He was among the first to recognize that supply-chain software over the Net could improve business efficiencies.
To expand into the booming market for B2B trading hubs in competition with bigger rivals such as Oracle and SAP.
Sanjiv S. Sidhu's $6 billion net worth is in the clouds, but his heart is on the forest floor. This year, the CEO of i2 Technologies (ITWO) landed a key partnership with IBM (IBM) and bought Aspect Development (ASDV) in software's biggest merger ever. But he's also proud of a deal with a Malaysian e-marketplace for timber called PlanetOne Inc. By using i2 software to link forests to U.S. lumber yards, Sidhu says companies like PlanetOne could cut the cost of building homes in half. ''This is the next Industrial Revolution, benefiting the entire world's business ecosystem,'' says the 43-year-old Sidhu.
i2 will be a big part of that. The company's products, which help clients coordinate suppliers, transportation, and customer inventories, have gotten a rocket boost from the Web. Used to power new industry e-marketplaces--as i2 plans to do in partnership with IBM and Ariba (ARBA)--it can streamline whole sectors of the economy.
Sidhu got a jump on the competition. Convinced early on that supply-chain management would be huge, he quit a job at Texas Instruments Inc. in 1988 to start writing i2's code in a small Dallas-area apartment. Now, its influence is felt all the way to Malaysia--and back again.