Bob Metcalfe

Coinventor of the Ethernet, Entrepreneur, and Educator

Bob Metcalfe is an internet pioneer, entrepreneur, and educator. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard in 1973, Metcalfe joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). There, in May 1973, in collaboration with David Boggs, he invented and developed the Ethernet local-area network (LAN) and its system of packet protocols, which evolved to become the “plumbing” for today's internet. In 2005, Metcalfe received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for his work and leadership. 

In 1979, Metcalfe founded 3Com Corporation in Silicon Valley, taking the company public in 1984. During the 1990s, he served as CEO/Publisher at IDG/InfoWorld Magazine, and for eight years, his InfoWorld column, “From the Ether,” attracted more than a million readers each week. 

During the 2000s, Metcalfe was a partner at venture capital firm Polaris Partners in Boston. In 2008, he received CHM’s Fellow Award for leading the invention, standardization, and commercialization of the Ethernet local-area networking system for personal computers. 

Since 2010, Metcalfe has served as Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering, and Professor of Entrepreneurship in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is also Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise.


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