Israel’s Google and Facebook CEOs attend IDC Alumni Association Event
The IDC Herzliya Alumni Association organized an exclusive event for 300 of its graduates. The event was hosted by Dr. Adi Koll, the new director of IDCâ€™s Alumni Association and the Dean of students.
Among the honorable guests, also attended Mr. Meir Brand, CEO of Google in Russia, Middle East and Africa, and Ms. Adi Soffer Teeni, CEO of Facebook Israel. The two shared their thoughts about the issues of innovation and technology, the challenges, fears and vision of the two leading technology companies for the future.
At the beginning of the event, Prof. Uriel Reichman, president and founder of IDC Herzliya, addressed the graduates and stated: â€œThe world is constantly moving forward, towards technology and innovation, yet, there are still several groups that are insisting on taking us backwards, renounce democracy, and stating that for Israel, being a democratic state is only second to being a Jewish state.â€
â€œIDC was founded on the basis of Zionist commitment. It is the same commitment that has led us to fight for this country, and to leave dear friends on the battlefield. This is the point of view on which we are basing our activities at all levels. I believe that the real test of IDC is to look at our graduates and ask, did we manage to groom the future leadership of Israel, a leadership that will stand today against these poisonous and violent forces? These groups that rose from among us are now a threat to our national existence.
I want the future leadership to come from you, our graduates. I want you to stand up, to protect the state of Israel, its values and the Zionistic vision. This is the idea that had brought so many to this country and laid the foundations on which this state is based on. This is the idea behind everything that I have built here (IDC) and it is your challenge to pursue itâ€.
Mr. Meir Brand, CEO of Google in Russia, Middle East and Africa stated: â€œThe vision that Google has set for itself is to form a system, set to organize all of the worldâ€™s information and make it accessible to every person worldwide. Today, weâ€™re not even remotely close to making this vision come true. Not all the information is searchable, and only 2.5 billion people are connected to the internet. There are still 4 billion people that don’t have that privilege. Internet is the main empowerment tool that exists today, and that is why we must think of it as a basic human right. I hope that there will be an aggressive competition between the big internet companies for the hearts of the consumers that will form accessibility to all.â€
Ms. Adi Soffer Teeni, CEO of Facebook Israel stated: â€œIn the past, the driving force of the industry was the huge corporates that had massive geographical layout, a huge amount of manpower and fortune like Coca Cola, NIKE, etc. Nowadays, the power had transferred from the global corporates to the small companies.
As a firm, Facebook values individualism, it wants every employee to bring his true self, and not only try to integrate with the system. Our demand and expectation from our employees is to form an impact on the organization and to alert the management board when they think we are doing something wrong. I am certain that one of the reasons that big companies lack to foresee upcoming trends, is due to their hierarchic organizational structure where the voice of the employee isn’t heard.
In some of these large companies that couldnâ€™t keep up with the latest trends, there were some employees that foreseen it, but the CEO probably didnâ€™t hear them. That is the day I fear from, the day that we become too big, too hierarchic to hear our employees. This is exactly the edge of smaller companies, they can work and move faster because the decision makers can hear even the smallest employee. This is also our edge here in Israel, as a small state, we can be the ones to make a change. We can be the ones to form the next Google or Facebook.â€
â€œWhen you work for a firm like Google you should always keep in mind that nothing is set in stone. In the past there were â€œalmightyâ€ companies that had lost their relevance within a few years. If I had told you 10-15 years ago that Nokia would lose its relevancy, you would have probably laughed. In today’s dynamic world, trends have a tendency to change in a rapid pace. The way I see it, Googleâ€™s next competition could be one of the startup companies sitting right here, in an Israeli garage, as you know Google was once just a startupâ€.