John L. Hennessy is an American entrepreneur and Academic. He joined Stanford’s faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He rose through the academic ranks to full professorship in 1986 and was the inaugural Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1987 to 2004. He served as chair of computer science from 1994 to 1996 and, in 1996, was named dean of the School of Engineering. In 1999, he was named provost, the university’s chief academic and financial officer. In October 2000, he was inaugurated as Stanford University’s 10th president. In 2005, he became the inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professorship.
In 1981 Dr. Hennessy drew together researchers to focus on a computer architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer), a technology that has revolutionized the computer industry by increasing performance while reducing costs. In 1984, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors.