Most powerful people 4x3

Businesses spend a huge wad of cash every year on tech. They’ll dole out $3.5 trillion in 2017 alone, according to Gartner.

2017 has seen a dramatic increase in cloud spending and the rise of new technologies in the work place like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

It’s seen a crop of new public companies, and some startups that are leading the way in their areas. At the same time, powerhouses like Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft still dominate their respective markets.

And with that kind of money comes power and lots of it.

So here’s a shout-out for the 52 people shaping the multitrillion-dollar world of enterprise tech in 2017.

No. 52: Eric Yuan, cofounder & CEO, Zoom

Eric Yuan started off 2017 with a $1 billion valuation thanks to a $100 million funding round led by A-list VC Sequoia Capital.

Yuan, who formed Zoom after becoming frustrated in his role as VP of Engineering at Cisco’s WebEx, saw a hole in the market to reach smaller companies.

Today, Zoom has become a real contender in the business video communications market.

No. 51: Rob Mee, CEO, Pivotal

Rob Mee helms Pivotal, the big data startup spun out from EMC in 2012.

Mee cut his teeth in the artificial intelligence world and founded Pivotal Labs, which was acquired by EMC in October, 2013. And then his team, along with a few other cloud and big-data companies that EMC and its subsidiary VMware acquired, were bundled together and spun out to form a new company, taking the name Pivotal.

Pivotal was originally led by industry bigwig and former VMware CEO Paul Maritz. Maritz was talked into launching it instead of retiring. But Maritz didn’t push off retirement forever, and Mee, part of Pivotal’s founding team, got the corner office in 2015.

The company is making a name for itself building custom big-data and cloud apps for Fortune 500 companies and said it booked $100 million in revenues when Mee took the helm.

No. 50: Andrew Ng, founder,

Andrew Ng is one of the fathers of artificial intelligence as it is increasingly used by businesses.

Andrew Ng is widely known as creator of the Google Brain, Google’s massive AI system that companies can access for their own apps by using Google’s cloud. Ng did a shocking thing in 2014 and defected to Google’s major Chinese competitor, Baidu, where he worked on AI projects there.

He left Baidu in April and is now working on a much-watched, stealth startup called, which is undertaking the “AI transformation of our society,” as Ng described.

Ng is also known as a cofounder of free online education site Coursera and he wrote one of the popular AI trainings courses of all time, teaching the next generation of AI coders.

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