Helder Antunes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Helder Antunes
Helder Antunes at Nobel Peace Prize 2018 (cropped).jpg
Antunes at the Nobel Peace Price
ceremony in Oslo, Norway; 2018.
Hélder Manuel da Terra Fragueiro Marques Antunes

CitizenshipPortuguese Republic
United States of America
Alma materSan Jose State University
Georgetown University
Known for

Hélder Fragueiro Antunes (born 6 July 1963; Angra do Heroísmo, Azores)[2] is a Portuguese-American executive, computer scientist, and former racecar driver. A Cisco Systems executive for over twenty years, as well as founder and first Chairman of the OpenFog Consortium,[3] Antunes currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of CyVolve.[4] His car racing career in the 1980s and '90s made him one of the most preeminent open road racers at the time.[5]

Dubbed by PortugalGlobal Magazine as "the perfect example of Portuguese success in the global era",[6] Antunes is actively involved in Portuguese and Azorean economic and political affairs.[7] Antunes frequently serves as a lobbyist for Portuguese interests in Silicon Valley, through institutions like the AICEP Portugal Global and Rede Prestige Açores, as well as frequently serving as an advisor to the Government of Portugal and the Azores.[8][9]

Early life[edit]

Antunes (right) with George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece (center), and cousin Miguel Antunes Frasquilho, TAP Portugal chairman (left); Web Summit, 2016.

Hélder Manuel da Terra Fragueiro Marques Antunes was born on 6 July 1963 in Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island, Azores, to Armando Manuel Marques Antunes, an avionics and aerospace scientist from Torres Novas, and Carolina Bettencourt de Vasconcelos da Terra Fragueiro, a member of the Bettencourt family from Horta, Azores.[10][11] Through his mother, Antunes is a descendant of Flemish explorers Willem van der Haegen and Josse van Huerter and related to 19th century Portuguese prime-minister, Ernesto Hintze Ribeiro.[12] Through his father, Antunes is cousin to Miguel Antunes Frasquilho, current Chairman of the Board of TAP Portugal and Portuguese politician, and nephew to Manuel Antunes Frasquilho, former President of the Port of Lisbon and the Lisbon Metro. RTP journalist Pedro Bicudo described Antunes's parents as a "very well-known couple throughout the Azores".[13]

Antunes spent much of his early life at the Lajes Air Force Base, on Terceira, when much of his family served in the Portuguese Air Force, per family tradition.[14] His family moved to Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island, in 1967, when Antunes's father moved to the private sector (SATA Air Açores). Antunes and his family stayed on the island until 1975, when the events following the Carnation Revolution motivated them to emigrate to Rhode Island in the United States.[15]

Helder Antunes
Car Racing Career
Years active1993-2002
TeamsFord Performance Solutions
Best finish1st in 1993-1995, 1998, 2000, 2002
Previous series
N.A.S.A. CMC (1999-2002)
Rodger Ward's Pony Express 100 (1996-2002)
C.A.R.S. Gamber's Run Twin 50 (1998-2000)
N.A.S.A. Inaugural Season (1995)
C.A.R.S. Silver State 100 BluBlocker (1993-94)
Nevada Open Road Challenge (1992)
Silver State Classic Challenge (1990-96)
Best Performance - 1998 Pony Express 100

Antunes lived in Rhode Island until 1983, when his family moved to San Jose, California, because Antunes' father was offered a position at aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin, where he would later work on the Hubble Space Telescope project.[16] Antunes started college at Georgetown University in 1982 but, with his family's move to California, continued and finished matriculation at San Jose State University. Once in California, Antunes and his father took over the management and modernization of The Portuguese Tribune, a bilingual California-based newspaper serving the Luso-American diaspora.[17]

Racing career[edit]

Antunes started professional auto racing in 1983, shortly after his move to California. By 1987, Antunes had participated multiple times in the Nevada Open Road Challenge and the Silver State Classic, considered by Guinness World Records as the fastest road race in the world.[18]

During his early years, Antunes raced Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Corvettes at tracks such as Sonoma Raceway (then known as Sears Point Raceway) and Laguna Seca Raceway.[19] Over the years, Antunes placed in the top 3 various times in the Pony Express 100.[20][21][22]

During his time as an automotive racer, Antunes designed some of the earliest data acquisition systems for racecars.[citation needed] His systems pioneered the integration of a car's computerized engine controls with real-time data acquisition and modeling, including the development of an engine "black box" aimed at converting engine data to be transmitted to a racecar's support team.[23]

Silicon Valley[edit]

Antunes and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at Fog World Congress 2018.

