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Top 50 Women in Technology

Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Systems

Pooja Sankar, Piazza, Pooja Sankar, founder and CEO of Piazza, is a native of Bihar, India. She holds a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Stanford School of Business. Her objective is to make Piazza a presence in every college student’s life and to revolutionize education using social technologies. Before Pooja launched the free online service in 2009, she worked as a software developer at Oracle, Kosmix and Facebook. According to Sankar, she started Piazza Technology Inc. so every student could have the opportunity to learn from classmates. Piazza is an online service that enables students to connect with instructors or peers to help solve difficult problems. Piazza is currently used by half a million people at over 1,000 schools worldwide. With $7.5 million in funding from Bessemer Ventures, Sequoia Capital and SV Angel, Sankar seeks to play a significant role in the transformation of education. She considers Silicon Valley to be an amazingly supportive environment for entrepreneurs as it has a tremendous wealth of talent and provides an opportunity to learn from the best. Sankar lives in Silicon Valley and is married with one child.

Rebecca Jacoby has been Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Senior Vice President of the IT and Cloud & Systems Management Technology Group at Cisco since 2006. The 11year Cisco veteran was previously vice president of customer service and operational systems. She helped modify several processes to improve efficiency and give employees and customer’s better service. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the Pacific and a master’s degree in business administration from Santa Clara University. In 1996 she was awarded the YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry award. Before Rebecca joined Cisco, she held a variety of leadership roles in IT, planning, manufacturing and operations with other companies in Silicon Valley, such as Ungermann Bas, Xidex and Amdahl Corporation. She also served as Director of Apptio, Inc. Rebecca has demonstrated continued success by making the dominant networking vendor a strategic business partner, producing significant business value for Cisco in the form of customer satisfaction, strong financial performance, market share and productivity. She currently leads the strategy for how Cisco should offer cloud technology to its customers and runs Cisco’s Internal IT department. Her commitment to operational excellence, ground-breaking approach to business problems, and aptitude for partnering crossfunctionality have reshaped and elevated the role of IT at Cisco. According to Rebecca, money is the language of business. “You have to talk about a cloud service in terms of its total cost and how the money flows and change over time.”

Marianna Tessel, Vmare Marianna Tessel runs a large engineering group at Vmware where she oversees a team of more than 200 people who work on the technology needs of VMware’s 2,000+ partners. Before joining Vmware in 2008, she served as Vice President of Engineering at several large to medium-sized technology companies leading the development teams driving Enterprise Software innovation. From 1995-2001 she led organizations responsible for developing mobile OS and later on voice applications at General Magic, leading to state of the art voice services with millions of users, such as OnStar. Marianna moved to Ariba in 2001 to transform their product platform that would enable on-demand SaaS delivery of their infrastructure and common services. Marianna is a recognized leader in the industry and much in demand as a keynote speaker and lecturer. She holds several technology patents and previously served as the Captain for Computer Center R&D in the Israeli Army.

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