Joel Gay, 38
Two decades ago, Gay was playing soccer professionally in Belgium, sporting a bleached-blond hairdo. Today, after climbing the ranks of the business world, he is CEO of Energy Recovery, which makes gear that recycles energy for, among other companies, those in the fracking industry. When he took over in 2015, he became one of the youngest black CEOs of a public company and was able to usher in a game-changing deal with oil services giant Schlumberger. As a result his company’s stock has more than quadrupled in value. In the family: His sister is the writer Roxane Gay.
Joel Gay Knows That Boardroom Diversity Remains a Challenge
Energy Recovery’s leader is the youngest black CEO of a public company.