SANTA CRUZ >> Ken Kannappan, CEO and president of Plantronics, was named a finalist Tuesday in the 28th annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program, which recognizes business leaders in more than 150 cities internationally.
From an original field of 49 candidates, Kannappan is now one of 29 finalists for the Northern California region. The nominations are culled by an independent regional panel of judges who are entrepreneurs and leaders from academia, business and the media, according to Ernst & Young. They will be honored in June.
The national EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners and finalists will be announced in November at a black-tie awards gala in Palm Springs coinciding with the EY Strategic Growth Forum, an annual gathering of U.S. business leaders.
Nominees must lead a company that is at least 2 years old and generate at least $5 million in revenue (with the exception of life sciences). Judging criteria includes: entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, community/global impact, innovation and personal integrity and influence.
Kannappan is the only finalist from the Santa Cruz area. Other finalists in the region include Marcin Kleczynsk, CEO of Malwarebytes in San Jose; Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appétit Management Co. in Palo Alto; Tim Chen, CEO of NerdWallet in San Francisco; and Suresh Vasudevan, CEO of Nimble Storage in San Jose.