Culture, Ecommerce

10 Leaders Behind Groundbreaking Online Retail Businesses in the World

The competition between the eCommerce companies, particularly among those into retail, is cut throat in all regions. Some scale up, some fail, and only a few really make it big. While the successful companies have become a household name, the people behind them are celebrities in the technology industry themselves. Here are the 10 leaders behind the biggest online retail companies in the world (Companies selected based on SimilarWeb ranking). Let’s have a look at their life till now.

1. Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO,

Jeff Bezos is Founder, Chairman and CEO of, who founded the company in 1994 and has been its CEO since 1996. He was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After graduation from Princeton University in 1986 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering, Bezos worked at several firms on Wall Street including Fitel, Bankers Trust, and the investment firm D.E. Shaw. Four years later, he quit his job to open, an online bookstore and later added a wide variety of products including cloths, electronics, toys, accessories and more through retail partnership. Amazon went public in 1997 and in 2013, the company established its footprints in India. Bezos also purchased The Washington Post newspaper in a $250 million deal in 2013.

Here is a video which shows how Jeff Bezos start Amazon, his background, the Internet & the Future of Ecommerce sector:

2. Jack Ma, Chairman, Alibaba

Jack Ma is the Founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group. After the company’s incorporation in 1999, Ma served as Group Chairman and CEO with the responsibility of group’s business overall strategy and operations. On May 10, 2013, he stepped down as CEO but remains Executive Chairman and continues to shape the overall strategy and management development. He was born on 16 September in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English from Hangzhou University. In 1995, Ma started an internet company named “China Yellow Pages”. From 1998 to 1999, he headed an IT company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. In 1999, he decided to quit in order to create Alibaba which went public in September 2014 and raised over $25 billion, the biggest IPO in US History. Alibaba Group is a holding company with nine major subsidiaries –, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,, and Alipay.

Here is a video which shows short glimpse into the story of Jack Ma and how he created Alibaba:

3. Pierre Omidyar, Founder, eBay

Pierre Omidyar was born in Paris on June 1967. He is the Founder of eBay, an online auction site which evolved into a marketplace as well, and and has been chairman of the company since 1996. Pierre graduated from Tufts University in 1988 with a degree in computer science and he worked for both Macintosh and Apple before founding eBay. In 1991, Omidyar co-founded a pen-based computing startup, Ink Development that later was rebranded as an eCommerce company and renamed as eShop and was purchased by Microsoft in 1996. In 1995, he founded eBay that became public in 1998 and then he co-founded the Omidyar Foundation.

The below video showing the eBay success story:

4. Qiangdong Liu, Founder,

Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, is the co-founder of or Jingdong Mall, a Chinese online shopping firm. Liu Qiangdong was born in 1974 in Suqian, Jiangsu, China. He graduated with bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1996 and later earned an EMBA from the China Europe International Business School. After graduation, Liu worked with Japan Life, a Japanese health product enterprise, and two years later, in June 1998, he started his own business Jingdong in Beijing as a distributor of magneto-optical products. By 2003, he had opened 12 stores in the chain and in 2004, he launched his first online retail website, and founded (short form for Jingdong) later that year. JD went in Nasdaq IPO in May 2014, and raised about $1.8 billion.

The following video explains’s strategic vision:

5. C. Douglas Mcmillon, CEO, Walmart

McMillon was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, US on October 17, 1965. He graduated in accounting from the University of Arkansas in 1989 and an MBA from the University of Tulsa in 1991. McMillon is the President and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc., since February 2014. From 2006 to 2009, he served as President and CEO of Sam’s Club, an operating segment of Walmart, and between February 2009 to January 2014, McMillon was the President and CEO of Walmart International.

Here is a video in which Walmart Chairman Rob Walton announced Doug McMillon’s new role:

6. Hiroshi Mikitani, Co-Founder & CEO, Rakuten

Hiroshi Mikitani is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rakuten. He was born in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan on March 1,965. Mikitani received his MBA from Harvard Business School in May 1993 and graduated in Bachelor of Commerce from Hitotsubashi University. Hiroshi worked at the Industrial Bank of Japan (now part of Mizuho Corporate Bank) from 1988 to 1996. In 1997, he left his job to start his own consulting group called Crimson Group. He founded Rakuten in February 1997 and has been the company’s president since then.

Here is a video in which Hiroshi Mikitani shared his views regarding his venture:

7. Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy

Chad Dickerson is the CEO of Etsy. From September 2008 to July 2011, he was CTO at Etsy. He holds a BA in English literature from Duke University. Before joining Etsy, Chad led the Brickhouse and Advanced Products teams at Yahoo. Prior to this role, he was senior director of the Yahoo Developer Network. Chad came to Yahoo from InfoWorld Media Group where he served as CTO for nearly five years. Prior to InfoWorld, Dickerson served as CTO of and in various engineering positions at CNN, CNN/Sports Illustrated, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer.

The following video showed the views of Chad Dickerson at Duke University:

8. Marcos Galperin, Co-Founder & CEO,

Marcos Galperin is the co‑founder and CEO of eCommerce technology company He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 31, 1971. Marcos received an MBA in 1999 from Stanford University and graduated with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. He founded MarcadoLibre in 1999 and has been its Chairman, President and CEO since October 1999. Galperin worked at YPF S.A., as a Futures and Options Associate and managed YPF’s currency and oil derivatives program from 1994 to 1997. From June 1998 to August 1998, he served in the fixed income department of J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. in New York.

In this video Marcos Galperin shared his thoughts at Startup Grind Buenos Aires:

9. Peter Agnefjall, CEO, Ikea

Peter Agnefjall is President & CEO at IKEA Group since September 2013. He was the VP at IKEA since September, 2012 and was also Country Manager. In 2008 and 2009, Peter was assistant to Ingvar Kamprad (Founder, Ikea), Anders Dahlvig (former CEO, Ikea) and Mikael Ohlsson (current President, Ikea). He studied business at the Linkoping University in central Sweden.

The below video showed how Ikea Group works:

10. Sachin Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO, Flipkart

Sachin Bansal is Co-Founder and CEO of online eCommerce marketplace Flipkart. He was born in Chandigarh on August, 1981. Sachin graduated in computer science engineering from IIT in 2005. After graduation, he joined a company called Techspan where he served for a few months. In 2006, he joined as a senior software engineer. Flipkart’s other Co-Founder Binny Bansal was also working at Amazon at that point. They left Amazon in 2007 and thereafter founded Flipkart as an eCommerce company.

Here is a video in which Sachin spoke about various aspects of starting up and how these lessons helped him in building Flipkart as it stands today.

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