Hatfield Lecture 2024

Samsara Co-Founder and CTO John Bicket '02 and Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack discuss how technology is transforming the world of physical operations and global infrastructure.

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Date: May 2, 2024
Time: 5:00–6:00 p.m.
Location: Bill and Melinda Gates Hall, Room G01 and online

John Bickett ’02 headshot

John Bickett ’02 is the CTO and co-founder of Samsara, a company that enables businesses with physical operations to harness Internet of Things (IoT) data to develop actionable business insights and improve their operations. He co-founded the company with the mission to increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the operations that power the global economy. He is responsible for Samsara’s disruptive technology that makes operating thousands of sensors simple and secure.

Prior to co-founding Samsara, John co-founded Meraki, where he was CTO and VP of engineering. At Meraki, he led the Meraki technical team and built a cloud-based platform that combines analytics, big data, and security that transformed how customers deployed and managed Wi-Fi and networking infrastructure. Originating from his research while a PhD student at MIT, John and his team built integrated hardware, software, and cloud-based services that became the most widely deployed cloud managed edge networking platform. Meraki’s product lines spanning Wi-Fi, switching, routing, firewalls, and mobile-device-management scaled to connect hundreds of millions of network devices across more than 140 countries. After Cisco acquired Meraki for $1.2 billion, John led Meraki as Cisco’s fastest-growing cloud product and one of Cisco’s most successful acquisitions.

John holds a BS in computer science from Cornell University and an SM in Computer Science from MIT.

About the Hatfield Fellows Program

The Continental Group Foundation established the Robert S. Hatfield Fund for Economic Education at Cornell University in 1980 to honor the then retiring chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the Continental Group Inc.

The fund supports the Hatfield Fellows Program, which serves as a major platform for the exchange of ideas between the academic and the corporate communities. The Hatfield Fellows Program is administered by the president of Cornell University, who each year invites one or more distinguished business leaders to meet with students and faculty members and to deliver a major address, the Hatfield Lecture. In 1981, Robert S. Hatfield ’37 inaugurated the Hatfield Fellows Program by serving as the first fellow.

Past Hatfield Fellows in Economic Education

Robert S. Hatfield ’37 of the Continental Group
Roger B. Smith of General Motors Corporation
Clifton C. Garvin Jr. of Exxon Corporation
Edward G. Jefferson of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
John F. Welch Jr. of General Electric Company
John R. Opel of International Business Machines Corporation
James L. Ferguson of General Foods Corporation
Richard J. Ferris ’62 of UAL
Colby H. Chandler of Eastman Kodak Corporation
Donald E. Petersen of Ford Motor Company
David T. Kearns of Xerox Corporation
John A. Young of Hewlett-Packard Company
Yoh Kurosawa of the Industrial Bank of Japan Ltd.
Edwin L. Artzt of Proctor & Gamble Company
James R. Houghton of Corning Inc.
Lawrence A Bossidy of Allied Signal
Charles F. Knight ’57, MBA ’59 of Emerson Electric Company
Raymond V. Gilmartin of Merck & Company Inc.
John S. Reed of Citicorp
Charles R. Lee ’61 of Verizon Communications
Robert C. Wright of National Broadcasting Company
Sidney Taurel of Eli Lilly & Company
Sanford I. Weill ’55 of Citigroup
James C. Morgan ’60, MBA ’63 of Applied Materials
Jeffrey R. Immelt of General Electric Company
Ratan N. Tata ’59 of Tata Sons Ltd.
Irwin M. Jacobs ’54 of Qualcomm Inc.
Fisk Johnson ’79, MEng ’80, MS ’82, MBA ’84, PhD ’86 of SC Johnson & Son Inc.
Henry M. Paulson Jr. of the Us Department of Treasury
Irene B. Rosenfeld ’75, MS ’77, PhD ’80 of Kraft Foods Inc.
Eric E. Schmidt of Google
Lowell C. McAdam’76 of Verizon
Mark A. Weinberger of Ernst & Young
George Scangos ’70 of Biogen
Paul Polman of Unilever
Sandra E. Peterson ’80 of Johnson & Johnson
Natarajan Chandrasekaran of Tata Sons
Satya Nadella of Microsoft
Angela Hwang MBA ’94 of Pfizer
Anthony Capuano ’87 of Marriott International, Inc.