Who are the most important founders of our time? How have they changed the digital world with their innovations and visions? All about the tech pioneers.
Berlin – The trend has been going in a clear direction for a long time: the digital economy is the most important economic sector of our time. The founders and CEOs of companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Meta and Apple have been the richest and most influential people in the world for years. These people are both revered and hated around the world. So who are these pioneers of technology?
|Larry Page and Sergey Brin||Google or Alphabet|
|Bill Gates and Paul Allen||Microsoft|
|Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz||Facebook or Meta|
|Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne||Apple|
Founders and CEOs in Internet and Tech: The Most Successful People of the 21st Century
While success is difficult to measure, there is no denying that some people and companies are successful. That’s the case with the biggest tech companies of our time. It is not for nothing that it is often said that Google, Amazon and Facebook virtually rule the world. Behind all these huge companies are the visionaries who had the brilliant idea. The following tech people have repeatedly or consistently made the Forbes list of the world’s richest people over the past decade:
- Bill Gates (Microsoft)
- Larry EllisonOracle
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
- Mark Zuckerberg (Meta)
- Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg)
- Larry Page (alphabet)
- Sergey Brin (alphabet)
- Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX)
- Steve Ballmer (Microsoft)
According to Forbes, the richest person in the world in 2022 was Elon Musk. Before that, it was Jeff Bezos who replaced Microsoft founder Bill Gates for four years.
The list does not include Steve Jobs or Tim Cook, the founder and CEO of Apple. The two may not be the richest people – but they are undoubtedly among the most influential. Apple is currently the most successful tech company in the world and is at the top of the most valuable technology companies worldwide.
Tech pioneers and CEOs in gaming and esports
The gaming industry is one of the fastest growing tech industries in the world. In 2022, video games generated sales of more than 200 billion US dollars. That was a new record – and the industry will only grow. The five largest gaming companies in the world are currently Microsoft, NetEase, Tencent, Sony and Nintendo.
Technology, AI and the Internet: digital change is progressing faster and faster. (Iconic image) © IMAGO/Eugenio Marongiu
And in this industry, the CEOs are not only powerful, but also very wealthy. The ten highest paid gaming CEOs all make at least tens of millions of dollars a year. Here is the list of the most successful CEOs in the gaming industry (2022):
- Robert Antokol (Playtika): $372 million
- Bobby Kotick (Activision Blizzard): 154.6 million
- Andrew Paradise (Skillz): 103.3 million
- Andrew Wilson (EA): 34.7 million
- Frank Gibeau (Zynga): 32 million
- John Riccitiello (Unity): 22 million
- Strauss Zelnick (Take Two Interactive): 18.1 million
- Taek Jin Kim (NCSoft): 15.6 million
- Min Liang Tan (Razer): 10.4 million
- Debbie Bestwick (Team17): 10.2 million
Debbie Bestwick is the only woman on this list. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the annual Women in Games conference in 2015 for her exceptional achievements as a woman in a male-dominated world.
Founders and CEOs in AI companies: Artificial intelligence is the next step
There are more and more indications that the next major development will come from the field of artificial intelligence (AI). At the end of 2022, the OpenAI company celebrated the first major breakthrough of such an application with its AI chat bot ChatGPT.
Every big tech company has artificial intelligence on their screens and is working to further develop AI systems. The biggest AI companies are therefore also companies like Meta, Microsoft and Amazon. But the console, chip and computer manufacturer Nvidia is also a pioneer here. Here is a (partial) list of people who are among the most important AI voices of our time:
- Elon Musk: Co-founder of OpenAI
- Anita Schjøll Brede: Founder of the AI platform Iris.ai
- Fei-Fei Li: Computer Scientist at Google Cloud
- Demis Hassabis: Co-founder of DeepMind
- Jürgen Schmidhuber: Director of the AI research institute IDSIA
- Robin Li: Founder of Baidu
Experts assume that we are still at the beginning when it comes to AI systems. But the field is developing at breakneck speed.