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Judith Estrin

American businesswoman
The basics
Date of birth
Mother: Thelma Estrin
Father: Gerald Estrin
Awards Women in Technology International
Authority NNDB id
The details

Judith "Judy" L. Estrin (born 1954 or 1955) is an American Internet pioneer, entrepreneur, business executive and author. Estrin has been credited as one of the key people in the development of Internet when they worked together with Vint Cerf on the initial TCP-project at Stanford. She is currently CEO of JLabs, a privately held company focused on furthering innovation in business, government and nonprofit organizations. Estrin is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded eight technology companies. She was the CTO of Cisco Systems from 1998 to 2000.

Early life and education

Estrin's family includes sister Deborah Estrin, a professor of Computer Science and parents, Thelma and Gerald Estrin, who were both computer scientists at UCLA. Estrin received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and computer science from UCLA and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University (1977).

While at Stanford, Estrin worked with the research group headed by Vint Cerf, a computer science pioneer often called the "Father of the Internet". Cerf's team developed the TCP/IP specification which forms the underlying technology of the Internet.


After Stanford she worked at Zilog Corporation, where she contributed to the design of the Z8 and Z8000 microprocessors and led the team that developed one of the first commercial local area network systems called Z-net.

In 1981, Estrin co-founded Bridge Communications — a network router, bridges, and communications servers company that went public in 1985 and merged with 3Com in 1987. In 1988 she joined the founding team of Network Computing Devices (NCD) as Executive Vice President, later becoming President and CEO in 1993.

In 1995, she co-founded Precept Software, Inc., a developer of networking software company, and served as President and CEO until its acquisition by Cisco Systems in 1998, when she became its CTO and Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems until 2000.

In 2000, Estrin co-founded Packet Design, LLC, a networking technology company, with her husband Bill Carrico, with $24 million in funding from the venture firm Foundation Capital and a group of private investors, including Estrin; Carrico; James Barksdale; Bill Joy, and Frank Quattrone. Packet Design later spun out three venture backed start-ups, including Packet Design, Inc. She served as Packet Design, LLC’s CEO until it was dissolved, distributing its assets to investors in late 2007.

Her son, David Carrico, is a tech entrepreneur, who founded EvntLive in 2013, which later Estrin joined as CEO.


Estrin is the author of "Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy" (McGraw-Hill; Hardcover, September 2008), a general interest book that challenges national, academic and business leaders to work together to make United States competitive again.

Board positions

She served as a member of the boards of directors of The Walt Disney Company from 1998 until 2014, FedEx Corporation from 1989 until 2010, Sun Microsystems from 1995 through 2003 and Rockwell Corporation from 1994 through 1998. In addition, she sits on the advisory councils of Stanford's School of Engineering.

Estrin served on the boards of FedEx Corporation (1989–2010), Rockwell Automation and Sun Microsystems, as well as on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company for fifteen years. She also serves on the advisory boards of Stanford’s School of Engineering and Bio-X interdisciplinary program, and is a member of the University of California President’s Science and Innovation Advisory Board. She also served on the America Compete's Innovation Advisory Board in 2011.


Estrin has three times been named to Fortune magazine's list of the 50 most powerful women in American business.

  • 2010 – GIL (Growth, Innovation and Leadership) Award, Frost & Sullivan
  • 2002 – Hall of Fame, Women in Technology International
  • 1998 – 50 most powerful women in American business, Fortune magazine
  • 1987 – EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient, Northern California Region
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