The 7 Most Important Tech CEOs You Wouldn't Recognize
Jack Ma, founder of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, stepped down as that firm's CEO in 2013. But he's still the company's most public face, and after Alibaba's September IPO, China's single richest man.
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Larry Ellison stunned the tech world in September by announcing he's stepping down as CEO of Oracle, the enterprise software company he co-founded in 1977. Since Oracle doesn't sell products to the public like Apple or Microsoft, Ellison's a little less-known outside Silicon Valley: But he's a hugely important figure, having heavily influenced Steve Jobs and a host of other tech leaders.
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Tony Hsieh, CEO of shoe-tailer Zappos.com, is a controversial figure in the world of tech chief officers. He's pouring money into Zappos' corporate home of Las Vegas, Nevada, which is welcome by some locals but spurned by others. Still, Zappos is known for being a very fun and very different place to work, thanks in part to Hsieh setting those qualities up as priorities for the company.
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Satya Nadella just took over the reins at Microsoft earlier this year from now-Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, but he's already making his presence known through sizable layoffs and simultaneous acquisitions. Nadella's Microsoft has let go of nearly 15,000 employees this year — a chunk of whom were made redundant when Microsoft closed an approximately $7.2 billion deal for Nokia's device wing. Also on Microsoft's tab? $2.5 billion for the Swedish gaming company behind top-hit Minecraft.
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Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner, formerly a longtime Yahoo employee, has grown the "Facebook For Professionals'" user base and revenue exponentially since coming becoming CEO in 2009. He's got quite the fan base, too: His workers, 100% of whom support him as CEO, according to Glassdoor.
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John Donahoe has been president and CEO of eBay since 2008. He's now guiding the company in a time of deep uncertainty: In early 2014, eBay settled a nasty public feud with activist investor Carl Icahn, who wants eBay to spin off payment service PayPal as an independent business — and Icahn isn't the only one who thinks that's a good idea.
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Don Mattrick became CEO of Zynga, the social gaming company that brought us FarmVille, in 2013, coming over from Microsoft. He's been tasked with leading Zynga through a tumultuous period — the now publicly-traded company hasn't been able to replicate its FarmVille success, leaving many to wonder about the company's future.
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