Israeli Software Developer “Entrepreneuer of the Year”

Amnon Landan has risen a bit in the world since the morning he first woke up in Silicon Valley. Then–it was 1981–he was rattling across North America with his girlfriend (and now wife of 20 years) Yael in a rusted-out Chevy Vega. The two slept on a mattress where the backseats used to be. Not that Landan cared. The 22-year-old had just spent four years hunting terrorists in Lebanon with the Israel Defense Forces. The night he pulled into the Bay Area he found that the closest campground to the city was in Redwood Shores. “A stone’s throw from Oracle’s future headquarters,” he jokes.

Twenty-three years and five round-trip moves between Israel and the U.S. later, Landan has more than arrived. The company he leads–Mercury Interactive, in Sunnyvale, Calif.–is one of the hottest software firms in the world. Its tools catch glitches in software projects, make crucial Web and business programs run smoothly and help automate the job of running information technology departments.

Landan now enjoys the title of Forbes‘ Entrepreneuer of the Year.

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