Famous 20th Century CEOs

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer.
6
Famous As: Former CEO of Microsoft
Birthdate: March 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit
The world’s ninth-richest person as of 2020, Steve Ballmer has served as the CEO of Microsoft. He dropped out of the MBA program at Stanford when Bill Gates invited him to join Microsoft in 1980. Ballmer owns the NBA team Los Angeles Clippers. The USAFacts.org founder donates to educational causes. 

 2 Ma Huateng

Ma Huateng.
3
Famous As: CEO of Tencent
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chaoyang, Shantou

Chinese business magnate Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma, is best known as the founder, chairman, and CEO of the technology giant Tencent. His company owns the messaging app WeChat. One of CEOWORLD’s Most Powerful People in the World, he was a delegate of the 12th National People's Congress.

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 3 Adam Weitsman

Adam Weitsman.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: June 13, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Owego, New York, United States

 4 John Schnatter

John Schnatter.
4
Famous As: Founder of Papa John's Pizza
Birthdate: November 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jeffersonville, Indiana

Entrepreneur John H. Schnatter, also known as Papa John, established Papa John's Pizza in the 1980s, using the money he got after selling his car. He resigned as the CEO of his company in 2018, following a controversy regarding his comments about protests by NFL players.

 5 Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis.
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: November 16, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beirut
Businessman Marcus Lemonis was born in Beirut, amidst a civil war, and was adopted by an American couple. He is now the CEO and chairman of enterprises such as Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises. He also gained fame for his appearance on the CNBC reality show The Profit.

 6 Henry Ford II

Henry Ford II
4
Famous As: Business Person
Birthdate: September 4, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: September 29, 1987

 7 Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman.
4
Famous As: CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management
Birthdate: May 11, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Bill Ackman is an American hedge fund manager and investor. He is credited with founding the popular hedge fund management company, Pershing Square Capital Management. Also a philanthropist, Ackman has donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes like the Center for Jewish History. In 2006, he founded the Pershing Square Foundation, which supports various sectors like education and healthcare.

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 8 Jan Koum

Jan Koum.
4
Famous As: CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp
Birthdate: February 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine

Jan Koum is a Ukrainian American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He is credited with co-founding the popular cross-platform messaging service, WhatsApp. One of the most popular billionaires around the world, Koum donated almost $556 million to the donor-advised community foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in 2014.

 9 Jack Welch

Jack Welch.
4
Famous As: Former Chairman & CEO of General Electric
Birthdate: November 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Peabody, Massachusetts, U.S

 10 Shantanu Narayen

Shantanu Narayen.
3
Famous As: CEO of Adobe
Birthdate: May 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hyderabad

 11 Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain
8
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: May 20, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

 12 Jeffrey Skilling

Jeffrey Skilling.
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: November 25, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 13 Santo Versace

Santo Versace.
4
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: December 16, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reggio Calabria

Santo Versace is an Italian businessman and politician. He is the president and co-CEO of Gianni Versace SpA, a luxury fashion company. He is also a shareholder of Viola Reggio Calabria Basketball. As a politician, he is a member of the Alliance for Italy political party. Previously, he was a member of The People of Freedom group. 

 14 Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt.
8
Famous As: Former CEO of Google
Birthdate: April 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

 15 Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

 16 Ricky Van Veen

Ricky Van Veen
3
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: December 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland, United States

 17 Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg
6
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: December 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 18 Jonathan Cheban

Jonathan Cheban
4
Famous As: Television personality
Birthdate: February 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA

 19 Louis B. Mayer

Louis B. Mayer
3
Famous As: Film Producer
Birthdate: July 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dymer, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire [now Vyshhorod Raion, Kiev Oblast, Ukraine]
Died: October 29, 1957

 20 Lorenzo Fertitta

Lorenzo Fertitta.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: January 3, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

 21 Eric Villency

Eric Villency.
3
Famous As: Interior Designer
Birthdate: June 10, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Eric Villency is an American businessman currently serving as the chief executive officer of the popular product and interior design firm, Villency Design Group. Villency is credited with upholding his grandfather's legacy by working towards the prosperity of his family business. Also a writer, he has been a major contributor for publications like Huffington Post and The New York Times.

