks in May to comprise its Cloud Division. Blackmore says he plans to triple investment in mobility and will grow out ShoreTel's partner program as the company continues to gain traction.

23. Selina Lo

Ruckus Wireless

Lo said in October that Ruckus Wireless will seek to raise up to $100 million in an initial public stock offering. The move makes sense because under Lo's leadership, Ruckus has pursued an aggressive growth track in the enterprise and carrier markets and doubled the size of its global channel program to more than 4,500 partners and more than 13,000 customers.

22. John Engates


Engates has been an aggressive advocate and leader for Rackspace while it has advanced a series of initiatives in the super-competitive cloud infrastructure space. From its creation of OpenStack, an open-source standard for cloud infrastructure interoperability, to the rollout of its cloud platform for public and private clouds along with related services, Rackspace is staying ahead of the competition as cloud computing takes shape.

21. Nir Zuk

Founder, CEO
Palo Alto Networks

Zuk was ready in 2005 to help found and lead Palo Alto Networks, with experience at Juniper Networks, NetScreen Technologies, OnesSecure and Check Point Software Technologies. The security company has developed what it calls "Next Generation Firewalls" that give IT managers a more granular look at and control of the traffic entering and leaving corporate networks.

20. Jen-Hsun Huang


Huang has been the driving force at Nvidia since 1993, evolving its graphics processing units for seemingly never-ending innovations in visual computing. Nvidia's interactive graphics now power devices from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and workstations.

19. Mohit Aron

Founder, CTO

Storage technology is rapidly evolving and Aron is helping lead Nutanix to the forefront of the changes with its appliance to virtualize storage networks. The company is developing technology that combines storage and virtual servers into data center components that can replace networked storage. Nutanix has raised $71 million in venture funding.

18. Sanjit Biswas

Co-Founder, CEO

Biswas is leading Meraki to explosive growth offering wireless networks controlled in the cloud, and allowing customers to use the same hosted management software, setup and controls for all of its products. Meraki has received about $80 million in venture funding.

17. Eugene Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab

The larger-than-life Russian CEO has built his security company into an antivirus, Internet security and mobile security powerhouse that has been a favorite of channel partners. Kaspersky's recent announcement that he is developing a bulletproof operating system to stop all threats has some experts raising their eyebrows. But his vision and creativity is well documented.

16. Mark Hennessy

General Manager, Global Business Partners, Midmarket

Hennessy took over as IBM's channel chief in January and is looking to the cloud. A 30-year IBM veteran, he was the former head of strategy and transformation for IBM sales and distribution and also was IBM’s CIO. Among his new initiatives, Hennessy is creating programs to help MSPs build solutions and services on IBM's advanced technologies such as SmartCloud, PureSystems and analytics.

15. David Flynn


Flynn heads a company that makes data delivery faster. Its Fusion-io Memory platform and software-defined storage solutions accelerate virtualization, databases, cloud computing, big data and performance applications. Flynn believes Fusion-io is at the forefront of software-defined software solutions replacing specialized hardware in the data center.