Antunes started his career in the Silicon Valley high-tech industry at Grid Systems Corporation as a support engineer, where he first met John Morgridge, CEO and Chairman of 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.

Alongside his position at Cisco, Antunes is a General Partner at Pereira Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital and consulting firm. Portuguese newspaper Expresso stated that Antunes and Perreira wanted to "transform good ideas from entrepreneurs [in Portugal] into successful businesses [in Silicon Valley]".[24]

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."[15] Antunes stated that, with a lobby, "Portuguese technological businesses could be contracted... through outsourcing."[25] Antunes was eventually able to start a coalition of Portuguese businessmen in Silicon Valley and establish a Portuguese lobby.[26]

Antunes is also a general partner at Pereira Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and is the Chairman of the Board of Star Division, S. A., a green tech company. In April 2016, Antunes became a member of the board of directors of Veniam, a company specialized in WiFi mesh networks.[27]

In 2017, Antunes became a member of the board of directors of CyVolve. In 2018, Antunes became the Chief Executive Officer of CyVolve.[28]

Cisco Systems[edit]

President of Portugal Cavaco Silva, Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Antunes during the 2011 presidential visit to the USA.

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.[29]

From January 2012 to December 2013, Antunes served as Managing Director of the Cisco IoT Group and directed the Smart Connected Vehicles Initiative, a part of the Connected Industries Group, which seeks to network vehicles and standardize on the underlying networking platform.[30][31][32][33]

Since 2013, Antunes has served as Senior Director of Corporate Strategic Innovation, with the intent to resolve market disruptions, identify and foster innovative initiatives, and conduct Cisco's market strategy and leadership in IT.

Antunes speaking in Seoul, South Korea; 2015.

IoT and OpenFog[edit]

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."[34]

Antunes was a keynote speaker at the NASA-sponsored conference held at Ames Research Center, in July 2015, concerning the development of air regulations for drones.[35][36] Antunes stressed the role of drones in the future of the Internet of Things, which Antunes is actively involved in through Cisco.[37][38]

In November 2015, Antunes was named as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the newly formed OpenFog Consortium, a consortium founded by tech giants Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Intel, ARM Holdings, and Princeton University, for the standardization and promotion of fog computing.[39][40] The idea for fog computing consortium was thought up by Antunes, alongside Mung Chiang, then a Princeton University professor and now Dean of the Purdue University College of Engineering, and Tao Zhang, CIO of the IEEE Communications Society.[41]

Antunes was unanimously reelected as OpenFog Chairman in September 2017.[42]

Antunes was a member of the Fog World Congress 2017 Steering Committee and a keynote speaker at the inaugural Fog World Congress in Silicon Valley, California.[43][44]

In 2018, Antunes was listed in the inaugural EDGE 50, naming the world's top 50 influencers in edge computing.[45]

Activity in Portugal[edit]

Antunes speaking at the 2008 inauguration of Cisco Portugal.
Helder Antunes and then U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, Thomas F. Stephenson; 2008.

Antunes has played an important role in tying AICEP's INOV Contacto Program with Silicon Valley, with a strong emphasis on Cisco Systems.[46][47] 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.[48]

Antunes has been cited as an important person behind the installation of Cisco Systems in Portugal.[49] Antunes was a key member in establishing the Cisco laboratory in Portugal and Cisco Portugal as a whole.[50]

Antunes' constant and plentiful work in 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".[51][52][53]

In 2018, Antunes became Senior Advisor to Armilar Venture Partners, a Portuguese venture capital firm.[54]

In the Azores[edit]

Alongside INOV Contacto's program, Antunes also formed a similar program in conjunction with the Regional Government of the Azores,[55][56] which works exclusively with Azorean university students and hosts them at Antunes' department at Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California.[57]

Alongside his partner at Pereira Ventures, Armando Pereira, Antunes often assist in the collaboration of businesses in Silicon Valley with start-ups within the tech industry and otherwise in the Azores.[58]

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."[59] 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."[60]

Antunes is a counselor to the Rede Prestige Açores, a network of notable Azoreans hosted by the Azorean government with the intent of development and knowledge dissemination for the benefit of the Azores.[61][62]

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]

Personal life[edit]

Antunes speaking on Internet of Things at Cisco Connect 2013.

