Changes and innovation in business don’t just happen – people make them happen. Behind every unicorn startup and industry-disrupting innovation is a great mind who dreamt it up. If you’re looking for inspiration, hoping to learn from the best, or just living vicariously through the stories of people who have made huge waves in their industries, you should definitely check out this list of business leaders who are changing the game wherever they play. Here are our picks.
7. Dara Khosrowshahi
The last time you got a ride to the airport or home after a night of drinking, or to work when your car was in the shop, did you take a taxi? We doubt it. You probably called an Uber, because that’s just what people do now. Well, that total disruption of the ride-hailing industry was brought to you thanks to Dara Khosrowshahi, who is currently the CEO of the famous multi-billion-dollar company. He wasn’t the inventor of the service, but boy does he lead it well! Hats off to Dara. Nicely done.
6. Mark Zuckerberg
Few men in history have been able to gain as much renown for total disruption of an industry as the infamous Mark Zuckerberg. The main field that Zuckerberg was able to completely change forever is that of high school reunions. Now, instead of waiting until the formally organized reunion to see where your 10th-grade algebra crush ended up, you can just search them on Facebook and see without having to travel to your hometown. Talk about a completely and forever changing industry!
5. Mary Barra
An inspiring female CEO to be reckoned with, Mary Barra has been changing the game when it comes to the American Automotive industry. GM, known for their regular normal cars that run on gasoline, has been trying to lead them back when it comes to electric vehicles. Barra is betting big that that is the direction the nation will go and is even introducing an electric pickup truck to GM’s line of offerings! The pickup truck industry is well-entrenched and hard to disrupt, so that’s really a very inspiring and revolutionary thing that she’s doing!
4. Jeffery “Jeff” Weiner
People used to have to network for jobs by actually going to job fairs and meeting people, or even knowing people through friends, family, or former professors and teachers. Well, those days are long gone now, and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, is the reason why! Actually, he didn’t invent LinkedIn, but he’s the CEO today and is taking the platform in a bold new direction. Not only do professionals connect on the platform now, but people use their services to apply for jobs! LinkedIn is trying to dominate the job applications platform market and is making serious strides in this direction.
3. Tim Brown
Business casual and athleisure have been quietly converging for centuries, but recently, with the advent of the now-ubiquitous Allbirds shoes, the two have finally become one. By crafting the perfect business casual athleisure shoe, Brown has revolutionized two different industries at once. Plus, his company is very environmentally sustainable, which is really good because climate change is coming up quick! It’s an exciting time to be a young professional in America, and Brown has just made it comfier. What an absolutely inspiring story!
2. Alex Sun
Alex Sun is the President and CEO of Mitchell International, which is completely changing the way that automobile damage claims, auto casualty claims, and workers’ compensation are handled through technology. Their approach has revolutionized the way that these services are offered, and after years of experience in tech and finance, Alex Sun is leading the company in bold new directions that include innovation, disruption, and growth. The next time your small business’s van driver plows into a convenience store, be sure to look out for Mitchell International!
1. Ariana Huffington
Huffington made her name inventing the famed liberal-leaning news site Huffington Post, which has since revolutionized the way that the popular media thinks about the news. She continues to innovate and improve the way that journalism can be both informationally robust and market-profitable online. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize too! Talk about inspiring.
That’s our list of exciting, revolutionary business leaders. If you think we left any out or forgot to mention your favorite, let us know!