Today is President’s Day in the United States, a day set aside year to honor all of the men who have led this country since we adopted our Constitution in 1787. While we take a moment to reflect on the men who have taken up the mantle of leading this country, we thought we might also take a look at those who lead our favorite tech companies.
Listed below our four of the best known tech company CEOs along with a little biographical data on each. When you get to the bottom of the page you’ll find a poll where you can vote on which of these CEOs is your favorite.
CEO of Microsoft
Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft on June 11th, 1980 as the company’s 30th employee. He served as the first sales manager hired by Bill Gates, the former CEO of the company, and then moved on to head several other divisions. He became the CEO of Microsoft in Jan. 2000, and continues in that role to this day.
Under his watch, the company has had its ups and downs, and he sometimes is better known for his over-the-top flamboyant style, such as back when he tried to sell the original version of Windows in a television commercial. Despite quibbles some may have with his personality, Microsoft is still the leading software company for personal computer operating systems, and the Xbox brand has become one of the top video game consoles.
Co-Founder and CEO of Apple
Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 with his friend Steve Wozniak. In 1984 he was forced out of the company by the Board of Directors He was brought back into the company in 1996 when his NeXT computer platform company was purchased by Apple. He was re-instated as CEO in 1997 and has continued to serve in the position ever since.
Under his tenure as CEO, he has brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy and turned Apple into a multi-billion dollar company on the backs of products such as the iPod, iPhone, iPad and the iTunes service. He is known for being a driving taskmaster, but the results show that there is some merit to his methods.
CEO of Google
Eric Schmidt became the CEO of Google in Aug. 2001 after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided they needed someone in the position that had more experience in business. Often referred to as their babysitter, Schmidt has been responsible for all of the business dealings of the company during his tenure with the company, leaving Page and Brin to concentrate on the creative side of things.
It was announced on Jan. 20th of this year that Schmidt will be stepping down from his role on April 4th of this year. He will continue on with the company as executive chairman, continuing to serve as an advisor to Page and Brin, with the former stepping into the role of CEO.
Co-Founder and CEO of Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook while still attending Harvard, which he later dropped out of to focus on his growing social network full time. He has gone on to grow the site to be the largest social network with over 500 million registered users and still growing.
Of all of the CEOs listed here, Zuckerberg is probably the world knows the least about. We have heard all of the controversies like the infamous lawsuit over whether or not he stole the idea for Facebook from the people behind another site named HarvardConnection.com, but in general he is the most quiet and reserved of the gentleman listed here. What is known about him was muddied with fiction last year when The Social Network, a movie about the early days of Facebook, was released. Depending on who you talk to, the amount of truth in the film is questionable, and that makes it a bit more difficult to nail down what we do and do not know about the man Time magazine named its Person of the Year for 2010.
Voting So, the time has come for you to cast your vote. Who is your favorite tech CEO of those listed above?