1 . Larry Ellison CEO Oracle
Year, after year, decade after decade, Ellison s power grows along with Oracle s. He has crafted his most ambitious plan yet for the software giant: to turn it into a hardware and data center giant.
Although Oracle hasn t hit its stride with these new plans yet, it s hard to doubt the man. He s been successful at almost everything he s done, including winning the most prestigious sailing race ever: The America s Cup. He brought the 2013 race to his home base in San Francisco this summer to try and win again.
2 . Steve Ballmer CEO Microsoft
Ballmer has given Microsoft a no holds barred makeover, including getting into the PC business with Surface, launching a radically different version of Windows, and revamping its software for the cloud.
While some of these plans have been off to a rocky start, particularly Windows 8 and Surface, Ballmer s got his eye on Microsoft s long term future. Enterprises are still likely to slowly buy into his vision.
3 . John Chambers chairman and CEO Cisco
Chambers has been CEO of Cisco Systems since 1995. Although he s been talking about his retirement more now than he ever has, he s still running the company with all his might. He s trying to navigate Cisco past its roots as a network equipment company becoming a bigger IT company that competes with IBM and HP.
He needs to succeed because new technologies called software defined networking threaten the way networks will be built and Cisco s stronghold on that market.
4 . Joe Tucci CEO EMC
Now that Tucci has made it clear that he s not retiring anytime soon, he s free to keep building EMC into a mega enterprise powerhouse. EMC is already the biggest player in the enterprise storage market. Under Tucci, EMC hopes to become a cloud computing powerhouse, too, with help from the past and present CEOs of EMC subsidiary VMware: Paul Maritz, and Pat Gelsinger.
5 . Linus Torvalds creator of Linux fellow at the Linux Foundation
Torvalds is renowned as one of the most brilliant software developers in the software world today. The operating system he created and the open source method he helped pioneer changed software forever. Torvalds remains at the center of it all and he s become a rock star like figure in the open source world.
6 . Michael Dell founder and CEO of Dell
Michael Dell is locked into a war with some of his shareholders to let him buy back his company and take it private.
Dell has big plans for a post PC company that is focused on enterprise tech. He wants to build it outside the quarter to quarter scrutiny of the public markets. He s also making acquisitions big and small to make it happen.
7 . Sundar Pichai Senior Vice President Chrome and Apps Google
Google s Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system are major parts of Google s enterprise ambitions, and they fall under Pichai s wing.
He gained more power after the sudden departure of Andy Rubin. Pichai was handed the Android unit, too. He oversees product management and engineering and is also responsible for Google products such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Apps.
8 . Dave Duffield co founder co CEO Workday
Duffield is the major visionary behind Workday, a cloud based human resources app that has set the enterprise software world on fire and put Oracle on notice. Duffield has been launching successful companies for decades. He previously founded PeopleSoft in 1987 and led it until it was acquired by Oracle in 2005 via a hostile takeover.
Then he turned around and thumbed his nose at Larry Ellison, launched Workday and just took it public late last year.
9 . Aaron Levie
Levie built one of the hottest enterprise startups in the Valley. He turned an ordinary file sharing idea into the next big collaboration thing that big companies love. His company is now valued at over $1 billion and Levie has become one of the Valley s most watched CEOs.
10 . Marc Benioff
Benioff is a big personality with a big vision for what the next generation of enterprise tech will be. He taught the world what software as a service cloud computing was all about.
Now he s spending big bucks acquiring companies for his next big vision: the IT bought by chief marketing officers. He just orchestrated Salesforce s biggest acquisition ever: