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Mr. Yehuda Zisapel (EE,MSc, MBA, DHC) is the founder and president of the RAD-Bynet Group, a leading pioneering association of Israeli companies active in the development, production and marketing of innovative solutions for the data communications industry, and Chairman of RAD.
The RAD-Bynet Group grew out of Bynet Data Communications, which Mr. Zisapel founded in 1975 as a small private company that marketed data communications products. Bynet represented major international vendors and was the first to introduce cutting-edge technologies into the Israeli market. Today, the Bynet Group is comprised of eight companies active in both the Israeli and Eastern European markets in such fields as systems integration, cabling, testing, outsourcing, and software development.
Following the arrival of Mr. Zisapel’s brother, Zohar, who joined him in 1981, a wide range of industrial activity was spawned from within the newly established RAD, the first of the RAD Group companies. In the years following its successful launch, twenty-four additional independent hi-tech companies were opened to develop, produce and market a wide variety of advanced data communications products.
The Group’s management philosophy, which encourages a democratic and creative organizational environment, as well as a culture promoting young entrepreneurs, is one of the factors that have contributed to its outstanding success. This management atmosphere attracts excellent professional staff to RAD Group companies. Moreover, a study undertaken by researchers the Tel Aviv University has called the RAD Group “the mother of Israeli hi-tech,” given that over 110 start-ups have been founded by former RAD Group employees.
The member companies of the RAD-Bynet Group employ over 4,500 employees and surpassed $1.2 billion in sales in 2013. Their products are marketed in over 160 countries around the world. Among the Group’s clients are Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, British Telecom, China Telecom, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, France Telecom, Hutchinson, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel, Orange, Siemens, Telefonica, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and hundreds of other carriers, service providers, mobile operators, and vendors, as well as leading manufacturers, transportation networks, banks and financial institutions, public utilities, and institutes of higher education.
The RAD-Bynet Group is comprised of both private and public companies. Those RAD Group companies that have undergone initial public offerings on the Nasdaq or Tel Aviv exchanges are Silicom Connectivity Solutions Ltd. (1994); RiT Technologies Ltd. (1997); RADCOM LTD. (1997); Radware, Ltd. (1999); RADVISION, Ltd. (2000); Ceragon, Ltd. (formerly Giganet, Ltd., 2000); and Radview Software, Ltd., (2000).
Over the years, five of the Group’s companies have been acquired by other large datacom leaders. Lannet Data Communications was acquired by Madge Communications (1995) and later by Lucent (1998); ARMON Networking by Bay Networks (1996); Radnet by a consortium comprised of Siemens and Newbridge (1997); Radlinx by VocalTec (1998); Radwiz by Terayon Communication Systems (1999); Radlan by Marvell Technologies (2003); RND by USR Electronics (2003), and RADVISION by Avaya (2012).
In 1994, Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel were awarded the Entrepreneur’s Award from Tel Aviv University’s prestigious School of Business Administration. In their citation, Tel Aviv University President Yoram Dinstein and Professor Niv Ahituv, Dean of Students of the School of Business Administration, stated that “the award is given in recognition of the important contribution to entrepreneurship in Israel, for their remarkable innovative entrepreneurship in the areas of development, production and export of products providing solutions to data communications problems and for their technological entrepreneurship which serves as a model in Israel and the world.” In 2005, Yehuda and Zohar were presented with the Israeli Hi-Tech Award by the Israel Venture Association (IVA) and, in 2014, they were awarded the Life Achievement Award by the Association of Engineers, Architects and Graduates in Technological Sciences in Israel. In addition, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has conferred on Yehuda Zisapel an honorary doctorate for outstanding achievement.
Beyond the RAD Group, Mr. Zisapel has also taken on a prominent role in the development and promotion of Israel’s emerging biotechnology sector. In December 1991, Mr. Zisapel, together with Nava Zisapel, a professor of biochemistry with a specialty in neuro-biochemistry, founded Neurim Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery and development company. Mr. Zisapel, with his brother, founded RAD BioMed Incubator Ltd., Israel’s preeminent bio-medical incubator. For an incubation period of up to two years, RAD BioMed provides a home, initial capital and a range of associated services to selected projects and entrepreneurs with ideas, vision, determination and knowledge in the bio-medical field, so that their companies will succeed in becoming viable businesses.
Under the auspices of the Technion Alumni Association, which he chaired for six years, Yehuda initiated two important mentoring projects that make use of Technion alumni as tutors and mentors for underprivileged youth in cities and communities throughout the country. The program, known as “From 3 to 5,” is geared towards youth from the periphery of the country (both in the north and the south) and is designed to upgrade math skills to enhance not only their future prospects for education and career opportunities but also the country’s manpower base for the continued flourishing of high-tech industries. The “City of Excellence” program, inaugurated in Bat Yam, has similar objectives for youth in the heart of the country’s center but whose school system lacks the resources required for excellence.
Yehuda was elected Chairman of the Israel Association of Electronics and Software Industries in January 2008. He has spearheaded the Association’s adoption of “Ofakim High-Tech” – a project designed to expand and develop Israel’s science and technology manpower pool by recruiting students among decommissioned IDF soldiers from the country’s periphery and lower income strata. The twofold purpose of this initiative is manpower development for high-tech industries and rectification of the country’s socio-economic gap.
In keeping with his strong belief in corporate citizenship, Mr. Zisapel contributes to a number of innovative programs that benefit the community. Each year, for example, he provides dozens of scholarships for outstanding university students majoring in engineering and computer science who otherwise would be unable to finance the full costs of their tuition.
Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel also contributed $4.5 million to the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa to establish the Sara and Moshe Zisapel Nano-Electronics Center, named in memory of their parents.