Hi-tech CEO who opted for philosophy instead of computer studies

Hi-tech CEO who opted for philosophy instead of computer studies
The decision to formally abandon computer studies was made at various stages of his life with Lev Korostishevsky, CEO of Verizon Media Israel, but did not prevent him from managing the development centers of an international corporation in Israel and Verizon’s development team. Programming started.

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“I’m always been called a ‘geek’, and computers and programming have always been my thing. I remember building and programming all sorts of funny interfaces for my personal use and programming all sorts of widse ensembles. I decided to go into chemistry. I later decided not to study computers, “he says.

The second time he dropped out of computer science was when he was taken to a reserve in Technon in front of the military. Gradually he accepted the study of Arabic in 8200 and served as commander of the intelligence team. “Even in the military, I found myself writing code to solve problems somehow. I have always loved programming and wanted to work on it.”

The opportunity to enter the high-tech world came when a reserveist who arrived at the unit was impressed by the equipment Korostyshevsky made. The same reserve was the development manager at a startup company called Syntac Media, and the company invited him to do an interview. “At that time they numbered about 10 people (today they grew up and even made an exit), I still did shameless tests – I passed them. First I started there with a ridiculous salary and then the results progressed. Within half a year I was in charge of the main infrastructure and now for a year now , I’m the leader of a team of 4-5 developers, ”he says.

After three years at Syntax Media, Korostyshevsky decided to study at the university and was re-admitted to study computer science, this time at the Hebrew University, where he decided to graduate. Philosophy and Humanity. “For me it was the best decision of my life. I found the world of humanity, a world I was not so familiar with. Some of the things I was interested in, I learned formally, some still remain an intellectual hobby today. Mostly my inner world is open, and it’s important as you move on.” Conflict in life, it has benefits. Hobbies and interests are good for everyone, and for me it makes my life more fun. ”

Lev Korostyshevsky and staff at Verizon Media Lev Korostyshevsky and staff at Verizon Media Photo: Tamar Danieli

Does education in the humanities make a daily contribution to you as a CEO?

“While studying things like philosophy, ethics and history, there is no doubt that you know some aspects that are not completely familiar to everyone. At the same time, our management backbone is subject to a lot of training in these areas, so it is not a necessary condition to be a good manager. , But I do not really have a realistic background and I feel that what I have done fits my inner world.

Do you study enough computers yourself and do not need a degree?

“One day I’ll come to study computer,” Korostyshevsky says with a half – smile. “I really appreciate academic education and the knowledge that people acquire. People with academic knowledge need to gain practical experience. I have studied mathematics and I know the basics of programming. It will take me at least a year to reach the things that challenge me. . Even in the military, I was in constant contact with people involved in one development or another. ”

The service at 8200, even if it is not technical in nature, paved the way for you?

“8200 is a brand. It helped that in the early days it appeared on my resume. However, I never came from the development world there, so I never had things like this. Networking Or connections, but I also saw how an organization can work and work on a large scale and achieve results. ”


During the final year of school, Korostyzevsky resigned from synthetic media and focused on his studies. Of course he devoted his time only to study. He then joined one of the first employees, a startup called Ravi, and was responsible for forming a technology team in the field of video streaming through the P2P network. The company grew, and then in 2014 marked a turning point in the company and Korostiszewski’s career. Yahoo acquired Yahoo Global RayV. The two founders of the company moved to San Francisco, where he continued to manage the team in Tel Aviv.

“There were a lot of people who helped along the way and in the opportunities, but there was a special and different moment when the company I was the chief architect at, Yahoo, took over. Entry into an American company ran beautifully with a culture that developed employees, a culture that was very open and transparent, and the ability to reach the best people.” “Easily affecting millions of people, this is an amazing change for me. I’m got a responsibility at the heart of Yahoo’s broadcast technology,” he said.

When Korostyshevsky arrived at Yahoo’s development center in Tel Aviv, he was in charge of a development team in the field of video and network technology, slowly growing the team, as well as his responsibilities. He was leading a development team in Israel and the US at the time and was the senior director of the video division of the Israeli company. In 2017, communications and technology giant Verizon was acquired by Yahoo and merged with Verizon Media. Verizon now has two development centers in Tel Aviv and another in Haifa. Two years later, the next step in Korostishevsky’s career path – promotion to CEO. He was elected head of development centers in Israel.

“The most important challenge facing the center of Israel at the time was how to promote the morality of a community through a culture, unite the team around a common message, and promote a single pride,” he says. “After a completely unfinished merger, we were a few teams, and we want someone who can lead a cultural change, adapt to a situation where teams are less, unite ranks and develop a new culture.”

Korostysvsky gives the impression of a relaxed and harmonious person. He is careful in his choice of words, is considerate, eloquent and very humble, and these qualities seem to have helped him to be chosen as the head of the Israel Development Center during the critical period of the merger.

How does the role of CEO differ from all previous management positions?

“The size of the responsibility. It’s one thing for a development team to be responsible for the whole site. It’s a multifaceted job, from office services to human resources to aspects of company representation. When managing a development organization, you need to move a large ship that is inactive in a certain direction, to give feedback on what can be done, how to set goals, and to create clarity in priorities. I encourage my team members by empowering them to be the best they can be, and I try to create an atmosphere where they understand their best potential. ”

What led you to the current state of your career?

“I think it was always clear to me in some sense that I would be a programmer, my track might seem a little unusual, it’s really very consistent. I came at a young age, I enjoyed it terribly and slowly my scope increased. . ”

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