- Career marketplace Hired asked 3,600 tech workers to share who they think are the most inspiring leaders in tech for the company’s 2019 Brand Health Report.
- Here are the 10 most inspiring executives in Silicon Valley.
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Tech moguls can be as zany as they are inspiring.
Here are the top 10 most inspiring tech leaders, according to Hired.
10. Anne Wojcicki — cofounder and CEO, 23andMe
Net worth: $US690 million
Leadership style: When asked by Quartz which behaviour or personality trait she most attributes her success to, Wojcicki said, “We were raised to not shy away from conflict. That quality has helped me focus on what I believe is the right thing to do and manage the conflict and criticism that has come our way.”
Fun fact: Anne Wojcicki is the sister of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcick and ex-spouse of Google cofounder Sergey Brin.
9. Marissa Mayer — former CEO, Yahoo; cofounder and CEO, Lumi Labs
Net worth: $US620 million
Leadership style: When asked how she rises above criticism in the press at a talk at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Mayer said, “I don’t read it. That might sound tone deaf, but I feel like if you read it, it changes who you are and how you think about things … to make decisions, or allow your decision-making to be influenced by a third party who has a fraction of the information that you have, overall isn’t a great strategy.”
Fun fact: At Google, Mayer was employee No. 20 and the company’s first female engineer.
8. Susan Wojcicki — CEO, YouTube
Net worth: $US490 million
Background:Susan Wojcicki became employee No. 16 at Google in 1999. She pushed for Google to acquire YouTube in 2006, and began running the video platform in 2014.
Leadership style: “What I find is, you can’t say comments in a timid, unsure way – no one’s going to listen to you and no one’s going to take you seriously,” Wojcicki said in an interview with Guardian reporter Emine Saner.
Fun fact: Wojcicki’s mother Esther wrote a book titled “How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results” based on her three daughters. Wojcicki’s sister Anne is the CEO of 23andMe and her sister Janet is an MD and assistant professor in pediatrics at the UCSF School of Medicine.
7. Reed Hastings — cofounder and CEO, Netflix
Net worth: $US3 billion
Background: Reed Hastings started Pure Software (which had a debugging tool for engineers) in 1991; it went public and was acquired in 1995. Hastings started Netflix in 1997, and the company went public in 2002. Today, it has over 150 million subscribers.
Leadership style: “I take pride in making as few decisions as possible, as opposed to making as many as possible,” Hastings told Stanford in 2014, where he went to business school.
Fun fact: Hastings joined the Peace Corps after he graduated from college; he taught high school maths classes in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) for two years.
6. Sheryl Sandberg — COO, Facebook
Net worth: $US1.7 billion
Background: Sheryl Sandberg started off her career in politics, but pivoted to tech in 2001, joining Google as a general manager and getting promoted to VP of global online sales and operations. She joined Facebook as its COO in 2008
Leadership style: “Leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression. Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good. That you can make the world a better place,” Sandberg told ABC News in 2014.
Fun fact: Sandberg was Larry Summers’ chief of staff when he was secretary of the treasury in 1999.
5. Jack Ma — cofounder and former executive chair, Alibaba Group
Net worth: $US38.5 billion
Background:JackMa started his career as an English teacher. In 1999, he founded Alibaba, an internet marketplace for China. Today, the company is worth $US460 billion. He retired in September 2019 as the wealthiest person in China.
Leadership style: “No company can rely solely on its founders,” Ma wrote in a letter to Alibaba’s customers as he retired.
Fun fact: Ma failed his college entrance exam not once, but twice, before finally succeeding and entering the Hangzhou Teachers Institute.
4. Mark Zuckerberg — cofounder, chairman, and CEO, Facebook
Net worth: $US68.9 billion
Background: Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room as a 19-year-old undergraduate in 2004. Though the company has faced its fair share of scandals over the past 15 fifteen years – including the Cambridge Analytica scandal, for which Zuckerberg had to testify before Congress – its market cap is $US529.14 billion as of September 2019.
Leadership style: “Finding your purpose isn’t enough, the challenge for our generation is to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose,” Zuckerberg said in his commencement address to Harvard’s class of 2017.
Fun fact: Zuckerberg was playing the video game Civilisation when he received his acceptance email from Harvard.
3. Satya Nadella — CEO, Microsoft
Net worth: Approximately $US320 million
Background: Satya Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992, was promoted to his first executive position in 1999, and become CEO in 2014.
Leadership style: “You can’t call yourself a leader by coming into a situation that is by nature uncertain, ambiguous – and create confusion … (you) have to create clarity, where none exists,” Nadella said in 2019.
Fun fact: Nadella commuted from Washington state to Chicago on weekends in the late 1990s to finish studying for his MBA at the University of Chicago.
2. Jeff Bezos — founder and CEO, Amazon
Net worth: $US110 billion
Background: Jeff Bezos launched Amazon out of his Bellevue, Washington, garage in 1995. The company crossed a trillion-dollar market cap for the first time in September 2018, and Bezos is currently the wealthiest person in the world.
Leadership style: “Base your strategy on things that won’t change,” is a maxim of Bezos’, according to Forbes.
Fun fact: A 3-year-old Bezos took apart his crib with a screwdriver, saying he wanted to sleep in a real bed.
1. Elon Musk – cofounder and CEO, Tesla and SpaceX
Net worth: $US19.6 billion
Background:Elon Musk founded X.com in 1999 using money from the sale of the company Zip2, which he previously had launched and sold with his brother. X.com merged with Confinity to make PayPal, of which Musk was CEO briefly. He launched SpaceX in 2002 with money from the sale of PayPal to eBay. Musk began investing in Tesla in 2004. He launched SolarCity in 2006. His other projects include Hyperloop, The Boring Company, and OpenAI.
Leadership style: “Leaders are also expected to work harder than those who report to them and always make sure that their needs are taken care of before yours,” CNBC reported Musk said.
Fun fact: Musk was raised in South Africa.
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