Andy Bechtolsheim

Written by CK-12 Foundation on January 19, 2009
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Andy Bechtolsheim

Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Inc. and employee number one, is Chief Architect and Senior Vice President for the Systems Group, and is also a member of Sun’s executive management team. In this role, Bechtolsheim drives the rapid productization of next generation network server technologies.
Bechtolsheim brings with him over 25 years of Network Computing knowledge and expertise. He was a co-founder of Sun Microsystems where he held a variety of roles including Vice President of Technology and Chief Architect of Sun’s highly successful workstation product line. He invented the “Stanford University Network workstation” that eventually became the Sun-1 Workstation and was instrumental in launching other successful Sun products, including the SparcStation 1.
Bechtolsheim left Sun in 1995 to found Granite Systems, a Gigabit Ethernet start-up company, that was acquired by Cisco Systems in 1996. Andy became Vice President of Engineering and later Vice President General Manager of Cisco’s Gigabit Systems business which developed the Catalyst 4000 family, the industry’s highest volume modular Ethernet switching platform.
Bechtolsheim returned to Sun via the Kealia, Inc. acquisition, a company which he co-founded to develop advanced server technology. Bechtolsheim received a MS in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1976 and he was a PhD student in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University from 1977 to 1982. He has been honored with a Fulbright scholarship, a German National Merit Foundation scholarship, the Stanford Entrepreneur Company of the year award, the Smithsonian Leadership Award for Innovation and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.