Distinguished Alumni Awards
Peng T. Ong
Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Interwoven, Inc., Sunnyvale, California
- BS, 1986, Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
- MS, 1988, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Peng T. Ong used to describe himself as a “nerd-entrepreneur.” He came to the University of Illinois with an interest in artificial intelligence in parallel systems. After receiving his master’s, Ong played both engineering and management roles at Illustra, Sybase, and Gensym. He then co-founded Electric Classifieds, which launched Match.com. Match.com became the leading matchmaking service on the Web.
In 1995, with deep exposure to complex software systems, newly acquired management skills, and a lifelong desire to become an entrepreneur, Ong started the company that became Interwoven. Interwoven makes software to control the development, management, and deployment of business-critical content. He began with a simple premise: when a lot of people work on a lot of parts, all of which need to come together to form one product, the group needs a system. This applies whether the item being built is a car, computer chips, or software. Interwoven has become the de facto standard for more than 500 Global 1000 companies, including General Electric, General Motors, Federal Express, and Cisco Systems. One key to Ong’s success is that Interwoven doesn’t force companies to change the structure of their information. He believes instead that information has a natural structure and the storage system should reflect that structure.
Interwoven had one of the most successful NASDAQ IPOs in 1999. The company has landed coveted spots on the industry’s most prestigious lists. Business Week e-Biz named Interwoven as one of 16 companies that has sustained the high-tech industry. Interwoven’s flagship product, TeamSite, has won awards in the Web content management category and was the top Web product at Giga Information Group’s emerging Technology Scene.
When Interwoven’s product was successfully launched, Ong found a world-class executive to replace him as CEO. He served as chairman of the board until January 2002 and is now chairman emeritus. When he finds the time, Ong is an angel investor in new enterprises. His advice is sought by many aspiring technology entrepreneurs. He currently splits his time between Asia and the United States to help nurture technology startups and to foster collaborative business opportunities between the two regions. He is also working on his next company.
Current as of 2002.