He has three children: Francesca Alexandria, Christian Thomas, and Giancarlo.[63]

Antunes resides primarily in Morgan Hill, California, in Silicon Valley, and in Linhó, Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera.[1]


Antunes was a guest of the Government of Norway at the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.[64]

In 2012, Antunes was included in a list, called the National Selection, 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."[14]

Antunes is included in a list, compiled by the Regional Government of the Azores, of the Most Notable People from the Azores,[2] listing internationally recognized and noteworthy Azoreans.


Awards received by Antunes include:[65]

  • 2012 COTEC Portuguese Diaspora Entrepreneurial Innovation Award [66]
  • 2012 Cisco Winnovation Challenge Honourable Mention
  • 2008 CIO 100 Award [67]
  • 2004 Cisco Pioneer Award in Technological Innovation
  • 2003 Cisco Teamwork of the Year Award

Published works[edit]

  • DMVPN Extends Business Ready Teleworker[68]
  • Cisco on Cisco Best Practices Cisco Remote Access Design: Cisco Virtual Office Solution[69]
  • Smart Connected Vehicles – Changing How We Drive[70]


  1. ^ a b "Portugueses que Dão Cartas: Exemplos de Carreiras Fulgurantes até aos Mais Altos Postos" (PDF). Expresso (in Portuguese). Lisbon. 3 October 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Notáveis dos Açores - Ficheiro de Personalidade - Hélder Antunes
  3. ^ Open Fog Consortium - Board of Directors: Helder Antunes
  4. ^ Global Data Sentinel - CEO Helder Antunes
  5. ^ Open Road Racing Information - Silver State Classic
  6. ^ "Hélder Antunes: Português Faz Ponte com Silicon Valley" [Hélder Antunes: A Portuguese Bridging Silicon Valley]. PortugalGlobal Magazine (in Portuguese). Lisbon: AICEP. January 2010.
  7. ^ AICEP - Portugueses do Silicon Valley Abrem Portas a Tecnológicas
  8. ^ Advisor Helder Antunes at Rede Prestige Açores
  9. ^ Governo dos Acores - Conselheiros da Rede Prestige com o Presidente da República em Silicon Valley
  10. ^ Descendants of Jean de Bettencourt - Generation 26
  11. ^ L'Association Jean de Béthencourt
  12. ^ Descendants of Jean de Bettencourt - Generation 22
  13. ^ "Hélder Antunes". Grande Entrevista. Episode 51 (in Portuguese). 12 October 2011. RTP Açores.
  14. ^ a b Bénard Garcia, João (November 2012). de Mendonça, Álvaro (ed.). "Selecção Nacional" [National Selection]. Revista Prémio (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal. IX: 51–61.
  15. ^ a b "Ter um Lóbi é o Segredo" [Having a Lobby is the Secret] (PDF). Expresso (in Portuguese). Lisbon. 20 September 2009.
  16. ^ Fagundes, Helena (16 October 2011). "Hélder Antunes e Armando Perreira: Saltar para o Mercado Mundial" [Hélder Antunes and Armando Perreira: Launching to the Global Market] (PDF). Diário Insular (in Portuguese). Angra do Heroísmo.
  17. ^ Conselho Mundial das Casas dos Açores - Jornal "A Tribuna Portuguesa"
  18. ^ Silver State Classic Invitation 2000
  19. ^ Cisco Wants to Drive your Car onto the Internet
  20. ^ Roger Ward's Classic Auto Racing Society - Pony Express 100: Top Three Winning Place Results
  21. ^ Roger Ward's Classic Auto Racing Society - Pony Express 100: June 1997 Results
  22. ^ Roger Ward's Classic Auto Racing Society - Pony Express 100: September 1998 Results
