Helder Antunes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Fragueiro and the second or paternal family name is Antunes.
Helder Antunes
Helder Antunes speaking at the 2008 Cisco Portugal Inaugural Party
Born Hélder Manuel da Terra Fragueiro Marques Antunes
(1963-07-06) 6 July 1963 (age 51)
Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portuguese Republic
Residence Morgan Hill, California,
United States of America[1]
Nationality Portuguese
Citizenship Portuguese Republic
United States of America
Alma mater San Jose State University
Armando Manuel Marques Antunes (father)

Carolina de Vasconcelos da Terra Fragueiro (mother)


Helder Antunes (born 6 July 1963; Angra do Heroísmo, Portuguese Republic)[2] is a Portuguese-American businessman and consultant. He is currently a managing director at the American multinational networking and telecommunications corporation, Cisco Systems, and a general partner at Pereira Ventures, a California consulting and venture capitalist company.

Dubbed by PortugalGlobal Magazine as "the perfect example of Portuguese success in the global era",[3] Antunes is actively involved in Portuguese and Azorean economic and political affairs.[4] Tying Portuguese businesses and organizations to international funding and representation, Antunes is a counselor to the Rede Prestige Açores, a business institution operated by Autonomous Government of the Azores, and a frequent consultant to the Government of the Portuguese Republic.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Helder Antunes at Cisco HQ, during the 2011 Portuguese Presidential Visit to the United States.

Hélder Manuel da Terra Fragueiro Marques Antunes was born on 6 July 1963, in Angra do Heroísmo, Portuguese Republic, to Armando Manuel Marques Antunes, from Torres Novas, and Carolina de Vasconcelos da Terra Fragueiro, from Horta. Through his mother, Antunes is a descendant of Flemish-Portuguese nobleman and explorer Willem van der Haegen, Savoyard Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy, French Jean II, King of France, Aragonese Jaime I, King of Aragon, German Heinrich VII, Holy Roman Emperor, and Frankish Chilperic I, King of Soissons, alongside a plethora of other royals and nobles. Antunes spent most of the early years of his life at the Lajes Air Force Base, on Terceira Island, where his parents and much of his family worked for and in the Portuguese Air Force.[7]

In 1967, Antunes's father moved to the private sector, working for SATA Air Açores. With Antunes's father's new occupation the family moved to Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island. Antunes and his family stayed on the island until 1975, when the events following the liberal Carnation Revolution, along with other factors, motivated them to emigrate to Rhode Island in the United States.[8]

While in Rhode Island, Antunes became an all-star high school soccer player for Shea High School. During his high school years, Antunes worked at many companies such as Hasbro, Schoolhouse Candy, and American Insulated Wire. Antunes lived in Rhode Island until 1984, when his family moved to San Jose, California, because Antunes' father was offered a position at Lockheed Martin, where he would later work on the Hubble Space Telescope project.[9]

Silicon Valley[edit]

Antunes started his career in the Silicon Valley high-tech industry at Grid Systems Corporation as a support engineer, where he met John Morgridge who would later offer him a position at Cisco. After Grid Systems, Antunes went to work at Plus Development and two years later at CA Technologies, where he led the CA-Superproject. Following CA, Antunes worked for NetManage, as Director of Engineering, but he left the company for Cisco Systems.

Antunes joined Cisco Systems in 1998 as Senior Manager of Engineering, focusing on embedding security protocols into Cisco IOS. In 2003, Antunes was promoted to Director of Engineering, Global Solutions, and Network Services. Antunes and his team's work on the Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network (DMVPN) earned them the 2004 Cisco Pioneer Award.[10]

In February 2012, Antunes was promoted to Managing Director of the Smart Connected Vehicles Initiative, a part of the Connected Industries Group.[11] His department seeks to network vehicles and standardize on the underlying networking platform.[12]

Alongside his position at Cisco, Antunes is a General Partner, with fellow Portuguese Armando Perreira, at Perreira Ventures, a venture capital and consulting firm. Portuguese newspaper Expresso stated that Antunes and Perreira wanted to "transform good ideas from entrepreneurs into successful businesses".[13]

Since starting his links between Silicon Valley and Portugal, Antunes had long stated the necessity of a Portuguese lobby in Silicon Valley, stating "Portugal needs to have an entity with its feet well-dipped in Silicon Valley."[8] Antunes stated that, with a lobby, "Portuguese technological businesses could be contracted... through outsourcing."[14] Antunes was eventually able to start a coalition of Portuguese businessmen in Silicon Valley and establish a Portuguese lobby.[15]

In February 2013, Antunes was a founding member of the Internet of Things World Forum Steering Committee, which "aims to accelerate innovation, inspire new ways to transform governments, industries and lives."[16]

Activity in Portugal[edit]

Chris Dedicoat, Helder Antunes, and Prime Minister José Sócrates at the 2008 Cisco Portugal Official Inauguration.

