BCS ELITE - Winter event: Gala dinner

Wednesday 14 November 2007

18.45 - 23.00

Goldsmith's Hall, Foster Lane, London, EC2V 6BN


On 14 November ELITE celebrated its 25th anniversary - and the BCS’s 50th anniversary - with a Gala dinner by candlelight.

The Guest of Honour at this event was Scott McNealy, Chairman of the Board and one of the four original founders of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Scott McNealy is recognised as one of the true innovators who helped shape the Internet world. His vision “The Network is the Computer” drove the evolution of SUN’s workstations into powerful network servers, and together with the launch of JAVA identified SUN as a leader in Internet technology, propelling it to $10bn annual turnover, and a position within the Fortune 500, within a decade.

He is recognised in the industry for his courage and integrity. He has two very simple rules. The first - don't cheat (SUN’s exceptional ethical record owes a great deal to McNealy’s style of leadership). The second - kick butt, have fun.

His many and famous quotes will ensure him a place as one of the true characters in the industry. His willingness to poke fun at himself and his rivals has resulted in memorable wisecracks and some colourful publicity stunts, making him one of the more unconventional CEOs in corporate America. To quote a Business Week article from the mid-90s, “His humour and ability to raise a crowd to its feet is in many respects exactly what you need in CEOs and leaders of today’s industry”.

In his after-dinner speech, Scott voiced some of his thoughts about current challenges for business leaders, some quick tips on leadership, and his views on business practices. He also shared his thoughts on what it will take for IT suppliers to be successful in the future, and what this may mean for their customers.

The Gala Dinner was an exceptional event for two other reasons:-

  • It took place at the magnificent Goldsmith’s Hall in London, a truly outstanding and historic venue.
  • During the course of the dinner, BCS President-elect Rachel Burnett presented Scott McNealy with a BCS Distinguished Fellowship Award. These Fellowships are rarely awarded - the last such award was eight years ago. Previous award recipients include Grace Hopper, Bill Gates, Gene Amdahl and Rob Wilmot.

This event was an opportunity to see and hear one of the leading figures in the evolution of the Internet over the past twenty years, and a renowned after-dinner speaker. It was Elite’s sole celebration of its 25-year history, as well as forming part of the BCS’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

The dinner was a black-tie event, commencing at 6:45 for 7:30, and finishing by 11 o’clock. It was subsidised by the BCS; the ticket price included pre-dinner champagne, wines, and after-dinner port or liqueur.