With their Charismatic ways and exorbitant salaries we love to hate them, aspire to be them, and stand in awe of America’sÂ best CEOs. These monoliths of industry have what it takes to head the worldâ€™s top companies including intelligence, savvy, nerves of steel, and oodles of creativity. Letâ€™s take a look at a few profiles of the biggest top dogs in the industry and let us know if you agree.
With Time magazine calling him one of the most influential people of the 20th century, this software magnate and philanthropist got an early start in the high tech arena when he first became interested in computers at the age of 13. By the time he was in his twenties the software giant Microsoft was born.
Gates started the company with long time school chum Paul Allen who later left the company to pursue other interests. Around 1975 Microsoft developed the BASIC software language to work on the Altair computer system and after issuing a statement to computer hobbyists admonishing them for their free distribution of his software he soon became the champion of innovation and copyright.
The rise of Microsoft really began with its partnership with IBM in the early 1980â€™s and the development of the now famous MS-DOS, later came the revolutionary first release of the Windows operating system. In 1986 at the age of 31 Gates took the company public making him an instant millionaire and by 1999 his net worth rocketed to around 100 billion.
Bill gates was not only a shrewd and ruthless business man but has won many awards including 2005 Person of the Year for his philanthropic work. He and his wife now dedicate their time most exclusively to their efforts around the world and Bill Gates stepped down from the mantle of Microsoft in 2014.
With Apple computers being ranked number 1 one on Fortune magazineâ€™s list of â€œAmericaâ€™s Most Admired Companiesâ€ and in the number 1 spot in Fortune 500 for returns to shareholders, Steve Jobs had done an outstanding job creating, then returning to rescue his flagship Company Apple Computers.
Steve Jobs was another powerhouse that got an early start in the high tech market learning to take apart and build electronics as a boy in his garage. By 1971 Jobs had been introduced to his future partner Steve Wozniak who was then attending university. This turned out to be a match made in heaven and the pairs love for electronics fueled the growth of Apple Computers that they started in Jobsâ€™ garage when Jobs was 21.
The company earned over 3/4s of a million dollars off their Apple I computer and just 3 years later earned nearly 140 million off their Apple II. An increase of a whopping 700 percent! In 1981 the company went public with a market value of 1.2 billion and put John Scully of Pepsi Cola at the helm as president.
Steve Jobs left Apple after a few disappointments and went into other ventures including NeXT and Pixar. By 1997 Apple had bought NeXT and Jobs was brought back to head the shaky company. The years following his return saw new revolutionary products such at the iMac, iPhone, and iPad and the release of music software giant iTunes.
It is no surprise that the Cincinnati Ohio native Steven Spielberg became one of the most notable personalities in the film industry. With super blockbuster films such as Jaws, Schindlers List, E.T., and Saving Private Ryan it is easy to see why Spielberg got his start as an amateur filmmaker as a child.
This Academy Award winning director was one of the youngest ever television directors in the 1960s and his first film Dual (1972) granted him access to the cinematic field and soon a list of hit movies brought him his current fame. Some of his most notable films include Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones Stories, The Jurassic Park series, and the Back to the Future series. In 1994 Spielberg and partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen created Dreamworks SKG and the highly successful firm went to produce numerous award winning films before being bought by Paramount Pictures.
Along with his 3 Academy Award wins he has had numerous other awards including the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.