Antunes has played an important role in tying AICEP's INOV Contacto Program with Silicon Valley, with a strong emphasis on Cisco Systems.[17][18] This program, which is mostly funded by the Portuguese government and European Union, takes recent university graduates from Portugal and trains them in international business and technology.[19]

Alongside INOV Contacto's program, Antunes also formed a similar program in conjunction with the Regional Government of the Azores,[20][21] which works exclusively with Azorean university students and hosts them at Antunes' department at Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California[22]

Antunes has been cited as an important person behind the installation of Cisco Systems in Portugal.[23] Antunes was a key member in establishing the Cisco laboratory in Portugal and Cisco Portugal as whole.[24]

Antunes has long stressed the importance of the creation of an Azorean lobby, stating that the "creation of a formal lobby with the structure to foster innovating ideas from Portugal could expose them to the global market."[25] The creation of a lobby in the Azores, according to Antunes, would allow the Azorean market to be open to the "authorities of foreign investment" and establish "contacts with the right people."[26]

Antunes' constant and plentiful work at connecting Portuguese students and businesses to Silicon Valley has earned him a reputation in Portugal as being an "ambassador of Portugal", a "true consul of Portugal in California", an "importer of talents", and a "consul of Portugal in Cisco".[27][28]

In 2012, Antunes was included in a list, compiled by the Regional Government of the Azores, of the Most Notable People from the Azores.[2]

In 2012, Antunes was included in a list, called the National Selection and compiled by Revista Prémio, which listed the most powerful and influential Portuguese executives around the world and called Antunes "the guardian angel of Uncle Sam."[7]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Antunes speaking at Cisco Connect Portugal 2013, Cascais.

Antunes has received many awards and accolades for his work both in Cisco, his previous employments, and for his work with the Portuguese government and state.[29]

  • 2012 COTEC Portuguese Diaspora Entrepreneurial Invotion Award [30]
  • 2012 Cisco Winnovation Challenge Honourable Mention
  • 2008 CIO 100 Award [31]
  • 2004 Cisco Pioneer Award in Technological Innovation
  • 2003 Cisco Teamwork of the Year Award

Published works[edit]

  • DMVPN Extends Business Ready Teleworker[32]
  • Cisco on Cisco Best Practices Cisco Remote Access Design: Cisco Virtual Office Solution[33]
  • Smart Connected Vehicles – Changing How We Drive[34]



  1. ^ Expresso - Portugueses que Dão Cartas: Exemplos de Carreiras Fulgurantes até aos Mais Altos Postos
  2. ^ a b Notáveis dos Açores - Ficheiro de Personalidade - Hélder Antunes
  3. ^ PortugalGlobal - Hélder Antunes: Português Faz Ponte com Silicon Valley
  4. ^ AICEP - Portugueses do Silicon Valley Abrem Portas a Tecnológicas
  5. ^ Advisor Helder Antunes at Rede Prestige Açores
  6. ^ Governo dos Acores - Conselheiros da Rede Prestige com o Presidente da República em Silicon Valley
  7. ^ a b Bénard Garcia, João (November 2012). "Selecção Nacional" [National Selection]. In de Mendonça, Álvaro. Revista Prémio (in Portuguese) (Lisbon, Portugal) IX: 51–61. 
  8. ^ a b Expresso - Ter um Lóbi é o Segredo
  9. ^ Diário Insular - Hélder Antunes e Armando Perreira: Saltar para o Mercado Mundial
  10. ^ The Cisco Packet - DMVPN Extends Business
  11. ^ Portuguese Tribune - 15 March 2012 Issue
  12. ^ Wired - Cisco Wants to Drive Your Car … onto the Internet
  13. ^ Expresso - Portugueses do Silicon Valley Abrem Portas a Tecnológicas
  14. ^ Expresso - Falta Lóbi na Califórnia
  15. ^ Destaque - Portugueses que Marcam
  16. ^ Cisco: The Network - Internet of Things World Forum Event Aims to Accelerate Innovation, Inspire New Ways to Transform Governments, Industries and Lives
  17. ^ INOV Contacto - Cisco engenheiros portugueses
  18. ^ Portugal Global - Equação de Sucesso
  19. ^ INOV Contacto - About
  20. ^ Visão - Açores: Pelo Menos 10 Alunos Vão Estagiar nos EUA e Canadá em Agosto
  21. ^ Universia - Sessão de Divulgação - Cisco Systems
  22. ^ Jornal de Negócios - Voar pela Carreira: Portugueses nas Empresas de Tecnologias
  23. ^ Jornal de Negócios - Portugal vai ser a Ponte enter EUA e Índia no Mapa de Investigação da Cisco
  24. ^ Exame - Linha da Frente: Portugal Atrai Cisco
  25. ^ Açoriano Oriental - O Desenvolvimento Tecnológico dos Açores Surpreendeu-me
  26. ^ Diário Insular - O Lóbi que Falta aos Açores
  27. ^ Exame - Embaixadores de Portugal
  28. ^ Exame - Importador de Talentos
  29. ^ Achievements on Personal Site
  30. ^ COTEC Portugal: 2012 COTEC Portuguese Diaspora Awards
  31. ^ CIO 100 Winner 2008
  32. ^ DMVPN Extends Business Ready Teleworker
  33. ^ Cisco on Cisco Best Practices Cisco Remote Access Design: Cisco Virtual Office Solution
  34. ^ Cisco Blog - Smart Connected Vehicles – Changing How We Drive

External links[edit]