↑ 07. Gabe Newell, Boss of Valve Software

July 3, 2012 Update: Valve releases an open source filmmaker so that fans can make their own videos.

Feb 20, 2012 Update: Grew beard; would maybe make gaming hardware. Steam hack in 2011 may have compromised credit card info. No move up or down.

Why He's Powerful

Five years ago, who would have guessed that Valve Software's most important franchise wouldn't be a video game?

Managing director Gabe Newell continues to experiment with pricing and sales schemes on the company's PC/Mac game download service Steam, as well as fearlessly tinkering with pricing formula in the company's home grown titles like Team Fortress and Portal. Under Newell's leadership, Valve has remained both artistically innovative and fiscally unorthodox.

And if that weren't enough, Newell is also sitting on the announcement of Half-Life 3, the conclusion to one of the most beloved PC game franchises in the world.