2015 Keynotes

Wednesday – Thursday, April 29 – 30, 2015

Interop brings IT practitioners, industry leading companies, and inspiring individuals to the keynote stage. This year’s keynote speakers will include:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Photo of Otto Berkes

Otto Berkes

EVP, Technology and CTO


Otto Berkes is EVP, Technology and CTO, for Home Box Office.  He is responsible for all of the company's technology efforts including the development of digital products (such as HBO GO), media production, internal business systems and technology operations.  He leads the formulation of HBO’s technology strategy and is responsible for advanced development efforts to create and deliver innovative products and experiences.

Born in Hungary, Berkes also lived in Austria before moving to the United States with his family as a child.  He graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in physics and a minor in music performance.  While at Middlebury, he developed an interactive software application for the recently released IBM PC to analyze radioactive particle emissions.  He earned an MS in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of Vermont.

Berkes has extensive experience leading the development of cutting-edge products and technologies.  His expertise includes computer graphics, and he has developed advanced software, hardware interfaces and algorithms in that area.  At Autodesk, he wrote the graphics engine and user interface for the first Windows-based version of AutoCAD.  Berkes subsequently joined Microsoft in 1993 as a senior software developer to work on the first version of the Windows NT operating system and re-wrote Microsoft's OpenGL implementation using optimized C and assembly language.  He led Microsoft's OpenGL and DirectX graphics development groups in Windows during the formative years of the evolution of the modern GPU, and helped drive the adoption of hardware-accelerated computer graphics, a technology now ubiquitous in PCs as well as consumer devices.  Berkes is one of the four original founders of Xbox, and helped make the case that Microsoft had a unique opportunity to compete in the living room.  He is also Xbox's first architect, and led its technical direction.  An early champion of mobile computing, he led the development of touch-based technologies, user interfaces, hardware architectures, and physical designs that were the forerunners to today's tablets.  He is co-inventor on nine patents focused on mobile device interaction and technologies.

After 18 years at Microsoft, Berkes joined HBO in 2011 as senior vice president, Consumer Technology (now the Digital Products area).

Photo of Urs Hölzle

Urs Hölzle

Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, and Google Fellow


Urs Hölzle is Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google. In this capacity Urs oversees the design, installation, and operation of the servers, networks, and datacenters that power Google's services. Through efficiency innovations, Urs and his team have reduced the energy used by Google data centers to less than 50% of the industry average. Urs is renowned for both his red socks and his free-range Leonberger, Yoshka (Google's top dog).

Urs grew up in Switzerland and received a master's degree in computer science from ETH Zurich and, as a Fulbright scholar, a Ph.D. from Stanford. While at Stanford (and then a small start-up that was later acquired by Sun Microsystems) he invented fundamental techniques used in most of today's leading Java compilers. Before joining Google he was a professor of computer science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Fellow of the ACM and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Photo of Harper Reed

Harper Reed


Modest Inc.

Harper Reed is a US-based technology engineer, innovator and entrepreneur. He has been called a “tech pioneer”, a “digital wizard” and “hard to miss in a room”. He is fascinated by how technology continues to shape, transform and empower human behavior. He is currently the CEO of a funded mobile commerce company in Chicago called Modest, Inc.

In 2012, Harper was responsible for delivering Barack Obama’s online campaign and get-out-the-vote program. As Chief Technology Officer at Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago, Harper was the man who was responsible for engineering perhaps the most sophisticated political campaign of all time.

From 2005 to 2009, Harper was the CTO of Chicago-based clothing company Threadless, one of the first successful crowdsourcing companies, and helped increase revenue tenfold during that period. From 2009 to 2012 he consulted for companies like Rackspace, an innovative cloud-based website host, and Sandbox Industries, a forward-thinking venture capital company which funds hundreds of tech projects in their early stages and then launches the best few. Harper has also developed a number of community-based apps in Chicago.

Stay tuned for additional keynote announcements by following us on Twitter @interop. See previous keynotes on our video archive.


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