The Financial Times has released its list of the most influential European tech leaders, and — surprise? — music made a strong showing throughout.
At the top of the list you’ll find Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek, who they call a “a rock star in the tech world,” a claim for which there’s little dispute. Just after Ek, at No. 4, is Arkady Zolozh, a name that’s probably not immediately recognizable to American readers. Volozh is the founder of Yandex, known as ‘Russian Google.’ That company just recently launched an Internet radio service, a small step towards legitimization in a piracy-rampant country.
Just after Volozh is Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, founders of SoundCloud, the not-quite-this, not-quite-that sound hosting service that continues to find its footing — while tracking millions of listens.
Shazam’s Chris Barton, Avery Wang, Philip Inghelbrecht, Dhiraj Muckerjee and Andrew Fisher come in at No. 18. That app certainly needs no introduction; even competitors like SoundHound reference “the blue button” in press releases.
Two more music-related companies appear in the Top 50: Jawbone (maker of the popular Bluetooth speaker) and Rockstar Games, producer of Grand Theft Auto, a franchise with a longstanding relationship to the music world through intimate artist partnerships.
“To be eligible, entrepreneurs must be European nationals or have made Europe their home in running a tech business. They must also be the chief executive or part of the founding team of a technology company, remaining actively involved in the organisation or in related entrepreneurial endeavours,” writes the Financial Times.
A six-person panel of judges made up of Financial Times employees and tech execs like LinkedIn founder Redi Hoffman and Maelle Gavet, evp of global operations for Priceline.