Andreas (Andy) von Bechtolsheim was born in 1955 in the country of Germany. When he was 21, he graduated Carnegie Mellon Univ. with a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. Then he moved on to get a PhD from Stanford between 1977-1982.
While Bechtolsheim was at Stanford, he had discovered a way to build a powerful computer based on a network connected to a Unix operating system. Bechtolsheim created the workstation because he was bored of waiting for the computer time on the campus university system. Vinod Khosla approached Bechtolsheim regarding his invention and they decided to start a company together, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAVA). Sun was actually an acronym for Stanford University Network.
Bechtolsheim dropped out of the PhD program to go full-time on Sun and pulled in his friend Scott McNealy to become a co-founder. The four original founders of Sun were Andy von Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla, Bill Joy, and Scott McNealy.
Today Sun Microsystems is a $3.38 billion company. Sun’s brands include Java, MySQL, and Sun StorageTek. Sun bought out MySQL for $1 billion earlier 2008.
Bechtolsheim stepped down from Sun in 1995 and then started Granite Systems. Granite was bought out by Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) for $220 million in 1996. After that Bechtolsheim became VP and GM of Cisco Gigabit Systems Business Unit.
Bechtolsheim stepped down in 2003 from Cisco to become the head of Kealia. Sun bought out Kealia in 2004 and brought Bechtolsheim back to Sun. Bechtolsheim became the Chief Architect and SVP at Sun.
Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton, who both were at Granite, were two of Google’s first investors. They wrote a $100,000 check to “Google Inc.” before the search engine company even incorporated itself. Larry and Sergery did not even have a company checking account at the time.more » « less