Director of Engineering, Amazon Web Services, Amazon
While Zoom videoconferences were already standard in Silicon Valley, the pandemic catapulted the company into the limelight as people used it for board meetings, weddings, workout classes, political hearings, and more.
The brains behind it all is CEO and founder Eric Yuan, who started Zoom in 2011 after 13 years at WebEx, with a mission to create an easy-to-use videoconferencing tool. That simplicity is what made Zoom so popular at the beginning of the crisis, and helped it stay hot even as rivals like Microsoft and Google revamped their own video-chat tools.
“We entered a highly competitive market nine years ago. One thing to our advantage: users disliked the many existing options,” Yuan tells Business Insider. “If our customers stay happy, then we will succeed no matter the competition.”
It hasn’t been all success: Zoom found itself in difficulties over a host of security issues (though it has taken steps to address them). Ultimately, though, Zoom has proved that employees can still work effectively even without an office, which has executives rethinking what the future of work looks like.
“Our main goal is to continue to keep our platform up and running smoothly,” Yuan says, “so that we can enable these connections when we aren’t able to get together in person.”