BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

David C. Peterschmidt


DAVID C. PETERSCHMIDT

INKTOMI INC.

Position: President and CEO

Contribution: His search engine makes finding things easier on major Web sites such as AOL and Yahoo!

Ambition: Making Inktomi's technology for speeding access to Web information a platform that other companies build upon--like Windows is for the PC.

If you wanted an exciting career and had to pick between being an Air Force pilot, working on the original B-1 bomber project, or running a software company, which would it be? For David C. Peterschmidt, 52, who has held all three of these jobs, the answer is easy: software. He's now piloting Inktomi Corp. (INKT), one of the hottest Internet startups around.

The Berkeley (Calif.) fledgling isn't nearly as well known as Yahoo! (YHOO), America Online (AOL), or Excite@Home (ATHM), but all three online megastars depend on Inktomi's Net speedup or search technologies to power their Web sites. In fact, more than 50 large Web sites rely on Inktomi's products to stay competitive--making it a key technology arms dealer for the Web. Peterschmidt's goals are as grand as they get: He wants Inktomi to provide the technology foundation on the Net, much as Microsoft's Windows operating system is the crucial software for personal computers. The software may reside largely behind the scenes, but ''we're supplying a unified operating system for getting information on the Web,'' says Peterschmidt. ''This is about dominance.''

That strategy is paying off. Inktomi reported revenues of $19.2 million for the quarter ended June 30, up 212% from a year earlier. It's still racking up losses ($6.3 million last quarter), but investors have pushed the company's market value above $5.5 billion. Inktomi recently added Web-shopping software, which could boost sales growth even more. If so, Peterschmidt will drive Inktomi as fast as he does his mint-condition 1967 270 GBT Ferrari.

By Michael Moeller

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[empire builders]
Jeffrey P. Bezos
AMAZON.COM INC.

Stephen M. Case
AMERICA ONLINE INC.

Timothy A. Koogle
YAHOO! INC.

[the innovators]
Louis H. Borders
WEBVAN GROUP INC.

Jay S. Walker
PRICELINE.COM

Margaret C. Whitman
EBAY INC.

Glen Meakem
FREE MARKETS ONLINE INC.

James H. Clark
MYCFO INC.

Christos M. Cotsakos
E*TRADE GROUP INC.

[bankrollers]
Masayoshi Son
SOFTBANK CORP., JAPAN

Robert C. Kagle
BENCHMARK CAPITAL

Lawton W. Fitt
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO.

L. John Doerr
KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS  

Bernard Arnault
LVMH MOET HENNESSY
LOUIS VUITTON  

[the visionaries]
Mary G. Meeker
MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER

John Hagel III
MCKINSEY & CO.

William Joy
SUN MICROSYSTEMS

[the architects]
Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
IBM CORP.

Pehong Chen
BROADVISION INC.

David C. Peterschmidt
INKTOMI INC.

Kevin J. O'Connor
DOUBLECLICK

Ellen M. Hancock
EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS

[the pace setters]
David S. Pottruck
CHARLES SCHWAB CORP.

John T. Chambers
CISCO SYSTEMS

Michael S. Dell
DELL COMPUTER



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