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This story is part of The 2010s: A Decade in Review, a series on the memes, people, products, movies and so much more that have influenced the 2010s.

The first decade of the 21st century introduced us to sweeping mobile and social revolutions largely driven by names like Jobs, Zuckerberg and Bezos. In the second decade that’s now closing, things got a little more… complicated. During those years, a new collection of faces have joined the earlier tech titans to continue moving us into the future. Here’s CNET’s list of the top technology innovators and all-around unavoidable personalities of the 2010s.

A person wears a Guy Fawkes mask which today is a trademark and symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous. 2012.

A person wears a Guy Fawkes mask, which today is a trademark and symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous. From 2012.

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More a decentralized collective than a personality, Sony and personal details of members of the Ku Klux Klan

In 2019, the group’s prominence has faded somewhat — last year it said it would — but concerns about hacking remain in the forefront, in part because one large collective of unknown activists put it there. 

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks during a livestreamed press conference on Thursday. CIA hacking tools described in documents released by WikiLeaks are actually a good sign, privacy experts say.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks during a livestreamed press conference in 2017. 

Screenshot by CNET

Julian Assange

The founder of online portal with violating the Espionage Act). WikiLeaks started the decade by publishing documents obtained by between 2010 and 2011, and after he sought refuge in Russia in 2013. To avoid extradition to Sweden on charges of rape — the charges , but the case — Assange in London, where he remained for seven years. 

Despite its founder being stuck in the same building for much of the decade, WikiLeaks still managed to play a role in the 2016 US presidential election by that were detrimental to Hillary Clinton and the next year releasing thousands of documents . The Assange saga is far from over, though. In 2019 he was by the Ecuadorian government and arrested by London police. He remains in British custody and could be extradited to the US.

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GM CEO Mary Barra says the self-driving technology can help relieve driver stress.


Mary Barra

The CEO became the first woman to lead a major carmaker when she took over in 2014 and has been consistently ranked among the world’s most powerful women over the past decade by Forbes and Fortune

Her tenure has been marked by GM’s push to keep up and even eclipse into the mainstream. The actually brought a sub-$40,000 EV to market ahead of , and GM has also to help ensure it stays relevant in the future. 

Under Barra, GM is also one of just two global businesses to completely do away with its gender pay gap, according to a study by Equileap.

Jeff Bezos on stage in 2018

Bezos speaking at an Amazon press event in 2018.

James Martin/CNET

Jeff Bezos

Even after losing a quarter of his  in April, Bezos remains the world’s richest person, worth more than $107 billion as of this month, according to Forbes. Throughout the decade, he spread his money around, buying the Washington Post in 2013 and growing his company phenomenally. Amazon is now a vast empire that’s not only become the world’s warehouse, but that also encompasses the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform, game streaming platform fleet of freight aircraft, music streamingbranded convenience stores, the , the Whole Foods Market grocery chain and a meant to give Elon Musk and SpaceX some competition. Its delivers goods in hours, and serves up a huge gallery of movies, TV programs and audiobooks

Amazon also makes plenty of products of its own, including its over its increasing expansion into homes. And the company continues to face criticism over working conditions and pay for its employees.

transport technology and is working on , which could launch satellites using a combination of rockets and a high-altitude launcher plane. In the coming months, may finally begin launching tourists (including Branson himself) into orbit using a similar approach from the New Mexico desert.