Last year we awarded our person of 2016 to Jeff Bezos, a pick we believe has held up well upon reflection. Alexa agrees.
For 2017, we’re moving from one of the longest-serving titans in tech to one of its youngest: Evan Spiegel. You may think this is an obvious choice given Snap’s highly anticipated IPO. That move will bring the secretive and self-confident 26-year old founder a level of scrutiny he may or may not be up for. (Our criteria for the selection is the person who will have a greater news profile and greater impact on the global tech industry. For runner-ups, see here and here and for subscriber views on the person of 2017, see here.)
But we’re choosing Mr. Spiegel not just because he’ll be at the helm of one of the most highly anticipated IPOs in recent years. We are choosing him because Snap is ushering in a new era in tech. It’s one that moves away from the high-octane race of incessant growth, and instead focuses on corralling a smaller number of high-value customers. Whether Wall Street responds positively is the $25 billion question.