×

Vanity Fair's titans of tech

Vanity Fair magazine
Source: Vanity Fair

Innovators and influencers. Disruptors and visionaries.

Vanity Fair's New Establishment list, now in its 21st year, reflects the tetonic shift in power among world leaders in technology, business, television, film, politics and media.

Many were in grade school when the New Establishment began publication. A few were in diapers. Today, these pioneers of change lead startups worth $1 billion or more, including Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and Snapchat.

Mark Zuckerberg, 31, tops this year's list, on the meteoric strength of his social media empire which reaches 15 billion users through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

Travis Kalanick, 39, ceo of Uber, is in second place, thanks to a 'sharing economy' business model that has completely upended the transportation industry.

Read MoreThe List: Cars on call

According to Vanity Fair, "Uber is currently valued at around $51 billion, making it the hottest unicorn— as billion-dollar start-ups have come to be known—in a Valley increasingly filled with them."

Brian Chesky, a former body builder turned ceo of Airbnb, ranks in eighth place. The company, arguably one of the world's largest hospitality companies, is now worth an estimated $25 billion, and saw its business travel grow more than 700 percent in a single year

In tenth place, Elizabeth Holmes, age 31, is the newest entrant on the list. "In a market overrun with pizza-delivery apps, Holmes has become something of a heroine for starting Theranos, which offers cheaper and less invasive blood testing," said Vanity Fair editor Betsy Lack. "Last year, she became the world's youngest self-made female billionaire when Theranos raised money at a nine billion valuation."

Evan Spiegel, age 25, climbed the ranks from 20 last year to 12 this year, as head of the instant messaging service, Snapchat. According to Vanity Fair, "Unlike a number of his contemporaries, Spiegel is interested in creating revenue sooner rather than later."

Millennials aside, venture capitalists Marc Andreessen, age 44, and Ben Horowitz, age 49, nabbed 16th place, thanks to "pretty impressive investments" in Pinterest, Instacart and Slack this year. Andreessen, an "indefatigable" Twitter devotee, and Horowitz, also took early stakes in Airbnb, buzzfeed, Facebook, Uber rival Lyft, skype and Twitter.

To some, according to Vanity Fair, Andreessen Horowitz's "only perplexing position" has to do with the larger state of the tech industry (than as) the Valley's top cheerleader against the existence of a much-feared bubble.

"Where's the kaboom?" notes Andreessen's Twitter profile. "Whether or not we are indeed in a bubble is likely to influence the investors' reputation just as much as their bottom line."

Vanity Fair's 2015 New Establishment list is currently online and on sale at newsstands this week.