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Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and COO, inside SpaceX’s mission control station in Hawthorne, Calif.Courtesy of SpaceX
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and COO, inside SpaceX’s mission control station in Hawthorne, Calif., Courtesy of SpaceX
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Gwynne Shotwell

  • Title
    President and chief operating officier
  • Affiliation
    SpaceX

Shotwell was employee No. 11 in 2002 when she joined SpaceX, a company founded to lower the cost of space travel and enable the colonization of other planets. Today, SpaceX has grown to more than 6,000 employees and contracts valued at $12 billion. Shotwell runs day-to-day operations and customer relationships, but her official title might as well be rainmaker. She takes CEO Elon Musk’s seemingly outlandish ideas (and idealistic timelines) and makes them happen: Achievements include the successful launch in February of SpaceX’s powerful, reusable Falcon Heavy rocket. Next up: a project to deliver high-bandwidth Internet via satellites; and the BFR, a next-generation rocket designed to whisk crew and cargo to Mars and reach any city on Earth in under an hour.

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