  23. ^ Antunes, Helder; Lyons, Patrick (31 May 1993). "Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Microprocessors". InfoWorld. 15 (22 ed.). pp. 58–59.
  24. ^ Expresso - Portugueses do Silicon Valley Abrem Portas a Tecnológicas
  25. ^ Expresso - Falta Lóbi na Califórnia
  26. ^ Destaque - Portugueses que Marcam
  27. ^ Veniam - Company
  28. ^ Global Data Sentinel - Management Team
  29. ^ The Cisco Packet - DMVPN Extends Business
  30. ^ Portuguese Tribune - 15 March 2012 Issue
  31. ^ San Jose Mercury Times - Silicon Valley technology could be key to connect cars for safer driving
  32. ^ Wired - Cisco Wants to Drive Your Car … onto the Internet
  33. ^ AutoEsporte - Carros Conectados Devem-se Tornar Realidade em Breve
  34. ^ Cisco: The Network - Internet of Things World Forum Event Aims to Accelerate Innovation, Inspire New Ways to Transform Governments, Industries and Lives
  35. ^ CNBC - Silicon Valley's biggest names team up on drones
  36. ^ Yahoo! Finance - Big names from Silicon Valley team up on drones
  37. ^ VIDO - Беспилотники: рекламная шумиха или реальный бизнес?
  38. ^ NASA - NASA Invites Media to 2015 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management Convention
  39. ^ TIExec - Português Lidera IdC Consórcio OpenFog
  40. ^ Cisco Blogs - Cisco Provides Leadership in Newly Formed OpenFog Consortium
  41. ^ Fierce Wireless - OpenFog Consortium welcomes more carrier input as it collaborates with ETSI
  42. ^ 4 Traders - OpenFog Consortium: Growing Strong at the Intersection of Fog and IoT
  43. ^ Fog World Congress - Committees
  44. ^ Cisco Blogs - Fog Computing Grows Up: Fog World Congress Highlights maturing Distributed Cloud Technology
  45. ^ Data Economy - EDGE 50: The World's First Top 50 Edge Computing Influencers
  46. ^ INOV Contacto - Cisco engenheiros portugueses
  47. ^ Portugal Global - Equação de Sucesso
  48. ^ INOV Contacto - About
  49. ^ Jornal de Negócios - Portugal vai ser a Ponte enter EUA e Índia no Mapa de Investigação da Cisco
  50. ^ Exame - Linha da Frente: Portugal Atrai Cisco
  51. ^ Exame - Embaixadores de Portugal
  52. ^ Exame - Importador de Talentos
  53. ^ Económico - Um olhar sobre a liderança dos gestores portugueses
  54. ^ Armilar - Team: Helder Antunes
  55. ^ Visão - Açores: Pelo Menos 10 Alunos Vão Estagiar nos EUA e Canadá em Agosto
  56. ^ Universia - Sessão de Divulgação - Cisco Systems
  57. ^ Jornal de Negócios - Voar pela Carreira: Portugueses nas Empresas de Tecnologias
  58. ^ Tribuna Portuguesa - Empresários Açorianos de Silicon Valley Partilham Experiências e Conhecimento com Investidores Açorianos
  59. ^ Açoriano Oriental - O Desenvolvimento Tecnológico dos Açores Surpreendeu-me
  60. ^ Diário Insular - O Lóbi que Falta aos Açores
  61. ^ RTP - Grande Entrevista Açores - Hélder Antunes
  62. ^ Tribuna das Ilhas - Jácome Armas Conselheiro da Rede Prestige Açores
  63. ^ Helder Antunes - Personal: About
  64. ^ Global Data Sentinel - CEO Helder Antunes
  65. ^ Achievements on Personal Site
  66. ^ COTEC Portugal: 2012 COTEC Portuguese Diaspora Awards
  67. ^ CIO 100 Winner 2008
  68. ^ DMVPN Extends Business Ready Teleworker
  69. ^ Cisco on Cisco Best Practices Cisco Remote Access Design: Cisco Virtual Office Solution
  70. ^ Cisco Blog - Smart Connected Vehicles – Changing How We Drive

External links[edit]