Kalanick holds the rare distinction of being one of the country’s most successful CEOs and also one of its most polarizing. In the past year the 38-year-old and his ubiquitous ride-sharing company faced multiple public-relations firestorms over privacy concerns involving customer data, the safety of passengers, and insensitive comments reportedly made by Uber executives (including Kalanick). But while he was losing the public-relations battles, he was leading—and winning—a broader business war with taxi companies, regulators, and competitors. At the beginning of 2014, Uber was in 60 cities; now it’s in more than 250. Investors peg its value at a mind-boggling $41.2 billion. Even more remarkable may be how Uber’s deceptively simple app has changed the transportation landscape. Uber cars in New York City now outnumber the iconic yellow cabs. New York won’t be the last place that happens.