 22 Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma.
3
Famous As: Writer, Public Speaker
Birthdate: June 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Port Hawkesbury

Canadian writer Robin Sharma is best known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series. A qualified lawyer, he is an alumnus of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. He has published several books on stress management and spirituality. He is the founder of the training company Sharma Leadership International.

 23 Barry Diller

Barry Diller.
3
Famous As: Chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp
Birthdate: February 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California

 24 Peter Palandjian

Peter Palandjian
3
Famous As: Tennis player, CEO
Birthdate: February 12, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 25 Rudolf Dassler

Rudolf Dassler.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Herzogenaurach
Died: October 27, 1974
The rivalry between German shoemaker Rudolf Dassler and his brother, Adolf Dassler, led to the creation of two of the most popular shoe brands of the world. While Rudolf and Adolf were initially partners in their shoe business, a feud made Rudolf create Puma, while Adolf formed Adidas.

 26 Stefano Pessina

Stefano Pessina
2
Famous As: engineer, entrepreneur, businessperson
Birthdate: June 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pescara

 27 Ren Zhengfei

Ren Zhengfei.
3
Famous As: CEO of Huawei
Birthdate: October 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zhenning Buyei and Miao Autonomous County, Anshun, China

Ren Zhengfei is a Chinese engineer and entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Huawei, the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones and the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world. He also serves as the CEO of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. In 2005, Ren Zhengfei was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.

 28 Peter Guber

Peter Guber
3
Famous As: Film producer
Birthdate: March 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 29 Stavros Niarchos

Stavros Niarchos
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: July 3, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: April 16, 1996

 30 Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace
3
Famous As: CEOs
Birthdate: December 31, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

 31 Mark Reynolds Hughes

Mark Reynolds Hughes
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: January 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: La Mirada, California, United States
Died: May 21, 2000

 32 Chanda Kochhar

Chanda Kochhar.
3
Famous As: CEO of ICICI Bank
Birthdate: November 17, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jodhpur, India

 33 John DiFronzo

John DiFronzo
3
Birthdate: December 13, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 34 Biz Stone

Biz Stone
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: March 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 35 Soichiro Honda

Soichiro Honda
3
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: November 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Died: August 5, 1991

 36 Ajaypal Banga

Ajaypal Banga.
2
Famous As: CEO of MasterCard
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Khadki, Pune, Maharashtra

 37 Zhang Xin

Zhang Xin
2
Famous As: chief executive officer, entrepreneur
Birthdate: August 24, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing

 38 William Griffith Wilson

William Griffith Wilson.
3
Famous As: Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Birthdate: November 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dorset, Vermont, United States

 39 Samuel P. Bush

Samuel P. Bush
3
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: October 4, 1863
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Orange, USA
Died: February 8, 1948

 40 H. Lawrence Culp

H. Lawrence Culp.
3
Famous As: Business Executive
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: United States of America

 41 David Baszucki

David Baszucki.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: January 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius

David Baszucki is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur and inventor. He is credited with co-founding the Roblox Corporation, for which he also serves as the CEO. He is also credited with co-founding Knowledge Revolution, a company which was obtained by MSC Software in 1998. In 2017 and 2018, Baszucki was named one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

 42 Harry R. Truman

Harry R. Truman
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: October 30, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ivydale, West Virginia, United States
Died: May 18, 1980

Initially a bootlegger, Harry R. Truman later leased a 50-acre plot in the woods near the active volcano Mount St. Helens and opened the Mount St. Helens Lodge. He became famous after refusing to evacuate the place after warnings that the volcano would erupt, and was later presumed dead.

 43 Juan T. Trippe

Juan T. Trippe
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: June 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seabright, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 3, 1981

 44 Tom Gores

Tom Gores
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: July 31, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nazareth, Israel

 45 Thomas J. Watson

Thomas J. Watson
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 17, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Campbell, New York, United States
Died: June 19, 1956

 46 Ned Lamont

Ned Lamont
3
Famous As: Businessman
Birthdate: January 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 47 Ruth Handler

Ruth Handler
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: April 27, 2002

 48 Donald Regan

Donald Regan
3
Famous As: Political Leaders
Birthdate: December 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 10, 2003

 49 Malcolm Forbes

Malcolm Forbes
2
Famous As: Businessperson
Birthdate: August 19, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: February 24, 1990

 50 Harry Cohn

Harry Cohn
2
Famous As: Film producer
Birthdate: July 23, 1891
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Died: February 27, 1958