RealTime IT News

Akamai: Success Best Tribute

In a special conference call, Akamai.com CEO George Conrades thanked the Internet industry for its support following the death of its co-founder and CTO and said the firm's success would be "the most appropriate tribute" to his friend.

Daniel Lewin was a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that was hijacked out of Boston's Logan Airport and crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He was 31.

Conrades divided his remarks into two parts: the first dedicated to Lewin; the second on the performance of Akamai's content delivery network during the last two weeks and its prospects in a more security-conscious climate.

"Danny was a truly an extraordinary individual, a combination of brilliance and passion," Conrades said after observing a moment of silence. "We were all inspired by his enormous, I mean enormous, will to win."

Akamai, family and friends participated in a memorial service at Lewin's alma mater, MIT, last week. A fund has also been established for his wife and two sons.

The Cambridge, Mass., company said its network of 1,100 servers, which bust bottlenecks to speed the transmission of Web content and applications, performed well under heavy pressure on Sept. 11.

Akamai-enabled news sites served a stunning 100 billion page hits and 150 million streaming video clips as users clamored for updates, Conrades said. Additionally, the company gained several media and government clients, whose sites were overwhelmed by traffic, switching them onto the network in some cases as quickly as an hour. Akamai donated service to the Red Cross and other charities.

Finally, Conrades said the events of Sept. 11 will spark several trends in the technology industry, all of them opportunities for Akamai.

  • Continued decentralization of information to ensure quick application delivery and greater security against cyber-terrorism such as denial-of-service atttacks
  • Increased use of Web-based, internal communications, as travel becomes more expensive
  • Greater emphasis on core applications and more outsourcing of e-business tasks
Conrades did not update the company's financial guidance; that will take place during the regularly scheduled Oct. 17 conference call. He did say that Akamai co-founder and chief scientist Tom Leighton was overseeing technical projects.

"We are are fully commitedto building out the vision Tom and Danny laid out," Conrades said in closing.

Shares of jumped 0.51, or 18 percent, to 3.3 on a rebound day for the Nasdaq Monday. In the last 52 weeks, the issue has ranged from 2.52 to 60.125.