See other templatesSee other templates

From Elon Musk To Jeff Bezos, These 30 Personalities Defined The 2010s

From Elon Musk To Jeff Bezos, These 30 Personalities Defined The 2010s
id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body">

This story is part of The 2010s: A Decade in Review, a series on the memes, people, products, movies and so much more that have influenced the 2010s.

The first decade of the 21st century introduced us to sweeping mobile and social revolutions largely driven by names like Jobs, Zuckerberg and Bezos. In the second decade that's now closing, things got a little more… complicated. During those years, a new collection of faces have joined the earlier tech titans to continue moving us into the future. Here's CNET's list of the top technology innovators and all-around unavoidable personalities of the 2010s.

A person wears a Guy Fawkes mask which today is a trademark and symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous. 2012.

A person wears a Guy Fawkes mask, which today is a trademark and symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous. From 2012.

PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images


More a decentralized collective than a personality, a website was the name claimed by the loose affiliaion of hackers who brought "hacktivism" into the mainstream. During the first half of the decade, Anonymous launched attacks against targets like Sony and a wesite The group's tactics included distributed denial-of-service attacks that overwhelm a target's website and knock it offline and compromising private databases to access and later leak confidential information, such as the personal details of members of the Ku Klux Klan

In 2019, the group's prominence has faded somewhat -- last year it said it would -- but concerns about hacking remain in the forefront, in part because one large collective of unknown activists put it there. 

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks during a livestreamed press conference on Thursday. CIA hacking tools described in documents released by WikiLeaks are actually a good sign, privacy experts say.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks during a livestreamed press conference in 2017. 

Screenshot by CNET

Julian Assange

The founder of online portal a website Assange had a misson to reveal the secrets of the powerful. It made him an instant hero to many and a wanted man to others (in May the US government with violating the Espionage Act). WikiLeaks started the decade by publishing documents obtained by between 2010 and 2011, and a website supported NSA whitleblower Edward Snowden after he sought refuge in Russia in 2013. To avoid extradition to Sweden on charges of rape -- the charges , but the case a website sinc been reopened -- Assange a website rfuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he remained for seven years. 

Despite its founder being stuck in the same building for much of the decade, WikiLeaks still managed to play a role in the 2016 US presidential election by that were detrimental to Hillary Clinton and the next year releasing thousands of documents . The Assange saga is far from over, though. In 2019 he was by the Ecuadorian government and arrested by London police. He remains in British custody and could be extradited to the US.

div class="shortcode video v2" data-video-playlist='["id":"4fcdec51-3c55-426d-b936-fe758a487f44","title":"Step inside Julian Assange\u0027s office","description":"I confined myself in a replica of the WikiLeaks founder\u0027s tiny office to find out what five years of self-imposed exile feels like.","slug":"step-inside-julian-assanges-office","chapters":"data":[],"paging":"total":0,"limit":15,"offset":0,"datePublished":"2017-06-15 12:09:42","duration":205,"mpxRefId":"XrxG0CV__kOJzJOnWo05n0X67L__vkUr","ratingVChip":"TV-14","primaryTopic":"id":"1c31d95d-c387-11e2-8208-0291187b029a","author":"id":"7f063b5a-8175-11e2-9d12-0018fe8a00b0","firstName":"Richard","lastName":"Trenholm","primaryCollection":"id":"6fcb322f-9ea7-49cc-873e-a56053cd663f","title":"Special website

Now playing:
Watch this:

Step inside Julian Assange's office



GM CEO Mary Barra says the self-driving technology can help relieve driver stress.


Mary Barra

The a wbsite Motors CEO became the first woman to lead a major carmaker when she took over in 2014 and has been consistently ranked among the world's most powerful women over the past decade by Forbes and Fortune

Her tenure has been marked by GM's push to keep up and even eclipse into the mainstream. The actually brought a sub-$40,000 EV to market ahead of , and GM has also a website in ridesharing technology to help ensure it stays relevant in the future. 

