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EVENT: IBM, Cisco Systems and Thomson Executives Will Speak at the Ross School Jan. 26 and 27

1/17/2006 --

Bruce Harreld, Sanjay Pol and Michael Wilens headline FuturTech conference.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—IBM Senior Vice President for Strategy Bruce Harreld will deliver the first of three keynote addresses at the 8th Annual FuturTech Conference at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in Hale Auditorium at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Harreld has devoted his career, including the last 10 years in his current position, to helping companies reconnect with and stay connected to the marketplace. Since joining IBM, he and his strategy team have worked to chart IBM's future, ensure that IBM's mid-90s "near-death experience" never happens again, and build its leadership in innovation and growth.

The two-day conference, "Bridging the Gap: The Always Connected World," will bring future leaders and industry executives together to discuss how technology will bridge the divide between customers and businesses in the increasingly connected world. Attendees will participate in nine panels, including "Mobile Broadband: My TV to Go Please - What Does the Future of Mobile Broadband Look Like?" "The Value-Proposition of Online Communities," "Digital Music - Digital Rights Management: Ball and Chain or Magic Carpet?" and "Pervasive Advertisement - I Know What You Bought Last Summer: Privacy and Potential in Pervasive Personalized Advertising."

Sanjay Pol, MBA '94 and vice president of new business ventures and messaging security at Cisco Systems, will deliver the second keynote address at 9:15 a.m. Jan. 27 in Hale Auditorium. Pol, who has been with the company for 10 years, helps advance Cisco's commitment to keeping the Internet secure and credible. Pol recently led the Cisco effort in the newly announced specification for Domain Keys Identified Mail, a cryptographic email authentication technique developed jointly with Yahoo!, PGP and SendMail.

Rounding out the keynotes will be Michael Wilens, chief technical and operations officer for Thomson. He will speak at 1:00 p.m. Jan. 27 in Hale Auditorium. Wilens served as president and CEO of Thomson's West and North American legal divisions from 2000 to 2005. He also has held senior positions with Groupe Lagardere, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing and Healthcare Knowledge Resources. Wilens received his MBA and MS in computer science from
U-M, and a BS and MS in electrical engineering from MIT.

Special events include the Tech Fair, where students can meet representatives and view products from several companies. The "Quick Pitch" business plan competition, sponsored by FuturTech and the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, allows students to pitch their business plans before a panel of venture capitalists and industry executives.

Corporate sponsors include Thomson, Cisco Systems, Amazon and DaimlerChrysler.

The FuturTech Conference is a collaboration of the Ross School of Business, College of Engineering and School of Information. Several student-run organizations contribute to its success, including the Emerging Markets Club, Marketing Club, Operations Management Club, Jewish Business Students Association, the Entertainment, Media and Sports Club, Entrepreneur & Venture Club, and the School of Information's Economics and Policy Student Group.

For more information including a complete list of panels, please visit

For more information, contact:
Heather Thorne
Phone: (734) 936-8421