A business's chief technology officer (CTO) helps it grow, recommending solutions and making sure infrastructure is secure and reliable. As the millennial generation has entered the workforce, technology departments have seen their workforces gradually get younger, since millennials have a high level of comfort with the software and devices used in business every day.
Millennials are not only accepting positions in technology departments, but they're quickly assuming leadership roles in some of the most innovative businesses. These eight millennial CTOs are some of the best minds in the industry today.
1. Andreas Klinger, Product Hunt
Product Hunt has escalated quickly since its founding in 2013. Andreas Klinger joined as CTO in 2014, helping fulfill his goal to help startups find an audience. As CTO, Andreas has helped lead the company as it tries to address a growing audience interacting with websites on mobile devices rather than PCs. Located in Austria, Andreas also serves as founder of die.socialisten.at, a company that specializes in apps for social platforms.
2. David Pham, Mogul
Mogul specializes in connecting women with trending content personalized to their interests. David Pham serves as both Chief Product Officer (CPO) and CTO of
Mogul, helping to take the platform from reaching 1 million women per week to 18 million women per week. Mogul was the winner of the 2014 Cadillac IVY Innovator Award and 2016 NYC-Paris Business Exchange, and has been named to numerous top technology lists, including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and Business Insider's 30 Under 30 list. Prior to Mogul, David founded two companies including Conferous, winner of the Twilio Developer Award, and Mosec, becoming one of the youngest graduates of Techstars' Betaspring Accelerator.
3. Ryan Bubinski, Codecademy
In addition to serving as CTO of Codecademy, Ryan Bubinski is one of its founders. Ryan built the original Codecademy product, which is geared toward helping consumers learn to code through an easy-to-use, interactive platform. As the company grew to see its first million users and beyond, Ryan kept the platform scalable so that it could meet the growing demand. Codecademy reached 24 million users in 2014, at which point it began forming partnerships with industry firms to grow its reach.
4. Arash Ferdowsi, Dropbox
Another founder-turned-CTO is Dropbox's Arash Ferdowski, who has been with the cloud technology company since 2007. Fellow MIT student Drew Houston chose Arash to help him build Dropbox after being advised by a venture capitalist to find a talented partner. The company has grown to a $10 billion company in just nine years.
5. Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb
With an estimated net worth of $3.3 billion, Nathan Blecharczyk serves as an inspiration to young entrepreneurs everywhere. In the beginning, Nathan's role with Airbnb was to write code but over time he was able to hire a team of capable engineers to handle that for him. Today he deals with many of the high-level technology problems that come with running a successful online business.
6. Marty Weiner, Reddit
Before joining Reddit, Marty Weiner was best known as the founding engineer of Pinterest. Marty is the first CTO in Reddit's history, chosen after CEO Steve Huffman saw the glaring need for a CTO to drive the company's engineering efforts. The decade-old company now draws 169 million unique monthly visitors and is ranked as the tenth most-visited website in the country. Marty celebrated his beginnings with the company by creatively using the Reddit platform to introduce himself.
7. Greg Brockman, OpenAI
Former Stripe CTO Greg Brockman co-founded OpenAI, where he also serves as CTO. OpenAI is a nonprofit research company with a goal of advancing technology for artificial intelligence. Y Combinator's research lab has donated to OpenAI, as has Amazon Web Services and Infosys. The combined $1 billion in funding from these sources will give OpenAI a strong start as it works to develop exciting new technologies.
8. Chris Fanini, Weebly
With more than 20 million people using its service to create a website,Weebly is a leader in the highly-competitive online website creator market. Chris Fanini was a college student at Penn State when he, David Rusenko, and Dan Veltri founded Weebly. They saw their friends struggling to get their resumes online in preparation for searching for their first professional jobs and decided to create a site to make it easy and affordable for them to do so.
These young CTOs are making a big difference in their industries by driving the technology that powers everything their businesses do, whether it's iterating quickly on new products or helping with current customers. Whether these young professionals stay with their current companies or move on to others, they'll continue to have an innovative influence on their industries.