Top 10 CTOs ruling the world of tech

1. Werner Vogels – Amazon

An engineer, architect, programmer, troublemaker and entrepreneur. These are a few of the titles Werner goes by. He is the VP and CTO of Amazon and has been for nearly 14 years.

Some of things Werner truly believes in are democratising business creation and driving innovation through low costs, meaning a goal of accessibility and reliability for the masses. It’s relieving to hear from someone in such a powerful position, leading us to think we are in safe hands when it comes to the technology sectors of Amazon. But Werner is no push over, in his own words he has said, ‘I don’t deal well with bullshit and incompetence’.

2. Ryan Fay – ACI Specialty Benefits

The former director of technology & purchasing at ACI Specialty Benefits (as well as its current global CIO), and the current global CTO of Leverage Concierge, Ryan Fay knows how to keep busy.

Ryan has declared and proven himself capable of designing, building and supporting 24/7/365 highly scalable global technology environments via multi-specialty international technology teams. On top of his holistic and perpetual approach to technology environment, he is also a columnist and CIO advisor at CIO online, meaning his practice and theory are intertwined and effective.

3. Rasmus Norling – Cymatic Solutions

With such an impressive resumé it would have been a crime not to put Rasmus in our top 10. Having a CTO and CEO position in places like Polyshield Technologies, Triton Emission Solutions, M&N Green House Solutions and Cymatic Solutions.

Rasmus was one of the highest earning CTOs of all time, his current work however focuses more on the profit of those in need. Rasmus finds himself in Puerto Rico, specialising in Quantum Leap Technologies and Chemical-free water treatment. Following hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico and other parts of the world in similar circumstances are in need of hard working people like Rasmus, making him a virtuous CTO to put on our list.

4. Gerri Martin-Flickinger – Starbucks

Gerri is the executive vice president and CTO of Starbucks, one of the most well-known names in the world. Joining in 2015, Gerri has become part of the company in a time where everyone is beginning to embrace technologies and automation processes that have never existed before, focusing on delivering innovative, cloud-based and digital solutions to empower customers and delight customers.

Gerri’s vision of technology innovation is centred around how it works to optimise the human experience. Customer satisfaction is essentially what makes the technology worth it, as she has said in an interview: “Tech has to amplify that human connection, not get in the way of it. It is not about building cool, shiny tech. It’s about building tech that appeals to that connection and craft that is uniquely Starbucks.”

5. Susie Wee – Cisco

The VP and CTO of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems, Susie has come a long way since founding and leading Cisco DevNet. The company’s developer and innovation program provides resources for developers and IT professionals to build solutions through Cisco’s platforms and API’s.

Before this, Susie has spent 15 years at Hewlett Packard, working as the founding VP/GM of the Experience Software Business in HP’s Personal Systems Group. It’s no wonder her work has received awards and spots in top 40’s and top 100’s under the label of innovator. Susie is clearly someone who founds a lot and follows through to make her projects last and innovate for all.

6. Peng Xiao – Pegasus LLC

Peng was the SEVP and CTO of MicroStrategy for nearly 16 years, then moving on to Pegasus LLC as its CEO. MicroStrategy is a worldwide leader in enterprise analytics and mobility software. Peng overlooked the BI and analytics spaces, the innovative software MicroStrategy deliver and how that software empowered people to make better decisions in business. In a role that closely tied to the direct impacts made by one’s technology, the CTO position involved just as much business-savvy thinking as tech-savvy strategies.

Today Peng works closely with other companies through Pegasus to give companies the best approaches possible with the data assets they acquire.

7. Bridget Frey – Redfin

Bridget is the CTO of Redfin, leading a software engineering team of more than 150 engineers in Seattle and San Francisco. Bridge builds technologies that make the process of buying and selling a home less complicated and less stressful.

With a focus on big data, analytics engineering and systems architecture, Bridget ensures that all the right information flows occur in all the right directions, realising people’s dreams of buying homes without the major confusions of where to start and how to compare and contrast homes. Further, she is a thought leader on engineering culture and has made sure that nearly 32% of Redfin’s technology team are women!

8. Andreas Klinger – Product Hunt

Now the VP of engineering over at CoinList, for nearly four years Andreas oversaw a website that let users share and discover new products. Backed by Y Combinator, Product Hunt let users submit products listed in a linear format by day, with a voting system similar to Reddit that would hierarchise the products based on favourability and the personal benefits they brought to those rating them.

9. Christine Spang – Nylas

Christine Spang is a specialist in system backends, devops, Python, open source software and leading software teams, all of which conveniently help make her role as the CTO and co-founder of Nylas a comfortable one.

Starting as a contributor to Debian when she was only 15, Christine has worked a long way to get to where she is now. Christine’s philosophy falls more in line with evolution rather than revolution. She sees promise in machine learning and AI in helping people create tools to cope with bigger and bigger volumes of digital information in the future. We only hope those tools will be in the capable hands of people like Christine!

10. Elizabeth Davis – Greo

The co-founder and CTO of Greo, Elizabeth oversees a company that specialises in creating short videos to push people’s messages forward in a nuanced and engaging way. In their words: “[Greo’s] mission is to empower everyone to discover, create, and exchange meaningful ideas to awaken a more just world.”

There is clear message of social justice behind Elizabeth’s project, which she has to ensure is heard through the technological functions of her company and through the overall direction she pushes the company in as the co-founder. It’s a hefty job but we’re glad to have met someone who can do it!