You know the names Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates — the giants behind Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. But at those companies and others, there's a whole class of executives kicking rear without due recognition.
That's a shame, because these are names and people that shareholders, rivals, and other companies looking for talent should know.
For example, there's Microsoft's Steve Sinofsky, who saved Windows after the Vista debacle. At Apple, there's Scott Forstall, the guy behind the iPhone's industry-dominating software. And, at Facebook, there is perhaps the best example of this type of under-the-radar mega-talent: VP of product, Chris Cox.
Chris is a triple threat: An engineer who can build company-defining products, an operator who can recruit and manage good people, and a long-term strategic thinker. He joined Facebook as an engineer in 2005 and helped build the product that is now the site's backbone — the "News Feed."
Then, in 2008, after a period in which Facebook lost several key employees and lost out on hiring several high-profile new ones, Mark Zuckerberg asked Chris to shore up Facebook's human resources division.
Leading that group, Chris focused on defining Facebook's mission, company values, product values and how Facebook manages people. He turned Facebook from a place that, despite its red-hot hype, failed to land the top talent into one that regularly poaches from places like Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn.
Now, Chris is back on the product side of the company, overseeing the product managers team, the user-experience team, and the design team as VP of Product.
Chris's ability to innovate Facebook products and lead its people does not go unappreciated at the startup.
"I can't underscore how much he represents and embodies what this company stands for," says Facebook spokesboss Brandee Barker.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tells us, "Chris has a ton of energy for product, engineering, and people, and he motivates everyone here at Facebook to work better, think smarter, and pursue the ideas they are passionate about."