The technology industry has taken global economies by storm, giving many startups and companies in the field significant worldwide exposure. In fact, many of these companies are currently run by some of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the world today. However, in places like Silicon Valley, where technology is at the forefront of economic growth, companies are typically dominated by white and Asian men. Although this statistic is highly prevalent, African Americans are certainly taking strides in the industry as well, having an increasingly significant presence in the space. Below, we have compiled a list of the top African Americans in technology today, and how each is having an influential impact in the industry.
As CEO, Shellye Archambeau oversaw the the merger of Zaplet with MetricStream in 2004, through which she garnered recognition as a powerful businesswoman. Currently, she holds her position as CEO for the newly formed company and is also on the board of directors for Verizon Communications and Nordstrom Inc. In 2015, she was recognized as one of the most influential business leaders in America, among receiving other numerous awards for her work as a business executive.
Lisa Lambert, VP (Intel Capital, California)
Lisa Lambert has come a long way since her childhood, growing up in a small farming community in Ohio. Upon graduating in Management Information Systems as a student, she soon made way as an executive in the technology industry and currently holds the VP and Managing Director positions for Intel Capital. Additionally, she runs Upward, a non-profit organization that helps senior women develop their professional networks.
Darryl Hughes, Video Game Developer (Hughes Who Productions Inc., Illinois)
Having worked for several animation firms, Darryl Hughes is one of the very few African American developers to have launched his own production firm, along with his wife, Edye. Hughes and his wife have paved a path for future African Americans to enter the space, as gaming is a particularly niche industry. Producing great video games and casino sites like those listed on www.newcasinosonline.org, Hughes is sure to continue having a significant impact on the technology industry, via the gaming niche, for nears to come.
Michael Seibel, Serial Entrepreneur (SocialCam, California)
Michael Seibel is best known for two successful startups including, video app SocialCam and video streaming service, Justin.tv. Most recently, in 2012, SocialCam got acquired by Autodesk for $60 million, making him one of the most financially successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Currently, Michael is a part-time partner at Silicon Valley’s accelerator, Y Combinator. Seibel’s overall recognition has encouraged other entrepreneurs to embark on their own ventures and enter the competitive Silicon Valley world.
Ime Archibong, Manager of Strategic Partnerships (Facebook, California)
Ime joined the Facebook team in 2010 and soon became the mastermind behind the company’s video and music strategy. He currently manages relationships with companies such as, Hulu, Spotify and Netflix for Facebook, as well as developing many more partnerships for the company, at large. Archibong’s personable approach and insight have allowed him to flourish with the Facebook team, where he continues to be a significant contributor to the company’s continued growth and success.
Kirk McDonald, President (PubMatic, California)
With over 20 years of experience in the fields of media and technology, Kirk McDonald brings an accomplished resume to the company he leads today, PubMatic. Having joined this digital media platform in 2011, PubMatic quickly grew in the technology industry due to his leadership skills and know-how. A seasoned veteran in the space, McDonald serves as amentor and inspiration for other budding entrepreneurs.
John Thompson, CEO (Virtual Instruments, California)
For almost three decades, John Thompson was the General Manager for IBM in the US. Soon after, in 1999, he became the president and chief executive officer of Symantec, but retired in 2009 to embark on ventures in the startup world. Thompson soon became the CEO of computing startup, Virtual Instruments, which was continually financed and developed due to his presence as leader for the company.
Kimberly Bryant, Founder (blackgirlscode, California)
With a love for engineering and technology at hand, Kimberly founded “blackgirlscode, a company that helps African American youth groups learn code and immerse themselves in the world of technology. Her mission is to improve the presence of African American women in the field by offering programs that are accessible and supportive to young women looking to be more involved.
The top 8 professionals have made huge strides for African Americans looking to enter the field of technology. With leaders like these making a presence in an industry that is constantly evolving, we’re certain to see an increase in African American men and women launching and leading innovative companies in the coming years. As such, we look forward to what the future of technology has to offer in the near future.