A week and a half ago, Yehuda Zisapel was the guest at a conference organized by MIT on the second generation of Israel's high-tech entrepreneurs. The conference MC was US VC fund Canaan partner Izhar Shay, who long ago worked for the RAD Group.
When Shay interviewed Zisapel, a nostalgic dialogue developed.
In retrospect, the real story was that Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR CEO Roy Zisapel was meant to be there in a rare public appearance alongside his father. But Zisapel junior cancelled at the last minute claiming he had to travel for an urgent business meeting.
Yehuda Zisapel revealed at the conference that it had been a matter of great luck in the mid- 1990s that his son Roy Zisapel had joined the company. Roy wanted to help his father, but RAD Group human resources division rejected him on the grounds that he was not suitable. Yehuda Zisapel had to use his influence to ensure that his son was hired.
Roy Zisapel took it upon himself to develop what is today the company's flagship networking solution, which was stuck because of internal opposition within Radware. He soon enabled the product to make its breakthrough at a time when the communications world was beginning to develop in the direction of Internet based protocols. Yehuda Zisapel was surprised to discover that his son had developed a product with annual revenue of $4 million, and the rest is history. Zisapel senior told the conference, "Roy succeeded, and he is with us to this today."
RAD Group will mark its 30th anniversary next year. With sales of $1 billion, and dozens of companies in the group, there is still a large question mark over its success. The Zisapels are known as not usually wanting to sell, which may be a good strategy, but sometimes harms the companies. A successful sale of Radware could be a sign that things are about to change, at least in part, for the better.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 14, 2010
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