Gil Shwed is an Israeli entrepreneur and founder, chairman and CEO of Check Point Software Technologies.
Shwed (born 1968) was born in Jerusalem shortly after the city's reunification during the Six-Day War of 1967. He began his programming career at the age of 12 in a company that dealt with artificial intelligence. Later, he took courses at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem while still in high school.
In the army, Shwed served in an Intelligence unit responsible for electronic data gathering. In 1993, at the age of 25, he developed, together with Check Point's two co-founders, the first firewall, the company's well-known security software product. In the following years, he led Check Point to global leadership in both the firewall and VPN markets, making Check Point a giant in the Internet security industry.
Shwed has received numerous prizes and honors for his individual achievements and industrial contributions, including the Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award for his innovative contribution to business and technology in 2002; the World Economic Forum's Global Leader for Tomorrow Award for his commitment to public affairs and leadership in areas beyond immediate professional interests in 2003; and an honorary doctor of science from Israel's Technion in 2004.
In 2005, Shwed was voted the 69th-greatest Israeli of all time in a poll conducted by Israeli daily Yediot Ahronoth. In 2010, Shwed was recognized as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Israel.