We are all aware of the renowned titans that have been listed as the top CEOs for (what feels like) centuries, from the likes of Richard Branson to Tim Cook and Bob Iger, but as technology is growing, so are the number of influencers. The entrepreneurs listed below, not only inspire through their leadership skills but also the wisdom that they sprinkle upon us; they are true role models that many of us aspire to be.
1. Bernard J. Tyson
This smart, gifted and thoughtful man is one of the leading authorities in the public health sector in America. He has bagged his spot on this list through his dedication and struggle to make high-quality healthcare affordable in the US. Tyson leads one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health plans and addresses the medical needs of more than 11.3 million people. His great leadership skills encourage 220,000 employees to provide the best-performing treatments in public healthcare.
Company: Kaiser Permanente
Salary: $50 million (£38.2 M)
2. Daniel Ek
The tech pioneer created one of the most popular music-streaming services. Spotify, which now has more than 100 million users, has transformed the way people listen to music. He provides users with an affordable method to listen to all the latest hits and gives artists a way to interact with their fans. People no longer have to purchase individual albums; they can have an entire selection of different genres at their fingertips.
Net Worth: $800 million (£611.9 M)
3. Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel is the mastermind behind the ever-popular social media app; Snapchat. Evan had a number of failures that paved his way to his success. He formed the pathway for thousands of people to spread positivity through their everyday lives by sharing short videos and photos. Many celebrities like Kevin Hart, Joe Wicks, and DJ Khalid have used this platform to share their encouragement and motivation to the rest of the world.
Image source: berggruen.org
Worth: $3.3 billion (£2.5 B)
4. Elon Musk
Elon Musk is a force to be reckoned with; having created his own video game at the age of 12, he was bound to break the internet in his later years. He founded the company which was later known as Paypal in 1999 and sold it to eBay for $180 million. In 2002 he launched SpaceX, a private company focused on shaking up the space industry. If that venture wasn’t enough, a year later he invested in Tesla Motors; a start-up car manufacturer that aims to produce all-electric production cars, something mainstream manufacturers had tried to do and failed miserably.
Company: SpaceX (he is also involved in Tesla Motors and SolarCity)
Worth: $20.6 billion (£15.7 B)
5. Hamdi Ulukaya
A true humanitarian, Hamdi provides one of the most ethical working environments known to date. Having grown up in Turkey, Hamdi moved to the US in 1994. His vision came to life when he created a flourishing yoghurt company in places where jobs have been scarce, such as south-central Idaho and upstate New York. He even shares his wealth, offering employees an equity stake in the company. Not only a CEO but also the founder of the Tent Foundation, a group dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of the world's displaced.
Worth: $1.7 billion (£1.3 B)
6. Larry Page
The brains behind the largest search engine, Page is not only known for his masterpiece that is Google but also for providing one of the world’s best working environments. He has garnered a 96% approval rating on employee-driven career site Glassdoor. A quiet introvert who will truly listen to others’ ideas, Larry Page is a leadership role model.
Company: Alphabet (Google)
Worth: $44.7 billion (£34.1 B)
7. Lawrence Joseph Ellison
After experiencing a tough childhood, Ellison dedicated his life to building what is now known as one of the biggest software empires. In 1980, he started off with eight employees, and revenue was less than $1 million, but with hard work and dedication, his sales continued to double for the following eight years. His drive to strive to constantly be on top is what stimulates his employees to achieve good results.
Worth: $62.5 billion (£47.8 B)
8. Marc Russel Benioff
A former protégé of Ellison, Marc decided to spread his wings after spending 13 years at Oracle to build his own thriving computer software business. CEO Marc Benioff is the “soul of the company” and “truly leads by example” in “making the world a better place,” employees say on Fortune.com, praising his full-throated embrace of diversity in a tumultuous political climate. He has an “Ohana” (family) culture where everyone is equal and allows employees seven days off to volunteer at nonprofit organisations each year.
Worth: $4.7 billion (£3.6 B)
9. Mary Teresa Barra
Behind every success story is the core of a person with values and techniques; this is certainly true when it comes to automotive CEO Mary Barra. She has been with the company since she was 19, slowly climbing up the ranks so she can relate to every single employee in the business. Mary prides herself on team-ethic and communication. Her decisiveness and great communication skills have led General Motors to success.
Company: General Motors
Salary: $22.4 million (£17.1 M)
10. Satya Nadella
Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO since 2014, is known for his thirst to learn and develop new products constantly. Business Insider quoted: “Employees love him, too, talking about how he's brought the company together to tackle tough and worthwhile issues.” Before he got promoted to this position, Microsoft was losing its core values but Nadella managed to bring it back together and take the company to new heights.
Salary: $18.2 million (£13.9 M)
11. Warren Buffet
Buffet is a self-made billionaire and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company. Buffet’s iconic status comes from having been the most successful investor of the 20th century. He is also well-known for his philanthropy; so far he has given nearly $32 billion to charity.
Company: Berkshire Hathaway
Worth: $76 billion (£58.1 B)
12. Jeff Bezos
One of the richest men in the world, Jeff Bezos began his journey selling books online from his garage in Seattle. From then, he’s expanded to having one of the top online retailers in the world; Amazon. He also dabbles in many other ventures, including; his aerospace company Blue Origin and purchasing the Washington Post in 2013. He is big on philanthropy and giving back to the community, In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to defend gay marriage in Washington.
Worth: $83.4 billion (£63.8 B)
13. Mark Zuckerberg
Self-made billionaire Zuckerberg’s iconic status is a result of him being the co-creator of social media platform Facebook, which has over 2 billion users. As quoted on Forbes, Mark said: “My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things. But what not being "just" a company means to me is building something that actually makes a really big change in the world." Mark didn’t stop with one platform; he saw a niche with pictures becoming more popular and bought Instagram which boasts over 700 million users. He also bought WhatsApp which has over 1.2 billion users. It’s safe to say that Mark took the social media world by storm.
Worth: $71.5 billion (£54.7 B)
The key to being a top CEO is to be a great leader so you can inspire your peers.
Which CEO’s story has inspired you the most? Leave a comment in the section box below to let us know…