Occupation: CEO, Groupon; cofounder, Lightbank
The tech startup buzzword is “disruption”: creating innovative businesses from scratch and turning traditional ones on their heads. As head of the VC firm Lightbank, Lefkofsky knows all about it, boosting Chicago’s tech footprint and reaping billions along the way (much of which he will ultimately pour into philanthropy, since signing Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge this year). What’s more, he took over Groupon last February after ousting Andrew Mason, founder of the troubled daily-deal company. The market cheered, sending Groupon stock soaring 85 percent over the year ending January 31.