Lee Williams, the executive director of the Symbian Foundation - Execs to Watch 2009

Why you need to watch him:

Lee Williams is probably the least-familiar name on this list, but we don't expect that he will stay that way. Williams is heading up the newly created Symbian Foundation, a non-profit initiative that will oversee the Symbian platform as it evolves into an open source operating system.

But that task may seem easier than it appears. Although Symbian has long dominated the smartphone operating system arena, it's facing some serious threats from Apple, Microsoft Windows, Google's Android and Research in Motion.    

Williams has said that he plans to make Symbian a more competitive platform and members should be able to expect a preliminary version of the open Symbian software platform in the first half of the year. Plus, he expects the complete Symbian OS source code to be released under Eclipse Public License some time in 2010.

But opening up Symbian doesn't necessarily mean that developers will flock to the platform, particularly in North America, where Symbian hasn't had nearly the stronghold that it has had in Europe. Why should applications developers shift their energy away from iPhone, Android and WinMo to focus on building Symbian apps? That's a question that Williams will have to answer in the coming months.

Lee Williams, the executive director of the Symbian Foundation - Execs to Watch 2009
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