Welcome to the 2014 40 under 40, our list of the most influential young people in business. They’re in technology, yes, but also finance, fashion, film, real estate and even plant-based food. They’re all disrupting—and they’re all just getting started.

40 Under 40 2014

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1 Travis Kalanick & Brian Chesky Co-founder and CEO Uber / Airbnb 38
2 Mark Zuckerberg Founder and CEO Facebook 30
3 Matteo Renzi Prime Minister Italy 39
4 Andriy Kobolyev CEO Naftogaz 36
5 Jan Koum Co-founder and CEO WhatsApp 38
6 Marissa Mayer President and CEO Yahoo 39
7 Tom Farley President NYSE 38
8 Kevin Systrom Cofounder and CEO Instagram 30
9 Elizabeth Holmes Founder and CEO Theranos 30
10 Jesse Cohn Portfolio manager and head of U.S. equity activism Elliott Management 34
10 Mason Morfit President ValueAct Capital 39
11 Jack Dorsey Co-founder and CEO Square, Twitter 37
11 Ben Silbermann Co-founder and CEO Pinterest 32
12 Nick Woodman Founder & CEO GoPro 39
13 Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Adviser White House 36
14 Evan Spiegel Co-founder and CEO Snapchat 24
14 Emily White COO Snapchat 36
15 Lyndon Rive Co-founder and CEO SolarCity 37
16 Raj Chetty Economics professor Harvard University 35
17 Peter Wallace Senior managing director Blackstone 39
18 Liv Garfield CEO Severn Trent 39
19 Anthony Watson Chief Information Officer Nike 37
20 Megan Ellison Producer and Founder Annapurna Films 28
21 Rahul Sharma Co-founder and CEO Micromax 37
22 Josh Tetrick CEO and Founder Hampton Creek 34
22 Julie Smolyansky CEO and President Lifeway Foods 39
23 Delphine Arnault EVP Louis Vuitton, LVMH 39
24 Tang Yan Founder and CEO Momo 35
25 Kevin Chou Co-Founder and CEO Kabam 34
25 Kunal Bahl Co-Founder and CEO Snapdeal 31
26 Rebecca Minkoff Co-founder and creative director Rebecca Minkoff 33
27 Sam Nazarian Founder and CEO SBE 39
28 Vijaya Gadde General counsel Twitter 39
29 Robert Reffkin Founder and CEO Urban Compass 35
30 Sophia Amoruso Founder and CEO Nasty Gal 30
31 George Logothetis Chairman and CEO Libra Group 39
32 Hannah Minghella President of production Columbia Pictures 35
33 Ivanka Trump Executive vice president, development and acquisitions; Founder and CEO Ivanka Trump Apparel and Accessories 32
34 Nate Morris Founder and CEO Rubicon Global 33
35 Tristan Walker Founder and CEO Walker & Co. 30
36 Sarah Kauss Founder and CEO S’well 39
37 Alexa von Tobel Founder and CEO LearnVest 31
38 Michael Patterson Partner Highbridge Principal Strategies 39
39 Ellen MacArthur Founder Ellen MacArthur Foundation 38
40 Gary Vaynerchuk Co-founder and CEO VaynerMedia 38

Travis Kalanick & Brian Chesky, 38

Co-founder and CEO, Uber / Airbnb
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Travis Kalanick: Brent Lewin—Getty Images (left); Brian Chesky: Scott Eells—Bloomberg via Getty Images (right)

They’re revolutionizing two very different industries, but this year was the year that Kalanick and Chesky became the figureheads for the ongoing clash between the great potential of the Internet economy and the rules and regulations of the old economy. In the Internet economy, the web can connect hundreds of millions of us to powerful platforms and networks where we can help ourselves to extra inventory, whether it’s a spare bedroom in someone’s house or a driver-for-hire idling in between jobs.
In the real world economy, that ability can collide with entrenched interest groups and decades-old regulations. Kalanick’s style is to enter a market, cease-and-desist orders be damned, and ask questions later; Chesky’s is more diplomatic. What they have in common is growth. In the last 12 months, Uber has quadrupled the number of markets it serves to over 170 cities (you can now Uber in Abu Dhabi and Hyderabad); This June, it raised $1.2 billion at an $17 billion valuation, one of the highest ever for a tech startup. Airbnb has provided shelter for 20 million people—half of those this year—and on its peak night this summer, 425,000 people stayed in an Airbnb somewhere in the world.
There are other challenges, too, like Uber’s accusations of bad sportsmanwhip with rival Lyft. But both outfits are undaunted. Chesky continues to run Airbnb with his cofounders Nate Blecharczyk, who oversees technical strategy as CTO, and Joe Gebbia, chief product officer. Kalanick has been beefing up his team, most recently hiring former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe as SVP of policy and strategy. “We want to be regulated,” Chesky insists. “Because we want to be recognized.”

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