Kim Posnett, 39
Posnett headed to Hollywood after college, but after two years (her biggest role was an extra in Phone Booth, a 2003 Colin Farrell thriller), she decided to move on. It set up her true starring role: Posnett has become one of tech’s most prominent dealmakers, leading deals like crafts retailer Etsy’s IPO and Demandware’s $2.8 billion acquisition by Salesforce. “Doing a deal is all about telling a story. And how to tell a story, particularly someone else’s story, is something I learned from acting,” she says. Most admires: Angela Merkel.