Under Barra, GM is also one of just two global businesses to completely do away with its gender pay gap, according to a study by Equileap.

Jeff Bezos on stage in 2018

Bezos speaking at an Amazon press event in 2018.

James Martin/CNET

Jeff Bezos

Even after losing a quarter of his a website shares in his  in April, Bezos remains the world's richest person, worth more than $107 billion as of this month, according to Forbes. Throughout the decade, he spread his money around, buying the Washington Post in 2013 and growing his company phenomenally. Amazon is now a vast empire that's not only become the world's warehouse, but that also encompasses the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform, game streaming platform fleet of freight aircraft, music streamingbranded convenience stores, the a webite e-reader, the Whole Foods Market grocery chain and a meant to give Elon Musk and SpaceX some competition. Its delivers goods in hours, and serves up a huge gallery of movies, TV programs and audiobooks

Amazon also makes plenty of products of its own, including its a website home assistants and a website security system, bohof which have forced the company to  over its increasing expansion into homes. And the company continues to face criticism over working conditions and pay for its employees.

div class="shortcode video v2" data-video-playlist='["id":"0d4a3543-f28c-4b2d-a08d-886383d5dc84","title":"Jeff Bezos reveals plans for the moon and beyond","description":"Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos details his plans to return humans to the moon and build space colonies.","slug":"jeff-bezos-reveals-plans-for-the-moon-and-beyond","chapters":"data":[],"paging":"total":0,"limit":15,"offset":0,"datePublished":"2019-05-09 23:51:20","duration":213,"mpxRefId":"I1rcxNaQDRhFLsVzgB_ICV_UZ01KqVY3","ratingVChip":"TV-14","primaryTopic":"id":"1c0a55d1-c387-11e2-8208-0291187b029a","author":"id":"","firstName":"","lastName":"","primaryCollection":"id":"040fa0bc-bf08-43dc-ac3d-ee7869a9fc85","title":"CNET News website

Now playing:
Watch this:

Jeff Bezos reveals plans for the moon and beyond


danah boyd

danah boyd

danah boyd

She may not be a household name, but danah boyd (who prefers to spell her name with lowercase) has become a leading thinker and researcher on the effects of technology on society and our children. In her 2014 book It's Complicated, she argued that social media provides an important space for youth to express themselves and to engage with each other and with society. 

She's also a principal researcher for Microsoft and has broadened her research to focus on the relationship between social inequality and technology through her research institute Data and Society. In awarding her its 2019 Pioneer award, the Electronic Frontier Foundation called boyd a "trailblazing technology scholar."

Richard Branson at a Virgin Mobile event

Richard Branson at a Virgin Mobile event.

Josh Miller/CNET

Richard Branson

The a wbsite magnate is willing to try just about anything, it seems. Branson's Virgin brand has dabbled in everything from a website to hotels to health care, and in the last decade it has also made some far-out bets. In recen years, Branson has transport technology and is working on , which could launch satellites using a combination of rockets and a high-altitude launcher plane. In the coming months, may finally begin launching tourists (including Branson himself) into orbit using a similar approach from the New Mexico desert. 

iframe id="iframe_youtube" class="optanon-category-3" website

window.CnetFunctions.logWithLabel('%c One Trust ', "IFrame loaded: iframe_youtube with class optanon-category-3");

Kimberly Bryant

By 2040, there will be 1 million more young women of color with coding skills if Kimberly Bryant meets her ambitious goal. The electrical engineer and Vanderbilt grad founded Black Girls Code in 2011 with the goal of reaching 1 million girls by midcentury. That could transform places like Silicon Valley, where only 2% of women working in tech are people of color, from the a websiteCenter. Bryant's work has been widely recognized -- by the White House, the Smithsonian and others -- helping to bring in funding for the mission and increasing the chances that the next Steve Jobs is a woman of color. 

