Carol Bartz

Age: 54

Claim to fame: Bartz helped Autodesk Inc. turn AutoCAD, the company's flagship product, into the computer-aided design (CAD) application of choice for nearly 70% of the market. AutoCAD was one of the CAD systems used to design The Boeing Co.'s 777 airplane.

What she's doing now: Chairman, president and CEO of San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesk

What's been the biggest technology influence on your life? The invention of computer-aided design allowed engineers, designers and architects to create, revise, store and use digital design information. Today, CAD increases the value of information by keeping it in a digital format through its life cycle, which makes it easier to deliver when and where it's needed. This results in an unbroken continuum of digital design data stretching across the enterprise, supporting the delivery of live, easily accessible, interactive and intelligent information to any design data user, anyplace, anytime.

Carol Bartz, chairman, president and CEO of Autodesk
Carol Bartz, chairman, president and CEO of Autodesk
What will be the next big technology advance? Uniting the design power of the desktop with the reach of the Internet across a wide variety of markets will allow users to connect every step of the design process, from initial concepts and design through final build and sale.

How will IT leadership change in the next 10 years? Opportunities for women in IT management continue to be a problem for U.S. businesses. One of the solutions is to encourage more girls in secondary schools to pursue math and science. I really liked math and science in school, and if I hadn't gotten that background, I wouldn't be where I am today. [/Girls today are] the "farm team" for tomorrow's cadre of women managers in IT.

Which companies will be the big winners in the next decade? Companies that strive to understand customers' needs. We listen to feedback and comments to ensure products we provide address specific markets. We believe strongly in educating the next generation of users and put emphasis on training and development for future designers and end users. Companies that have a broad customer base and a portfolio of industries can weather local downturns. We have reinvented ourselves from a one-product CAD company to a well-diversified business with many product families.

Fox is a freelance writer in San Francisco.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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