When you were a kid, and someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, a CEO may have been at the top of your list. And, if it wasn’t, it most definitely was for your parents.
There’s a reason that becoming a CEO of a company is so highly regarded. You run all of the shots; every decision is up to you. You are the highest-ranking authority in the entire business.
As famous CEOs will tell you, with all of this power also comes pressure. It’s up to the CEO to run this business successfully. If the CEO fails, so will the company and vice versa.
That’s why knowing famous CEOs is not only important but also intriguing. If you’re curious about this career path or simply want to read in wonder about these CEOs and all of their achievements, keep on reading.
1. Eric Yuan
Living through the past year, you know the name, Eric Yuan, as he is the founder and CEO of Zoom. When the video conference software became public in 2019, there was no way to predict how much the use of the platform would skyrocket in only a few short months.
With the pandemic forcing everyone to stay home, millions of people used Zoom for months to do work, school, and connect with loved ones. Still today, Zoom is the leading platform that most people use as the world starts opening up again.
Yuan developed the idea for Zoom in the 1990s as a college student. He lived 10 hours away from his then-girlfriend (and now wife), and he wanted a video chatting platform that made “video communications frictionless.”
The architecture of Zoom is native to the cloud, which is the main part of it being frictionless. It’s easy for people to access even in weak internet connections, making it stand apart from its competitors.
In early 2020 when Zoom was first skyrocketing to popularity, there were issues of security. Yuan has received praise for how he handled the situation, stopping any further development until addressing all privacy and security issues.
While the world slowly escapes the pandemic and life of lock-downs, it will be interesting to see where Zoom is taken and what is next for Eric Yuan.
2. Dr. Lisa Su
Dr. Lisa Su is one of the most famous businesspeople for completely turning around the company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a business that develops computer processors and related technologies.
When she became CEO in 2014, it was known that the company was looking at going bankrupt. Yet, as of May 2021, AMD’s share price is almost 25 times what it was in 2014.
Dr. Su has a PH.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which most definitely contributed to her success as CEO of AMD. She honed in on what the company already proved to do well–create central processing units for computers and servers. She also incorporated creating chips for gaming consoles and data centers and took the focus off of smartphones and tablets. In April 2021, AMD’s shareholders approved their $35 billion purchase of semiconductor manufacturer Xilinx, who also manufactures fpga’s by Xilinx With this purchase, AMD’s total addressable market is expected to reach $110 billion. It’s not an easy feat to turn a company completely around, and Dr. Lisa Su has proven that she is one to watch for the future.
3. Marvin Ellison
On a list of the most famous businessmen, you cannot leave out Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe’s. He is known for being able to look at the bigger picture of the business to better find the weak points.
In 2018, when Ellison became CEO of the company, his primary focus was finding the areas of the company that wasn’t working for the customers.
In 2020, he explained how the e-commerce website wasn’t shoppable and completely revamped it, increasing online sales by 11%. This was especially important in a time when most people were only able to shop online, and stores were closing at alarming rates.
While they did see a surge in sales as people were home more and were more dedicated to home improvement, this is expected to dwindle, and Ellison has plans to combat this by employing professional contractors.
Any CEO that can take one of the most challenging economic years and turn it into a positive thing is one to look out for, and Marvin Ellison did just that.
4. Matthew Gline
Matthew Gline is one of the newest CEO’s on this list, as he just took the position of CEO of Roviant Sciences in 2021. Yet, new to being a CEO does not ever mean new to business or the company.
Roviant Sciences is a healthcare company that uses technology to help with drug development. Vivek Ramaswamy, the founder, and former CEO stepped down in January 2021 to take on the role of executive chairman of Roviant’s board.
Previously, Matthew Gline was the vice president of Goldman Sachs, Fixed Income Digital Structure from April 2014 – March 2016. He then became Roviant’s chief financial officer in March 2016, until his arrival to CEO this past January.
As Ramaswamy steps down, he intends on creating significant changes throughout the company that Gline will oversee. This includes the development of large collaborations and acquiring new drug companies to work with.
Though Matthew Gline is a relatively new CEO, he has already shown great potential and is viewed as an incredible asset.
5. Shantanu Narayen
Shantanu Narayen is one of the most famous executives in the world, as the chairman, president, and CEO of Adobe.
He joined Adobe in 1998 as the vice president and general manager of its engineer technology group. Previously, he held product development roles at Apple and Silicon graphics.
He became president and COO of Adobe in 2005, CEO in 2007, and chairman of the board in 2017.
He is known as the person that transformed the company to focus on a cloud-based subscription model for the creative suite. He also created the global standard for digital documents and has made the company a leader in the digital experience category.
As CEO, Narayen has achieved record revenue for Adobe and has helped it received worldwide recognition. Adobe has been dubbed as A Great Place to Work and Most Admired Company by Fortune.
Narayen has made it on Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year list and Barron’s World’s Best CEOs. He has also been named a top CEO by Glassdoor based on the feedback from employees.
Narayen puts care into any and everything he does, and it has shown in the success that he built for this company.
6. Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella is most likely a name you already know, as he is the chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
Nadella joined the Microsoft team in 1992, holding multiple roles throughout the years and proving himself as a leading businessman that could help develop a wide range of technologies while transforming what the company already had to offer.
Most recently, before becoming the CEO in 2014, Nadella was the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. Here, he helped to transform Microsoft’s cloud experience and services business, leading it to outperform the market.
Previously, he also held the role of vice president of Microsoft’s Business Divison and led R&D for the Online Service Division. Knowing all of the different ins and outs of the company has allowed Nadella to truly take hold and understand what makes it work and what doesn’t.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella now lives in Bellevue, Washington.
He got his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.
Nadella is known for understanding what consumers need from technology and how to make it happen. His expertise has allowed the company to thrive even in uncertain times, and he continues his work today.
Know These Famous CEOs
All of the famous CEOs listed above have put in an incredible amount of work to get where they are today.
Being an expert in your field is one thing, but being able to apply what you know to create a successful business takes a combination of skill, hard work, and determination.
If these famous CEOs inspire you, browse through more of our website today. We are the experts on all things entrepreneurial, and we have a lot more information waiting for you.