The "Globes" Israel Business Conference had its gala opening yesterday evening, at which "Globes" editor-in-chief Hagai Golan hosted Gil Shwed, co-founder, chairman and CEO of network security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP). Shwed was named "Globes" Person of the Year for 2014.
Golan opened by explaining the reasons for the choice of Shwed. "This has been a great year for the Israeli high-tech industry. Never has so much money flowed to high tech in Israel. The constant question is whether these companies will continue to be Israeli. We have experienced many cases in which other countries reap the fruits. We therefore decided to turn the spotlight on an entrepreneur who is based here, who founded Check Point twenty years ago and who raised $38 million when the company first set out
"This year, the company has reported revenue of $1.5 billion, and its market cap is $14 billion. Shwed is one of the creators of value in the Israeli economy, through both direct and indirect taxes. He has demonstrated that it's possible to stay here in Israel."
"I was surprised to be chosen," Shwed said, and, asked by Golan how he would describe himself, Shwed responded, "I was a technology guy, I went on the role of entrepreneur, and today I'm a manager. I don't know what the strongest side of my personality is. I've been doing it for twenty years."
Your partners have left. Have you not become worn out?
"This is what interests me, and Check Point is like my family. I love it. I acknowledge that I have a good management team, thanks to which I'm less intensively involved. But I admit that on a day on which I don't have many meetings I'm frustrated."
How does Check Point keep on being a world leader in its field?
"Every year we strive to excel. Even in good years we try to challenge ourselves a little more. There's also a sense, perhaps a mission, of being here to stay. We know that we'll strive for and aspire to more. What makes us better is without doubt our people. I live in a dream, and would like it to stay that way."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 7, 2014
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