Ben Horowitz ’88CC to Speak at Class Day

Feb 24 2015 | Photo: Elisabeth Fall

The leadership organizations of both undergraduate and graduate students at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University are pleased to announce that Ben Horowitz '88CC, cofounder and partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will give the keynote address for Columbia Engineering’s Class Day ceremony, which will be held on May 18, 2015. The Engineering Senior Class Council, representing undergraduates, and the Engineering Graduate Student Council, representing MS, PhD, and professional degree students, jointly selected Horowitz as their graduation speaker.

Ben Horowitz

"It's a thrill to be invited back to Columbia for Class Day," said Horowitz. "The University has only gotten better since I left and I am humbled and honored to address this year's graduating class."

Horowitz, who earned his BA in computer science from Columbia University and MS in Computer Science from UCLA, is a cofounder and partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and The New York Times bestselling author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. Prior to a16z, he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007 for $1.6 billion, and was appointed vice president and general manager of Business Technology Optimization for Software at HP. Earlier, he was vice president and general manager of America Online’s E-commerce Platform division, where he oversaw development of the company’s flagship [email protected] service. Previously, Horowitz ran several product divisions at Netscape Communications, and he also served as vice president of Netscape’s widely acclaimed Directory and Security product line. Before joining Netscape in July 1995, he held various senior product marketing positions at Lotus Development Corporation.

“We are very pleased to have Ben Horowitz as our Class Day speaker this year,” said Mary C. Boyce, dean of Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor. “As a Columbia College graduate with both a BS and MS in computer science, as a Columbia College parent, and as a Columbia University trustee, Ben epitomizes the intersection of academic scholarship with the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that permeates not just Columbia Engineering but also the University. I know he will inspire our students to take what they've learned both inside and outside our classrooms and work hard to transform our world.”

Horowitz serves on the board of many companies, and he remains active at Columbia. This past May, he shared excerpts from his book at a Columbia Entrepreneurship event, and he has participated in career events such as Columbia Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Networking Night. In 2012, he received the John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement from Columbia College. Horowitz also maintains “Ben’s Blog” (, where he covers everything from how CEOs should hire executives to how to minimize politics in their company.