Business leaders, like civilizations, rise and fall with the times. They must possess the necessary traits, such as persistence and passion, to pave the way for new opportunities and greater ventures.
They may not have a silver spoon or a large business inheritance, but they possess the ability to inspire others and have a clear vision that others can believe in. Long-term success is achieved through excellent leadership, and in 2023, the following leaders are worth following.
1. Tim Cook
Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable company.
He took on the role of CEO in 2011, following the passing of Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs. Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has continued to grow and evolve, with a focus on introducing new and innovative products and expanding its global presence, particularly in the Chinese market.
Cook has been credited with playing a key role in driving Apple’s success in the years following Jobs’ death, and has helped to establish the company as a leader in the technology industry.
2. Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, a position she has held since 2008. Sandberg is known for her work as an advocate for women in the workplace, and has written a bestselling book titled “Lean In” that focuses on this topic.
Prior to joining Facebook, Sandberg served as the Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She has a reputation for being an effective leader who has been able to make a smooth transition from her previous roles in government to the tech industry.
Sandberg’s work has been recognized by many, and she has been honored with numerous awards for her contributions to the field of technology and business.
Her work with Facebook and Lean In organization has been instrumental in promoting gender equality and equal opportunities for women in the workplace. Sandberg is widely recognized as one of the most powerful and influential women in the business world.
3. Bob Iger
Bob Iger is the Executive Chairman of the Walt Disney Company and was the company’s former CEO. During his tenure as CEO, Iger played a significant role in the growth and expansion of the company.
Under his leadership, Disney acquired major companies such as Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. He also helped to expand Disney’s presence in international markets, particularly in Asia, by opening Disney theme parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Iger’s tenure as CEO was marked by strong financial performance and strategic acquisitions, positioning Disney as a leading entertainment company in the world. He continues to lead the company as the Executive Chairman.
4. Reed Hastings
Founder and CEO of Netflix, Hastings, is a well-known figure. What began as a subscription model with no late penalties and no due dates rapidly evolved into streaming services, which rocked the basic foundations of online entertainment to their core.
Additionally, Hastings utilizes his position of power to advocate for reformation at the California State Board of Education and via the establishment of charter schools.
5. Mary Barra
Barra is a highly accomplished business leader, currently serving as the chief executive officer and chairman of General Motors.
Prior to her current role, she held several high-level positions within the company, including Executive Vice President of Worldwide Business Development, Procurement, and Supply Chain.
Barra has been instrumental in positioning GM as a major competitor in the electric vehicle industry. She introduced the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which has a battery that outperforms the one used by the Tesla Model 3.
Barra’s leadership has been recognized by industry leaders, with Disney CEO Robert Iger appointing her to the Disney board of directors in 2017.
Barra’s appointment to the Disney board shows that she is not only a leader in the automotive industry but also recognized by a leading CEO in another industry.
6. Huateng “Pony” Ma
Tencent Inc. is a Chinese digital giant that is among the world’s most valuable corporations. It is founded and led by Huateng Ma, who is commonly known as Pony Ma.
Ma is a highly respected and influential figure, not just in the business world, but also on a global scale. He has been listed twice in Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people (2007 and 2014).
Despite his preference for privacy, Ma’s influence and authority in international business is widely recognized. He is a leader in the tech industry and has helped shape the digital landscape in China and beyond.
He is a visionary entrepreneur who has led Tencent to become one of the world’s most valuable corporations. His presence and leadership have made a significant impact on the world of business and technology.
7. Reshma Saujani
Saujani is a prominent American lawyer and activist who is best known for founding the non-profit organization Girls Who Code in 2011.
Her organization is dedicated to encouraging young women to pursue technical education, particularly in the field of coding. Saujani has been recognized for her efforts to bridge the gender gap in the tech industry.
Her organization, Girls Who Code, has been highly successful in its mission to empower young women to pursue careers in technology.
Over 10,000 girls have participated in Girls Who Code camps which are located in 42 states, providing girls with the skills and support they need to succeed in the tech industry. Saujani’s work has been recognized by many, and she continues to be a leading advocate for women in technology.
8. Jack Ma
Ma is a highly accomplished entrepreneur who is best known as the creator of the Alibaba Group, a collection of internet-related businesses.
He made history as the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to be featured on the front cover of Forbes magazine. Despite facing early setbacks, including being rejected from three different universities and 30 job applications, Ma did not give up on his dreams.
He was eventually admitted to Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute, where he graduated. His first move toward establishing Alibaba Group was when he set up a website devoted to his homeland and Chinese items while on a brief visit to the United States.
This eventually led to the establishment of a corporation that set the record for the biggest IPO in history.
9. Jan Koum
Koum is a self-made entrepreneur who left his native Ukraine at the age of 16 and moved to the United States. He attended San José State University and discovered his passion for programming.
In 2010, while he was a student at SJSU and working as a security tester at Yahoo, he founded WhatsApp, which quickly became one of the most popular and widely used instant messaging applications in the world.
With over a billion users worldwide, Koum made history by selling WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014 for a reported 19.3 billion dollars. He is a successful entrepreneur who has made a significant impact in the tech industry with his invention and business acumen.
10. Bill Gates
Gates is a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist, best known for founding Microsoft, the world’s largest personal computer software company.
He has consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest individuals according to Forbes’ annual list. Throughout his career, Gates has gradually shifted his focus away from Microsoft and towards charitable endeavors.
His organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, works towards providing clean water and sanitation facilities to developing nations, among other initiatives.
Like Warren Buffett, Gates has pledged to give the majority of his wealth to charitable organizations. He is an influential figure in the business and philanthropy world, known for his entrepreneurial success and dedication to making a positive impact on the world.