"Globes" names Waze founders people of the year

Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, and Noam Bardin topped "Globes" list of the most influential people in Israel's economy in 2013.

"Globes" today named the four founders of Waze Ltd., Ehud Shabtai (36), Amir Shinar (47), Uri Levine (48), and Noam Bardin (42), in first place in its top ten of who had the most influence on the Israeli economy in 2013.

In early January, the day after it was learned that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: APPL) was interested in acquiring Waze for $400 million, Yossi Vardi was unafraid to make a prophecy in a column in Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot". "I don’t know if a deal is in the works or not, but one thing is certain: Waze is an amazing app, and it has a bright future. So even if this deal is not closed, I believe that, in the future, it will get more than $500 million."

Vardi was right, and it was not necessary to wait even six months. In June, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced that it had decided to acquire the Israeli smartphone navigation app for $1.15 billion - the largest amount ever paid for an app.

Almost everyone who has used Waze since the launch of its current version in 2009 knows that it is a hit. It is user-friendly, simple, and cool. Just try to find an Israeli driver without Waze in his smartphone.

Imperva Inc. (NYSE: IMPV) founder and CEO Shlomo Kramer (47) was in second place, after making $240 million on the sale of Trusteer Ltd. to IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM).

Minister of Finance Yair Lapid (50) is in third place, followed by new Governor of the Bank of Israel Dr. Karnit Flug (58), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (64), Israel Securities Authority chairman Shmuel Hauser (58), Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz (58), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) and Opko Health Inc. (NYSE: OPK; TASE: OPK) chairman Phillip Frost, the chairpersons of the new workers committees at mobile carriers Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) and Pelephone Communications Ltd., Maya Yaniv(32) and Barak Levy (39), respectively, and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) controlling shareholder Yitzhak Tshuva (65).

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 8, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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