It goes without saying that the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is one of the most critical roles for any company. After all, the CTO is the primary driving force in leading the business to adopt new technologies that will help improve its operations and performance or even create new technologies in some cases. They also face enormous challenges in doing such a role and the past few years of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath has put them in greater pressure than ever as this period has brought about unprecedented technological adoption and advancement.
In these challenging times, CTOs can take inspiration from exemplary leaders who have successfully led their respective companies toward a technologically driven future. Technology Magazine recently came up with their list of the 10 most influential CTOs in the world so we shall look at those who were included in this list and their respective contributions to their companies and to the technology world as a whole.
Andrew Bosworth – Meta
Andrew Bosworth first worked as a developer on Microsoft Visio before joining what was then called Facebook in January 2006. Early on, he made a significant contribution to the Facebook platform as he created the News Feed and many early anti-abuse systems, some of which are still in production. In 2017, Bosworth created the company's AR/VR subsidiary, now called Reality Labs, and has since led Meta's efforts in AR, VR, AI, and consumer hardware across Quest, Portal, and Ray-Ban Stories among others.
Larry Ellison – Oracle
Hailed as a technology pioneer, Larry Ellison made his mark by co-founding Oracle in 1977 and has since served as the company’s chairman and chief technology officer. Under his leadership, Oracle became a major player in the software industry, providing database management systems to businesses around the world. He is also listed by Forbes as one of the richest men in the world, with a net worth of over US$120 billion.
Will Grannis - Google Cloud
Will Grannis has had extensive experience as an entrepreneur, CEO, and CTO of various companies in the defense and aerospace sector. He then joined Google where he had made a significant impact by founding and leading the CTO Office of Google subsidiary Google Cloud. He also founded another subsidiary, Google Public Sector, and acted as its first and interim CEO.
Parker Harris - Salesforce
With considerable technology and entrepreneurship experience under his belt, Parker Harris went on to become the co-founder and CTO of Salesforce and also served as a member of the company’s Board of Directors. As CTO, Harris has been the driving force behind Salesforce’s technology strategy, having shaped its renowned technology culture and has spearheaded many technology initiatives, notably Hyperforce, the Salesforce Platform, and Lightning Experience.
Michael Kagan – Nvidia
Michael Kagan first worked at Intel for more than 15 years before he went on to be the co-founder and CTO of Mellanox, which went on to become a leading supplier of end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand smart interconnect solutions and services for servers and storage Eventually, the company was acquired by NVIDIA and Kagan was not only retained by NVIDIA but was also appointed to be its CTO IN 2020.
Greg Lavender – Intel
Greg Lavender has had extensive experience in the technology field, particularly at VMWare where he served as its senior vice president and CTO. He then joined Intel in 2021 where he took on the same roles as well as being the general manager of its Software and Advanced Technology Group. As CTO, Lavender has driven Intel’s future technical innovation and research programs and established a singular AI software stack to support Intel’s business and hardware offerings.
Jürgen Müller – SAP
Jürgen Müller is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, leading the Technology and Innovation board area as CTO As part of his role, Müller oversees SAP’s platform and technology development, as well as the innovation efforts related to the SAP Business Technology Platform and other new technologies. Prior to his current role, he also held distinct leadership roles within the company, serving as the Head of the Innovation Center Network, Managing Director of SAP Labs Berlin, and SAP’s Chief Innovation Officer.
Mark Russinovich - Microsoft Azure
Mark Russinovich is the CTO of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform. He is responsible for the technical strategy and development of Azure's products and services.
Russinovich joined Microsoft in 2006 when Microsoft acquired Winternals Software, the company he co-founded in 1996, as well as Sysinternals, where he authors and publishes dozens of popular Windows administration and diagnostic utilities.
Kevin Scott – Microsoft
Kevin Scott has had extensive experience in both Google and LinkedIn before assuming his current role as CTO of Microsoft. At Google, he oversaw its mobile ad engineering efforts, including the integration of Google’s US$750m acquisition of AdMob. Then in LinkedIn, he served as its senior vice president of engineering and operations, where he helped build the technology and engineering team, and led the company through both an IPO and six years of rapid growth.
Werner Vogels - Amazon Web Services
Werner Vogels worked with different academic and research institutions before going to become the co-founder of Reliable Network Solutions, Inc. which developed patented computer network resource monitoring and multicast protocols. He then joined Amazon in September 2004 as its director of systems research and became its CTO the following year.