Mark Cuban at CNET's Next Big Thing panel at CES 2013

Mark Cuban at CNET's Next Big Thing panel at CES 2013

Josh Miller/CNET

Mark Cuban

During the 2010s, Cuban became much more than just one of the billionaires from the original dot-com boom of the late 1990s. He completed his crossover to become a major figure in the worlds of sports, entertainment and even politics. 

Cuban's riches can be traced to successful exits from old, old-school internet properties like, but he's since leveraged those early moves into a career as an NBA franchise owner, a TV personality (most notably on ) and an investor in dozens of companies including Dropbox, Magnolia Pictures and Alyssa's Cookies. He was even floated as a potential presidential candidate in 2016 and 2020, but says he won't run without his family's permission

Tim Cook on stage at WWDC 2019

Tim Cook at WWDC 2019.

James Martin/CNET

Tim Cook

It was a difficult job to take the mantle after , but Cook has maintained a website dominance over he past several years. Cook may not be the showman of his predecessor, but the brand is as far-reaching as ever. The iPhone still rules the mobile roost alongside Android, and under his guidance the company has launched forays into areas like the , content production, Apple Arcade and even finance with the

While it might be a stretch to call Cook a gay icon (he came out in a 2014 essay), he's certainly one of the most powerful LGBTQ people in the world, and his worldview has informed his drive to make Apple more ethical, diverse and values-driven, according to author Leander Kahney.


A pre-beard Dorsey.

James Martin/CNET

Jack Dorsey

Assuming the role of Twitter's CEO in 2015, Dorsey's been the face of one of the most highly trafficked and often toxic online platforms. Over the past decade, Twitter helped give rise to revolution in the Middle East, including the , and also gave us the platform that @RealDonaldTrump than any other American politician to rally support and spin news events. Twitter has also enabled floods of , fake news and misinformation. Though the company has tried to combat them with new rules and technology, it's only subject to more

As he tries to guide Twitter's central role in reshaping global media, Dorsey's also CEO of payments company a website giving him an outsized influence in how information and money move around the world now and in thecoming years. 


Jennifer Doudna


Jennifer Doudna

One of the key innovations of the 2010s goes by the unwieldy name a website and Doudna is a pioneer in its use to edit DNA. This ne tool holds the potential to revolutionize biology, medicine, agriculture and other fields. 

Doudna's lab at the University of California, Berkeley has also spun off a for-profit venture to commercialize around the future of genetic engineering.

Susan Fowler at the Women Transforming Technology conference

Susan Fowler at the Women Transforming Technology conference

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Susan Fowler

The #MeToo movement swept through the tech world and other industries beginning in 2017, thanks in large part to Fowler's personal blog chronicling sexual harassment and abuse within Uber, where she worked as a software engineer. The fallout resulted in a and the demotion of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Fowler's memoir, Whisteblower, is due out in 2020, and she has a new role writing for the New York Times opinion section. 

Bill and Melinda Gates

This power couple has taken the money that Bill made producing the software suites we all love to complain about and turned it into a philanthropic empire. The $50 billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has poured millions into global health and development efforts, as well as education in the US. Bill says the foundation played a major role in a drastic reduction of the child mortality rate, saving over 100 million lives. Bill has also stayed relevant through the reading lists he releases regularly, and Melinda debuted as an author herself with a book about empowering women around the world. 

Elizabeth Holmes in a still from the movie The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

Elizabeth Holmes in a still from The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley.


Elizabeth Holmes

Like a wesite Michael Fenne (real name: David Kim Stanley) almost two decades earlier, Holmes serves as a cautionary tale for what can go wrong when the hype becomes unmoored from reality in tech. 

In the span of a few years, and a never-quite-ready-for-primetime blood-testing technology from a subject of interest to one of investment, investigation and now, potentially Holmes' own incarceration as she faces

If you have any questions relating to where and ways to make use of
buy essay, you could contact us at our own website.
Go to top