Founded: 2010 Dorsey's mobile-payments company, co-founded with Jim McKelvey, has been transformational for small merchants, enabling them to accept credit cards. Some 3 million businesses use the platform to process about $10 billion in annual payments. Dorsey's out-of-the-box thinking also applies to his management style: At the company's San Francisco headquarters, the 36-year-old CEO can often be found working on his iPad at one of the company's "open collaboration" tables. Dorsey says this allows him to be more accessible to his company's 450-plus employees. (He also leads a weekly neighborhood cleanup project with staff.) But Dorsey's unconventional leadership approach doesn't mean he isn't seeking mainstream success. Last year he struck a deal last year to process all credit and debit transactions at more than 7,000 U.S. Starbucks locations.Photo: Winni Wintermeyer
The consummate multitasker no longer has a day-to-day role at Twitter but he’s been on a tear at Square. The fast-growing payments company has signed on more than 2 million customers, including both Romney and Obama campaigns, which use it to collect donations. In August, Square signed its biggest merchant yet: Starbucks, the king of lattes. Dorsey personally flew to Seattle to seal the deal with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who now sits on Square’s board. As part of the agreement, Starbucks invested $25 million in Square, helping to raise the startup’s estimated valuation to a whopping $3.25 billion. Not bad for a deal that was sealed in the virtual blink of an eye. His dream job: Mayor of New York City. –M. L.