When you've got a tech bust coinciding with a telecom bubble and an Internet bubble, it helps to keep everything in perspective. Kathy Rebello, who has just been appointed BusinessWeek assistant managing editor for technology, remains calm. Her view: It's the nature of the beast.
Rebello's equipoise dates back to her days at USA Today, where she opened the paper's Silicon Valley bureau in 1985. "When I arrived, Silicon Valley was in a frothy period, everything in excess. I wasn't there more than a few months before a downturn began that was the industry's biggest ever until this one. I saw what happened. Tech is a boom and bust industry. Busts are the time when people put their brains in high gear to come up with surprising, unexpected stuff."
A native of California, Rebello graduated from San Jose State University, where she was editor of the college daily. She was a reporter for the San Bernardino Sun before joining the fledgling USA Today in Washington. She joined BusinessWeek in 1991 as a reporter in San Francisco. When she became bureau chief in 1995, she moved our bureau to San Mateo, in Silicon Valley, and then built it up to eight people.
Over the course of 10 cover stories and hundreds of other pieces, Rebello reported the tech beat inside and out. Her 1996 cover, "Inside Microsoft," on how Bill Gates came late to the Internet and how he turned the company around, is one of the best narrative stories we've done.
Rebello became our first bicoastal senior editor in 1997, shuttling between New York and Silicon Valley. Her first team project was our double issue, "Silicon Valley: How it really works" (Aug. 25, 1997). She has been the backbone of our splendid Info Tech coverage, including BusinessWeek e.biz and our annual Info Tech 100 ranking (June 24 issue). No, there aren't two of her (though sometimes we think so). She'll still work both coasts.
By Stephen B. Shepard, Editor-in-Chief