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College alumnus to speak at Columbia Engineering Class Day

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ben Horowitz CC’88, cofounder and partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), will give the keynote address for Columbia Engineering’s Class Day ceremony, which will be held on May 18, 2015.

“It's a thrill to be invited back to Columbia for Class Day," said Horowitz. "The University has only gotten better since I left and I am humbled and honored to address this year's graduating class.”

Horowitz, who earned his BA in Computer Science from Columbia University and MS in Computer Science from UCLA, is a cofounder and partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and The New York Times bestselling author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. Prior to a16z, he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007 for $1.6 billion, and was appointed vice president and general manager of Business Technology Optimization for Software at HP. Earlier, he was vice president and general manager of America Online’s E-commerce Platform division, where he oversaw development of the company’s flagship Shop@AOL service. Previously, Horowitz ran several product divisions at Netscape Communications, and he also served as vice president of Netscape’s widely acclaimed Directory and Security product line. Before joining Netscape in July 1995, he held various senior product marketing positions at Lotus Development Corporation.

“We are very pleased to have Ben Horowitz as our Class Day speaker this year,” said Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor at Columbia. “As a Columbia College graduate with both a BS and MS in computer science, as a Columbia College parent, and as a Columbia University trustee, Ben epitomizes the intersection of academic scholarship with the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that permeates not just Columbia Engineering but also the University. I know he will inspire our students to take what they've learned both inside and outside our classrooms and work hard to transform our world.”

Horowitz received the John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement from the College in 2012. He has participated in career events such as Columbia Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Networking Night, and this past May, shared excerpts from his book at a Columbia Entrepreneurship event. He serves as the head of the Columbia Trustees’ Subcommittee on Entrepreneurship.

Horowitz also maintains “Ben’s Blog” (, where he covers everything from how CEOs should hire executives to how to minimize politics in their company.