Israeli joins Bill Gates and Tony Blair as one of 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow

Gil Shwed, the founder and leader of Israeli data security company Check Point Software Technologies.The World Economic Forum has named Gil Shwed, the founder and leader of Israeli data security company Check Point Software Technologies as one of the 100 …

Gil Shwed, the founder and leader of Israeli data security company Check Point Software Technologies.The World Economic Forum has named Gil Shwed, the founder and leader of Israeli data security company Check Point Software Technologies as one of the 100 young leaders in its Global Leaders for Tomorrow Program 2003.

Shwed joins a list of dignitaries from 49 nations, including Prof Kristin Forbes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mpule Kwelagobe, a goodwill ambassador for the U.S., the Bolivian culture minister, Maria Consuelo Araujo, and Prince Frederik of Denmark.

Previous honorees include English prime minister Tony Blair, Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, Michael Dell of Dell, Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and conductor Simon Rattle of the U.K.

Shwed, 35, is chairman and chief executive of Check Point, which achieved the highest market valuation ever reached by an Israeli company – $30 billion. Shwed holds about 10% of the company’s equity. His holding is worth about $480 million today.

Earlier this year Check Point was named for the second year running by Red Herring Magazine’s list of the 50 private and 50 public companies “most likely to change the world, along with such powerful U.S. giants as publicly held Dell Computer and Oracle, as well as such privately held stalwarts as Google, the widely used search engine, and disc-drive maker Seagate Technology

Check Point Software Technologies leads the world market in firewalls. Since its founding in 1993, the company has installed its products at more than 250,000 sites, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

The World Economic Forum, which is an independent international organization that defines its goal as improving the state of the world, started the Global Leaders for Tomorrow Program began in 1993. The program’s aim is “to provide an informal, efficient framework for an ongoing exchange of opinions on strategic issues of concern to this younger generation of decision-makers,” the forum describes.

“The GLT Community represents the new generation of global leaders, nearly 500 individuals from business, politics, public interest groups, the media, the arts and the sciences, who have demonstrated responsible leadership vis-a-vis society, business developments, the environment and socially responsible initiatives,” the Geneva-based forum said.

The criteria for making the list include being under 37 years old, proving a commitment to public affairs, and demonstrating leadership in addressing issues beyond their immediate professional interest.

Once selected, GLTs are invited for three consecutive years to a special GLT program at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, and for five years to a yearly GLT Summit and to regional activities of the World Economic Forum.