It’s easy to gain success, but hard to keep it. It is seldom that company leaders and CEOs stand the test of time and weather all storms with their business during their journey to prosperity. Here we will look at leaders who persevered challenges and adversity to accomplish these achievements.
1. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett is well renowned for being one of the most successful investors the world has known. His impeccable business know-how and expertise in the stock market has made him one of the wealthiest people worldwide. This was due to his hard work and experience in finance throughout the years of his career. He started his career with lucrative investment partnerships and eventually worked his way to CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett exemplifies patience and determination and knows that the exact minute to invest is never the first minute. Buffett is not afraid to share his fortune and has donated a sum of over $17.3 billion in total.
2. Jeff Bezos
Next we have the wealthiest man in the world, Mr Jeff Bezos. We all know Bezos as the man who started Amazon.com in his garage to sell books, and slowly expanded into selling almost everything else. When the company first went live they sold books to 45 countries in the space of a month, indicating the stellar future it had in store. He is one of the people behind the emergence and popularity of ecommerce. The company embraced the virtual world and took it by storm. Bezos also created predictive analysis, which uses AI to predict what other products an individual customer might like to buy based on their history. This is omnipresent in online shopping today, but wasn’t around until Bezos had this idea.
3. Howard Schultz
Howard Schultz has had quite the journey to CEO of Starbucks. His family did not have much money growing up but this served as motivation for Schultz to succeed in his work life. He is not afraid to work hard for what he wants and even earned a football scholarship in school. He first earned a job as head of marketing in Starbucks. After a holiday to Milan he asked his bosses to model Starbucks like the coffee bars he saw abroad, although they disagreed. He quit, but after two years bought the business from them. He has expanded the brand to 18,000 stores worldwide and Starbucks has become a household name.
4. Bill Gates
For almost two decades, Microsoft founder Bill Gates was classified as the richest man in the world but has finally been knocked from the top by Jeff Bezos. Along with his partner Paul Allen, they made Microsoft a level of success that has never been seen before in the PC and software industries. Gates has moved away from Microsoft in recent years and now owns less than 1% of its shares. Instead, the philanthropist has donated money to charities, in particular the foundation he owns with his wife, the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’ which ensures clean water and sanitation for many living in poverty in the developing world.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is an inspiration to tech wizards and entrepreneurs alike. Zuckerberg used his prolific coding skills to create the social media platform. Facebook is arguably the most popular form of social networking that we have ever seen, and it seems as if almost everyone has an account. Zuckerberg used his keen marketing skills to attract his target market of, well, basically everyone. What started as a young, tech-savvy person’s website soon had grandmothers signing up. Turns out dropping out of Harvard wasn’t so bad for Zuckerberg after all!
6. Indra Nooyi
Next is Indra Nooyi, powerful businesswoman and CEO of PepsiCo. When she made the move from India to the United States her parents thought she was absurd, but Nooyi has never been one to let others make decisions for her. She has always been tenacious and unafraid, and this has translated into her professional life. Featuring on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, Nooyi has led the company to an astonishing yearly revenue increase of 72 percent. She presides over 185,000 employees, a dramatic change from her college position as dorm receptionist. Ever the opportunist, she took the night shift as it paid 50 cents extra. She is loved by her staff for her kind demeanour and is known to sing karaoke at work events!
7. Elon Musk
This South African has been studying since he was a child to get to where he is today. At the meagre age of 12 Musk created a code for a game and sold it, such was his proficiency. This only motivated him to continue with his love for all things technology. He has several degrees and was even accepted into Stanford University for a Ph.D. programme. The polished businessman invented machinery and IT instalments alike, but is best known for being the founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. His developments in automation and robotics are paving the way for the future.
8. Larry Page
Computer scientist Larry Page did not know what he had begun when he started working on Google for his dissertation. Along with partner Sergey Brin, they created the search engine we know today which is synonymous with the internet. Born to parents who were professors in computer science, Page honed his craft under their watchful gaze. His carefully planned business decisions helped his web crawling software grow rapidly into a multinational company which he continued to develop as well, as create verticals such as G Suite and Google Analytics.
9. Reed Hastings
Our favourite online streaming service Netflix is the brainchild of businessman Reed Hastings. The co-founder and CEO of Netflix admitted that running a business is not easy, even for an established businessman like himself. He had trouble managing his first company, but despite this it was profitable and he used this money to develop Netflix. He took the many lessons he learnt there and made the online streaming business one of the primary ways we consumes media today.
10. Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is a highly recognisable business leader as CEO of Virgin Group. The magnate has expanded his company into many ventures such as airlines and space exploration to name but two. His excellent mind has allowed him to make intelligent market decisions which has resulted in his ownership of over 400 companies. Throughout them all the common thread is superb customer service.