The next Establishment – Ole Scheeren

Project Description

The next Establishment

Oct 8, 2009 [View PDF]

Herbert Allen III
With the tides of public sentiment turning harshly against flashy and high-rolling bankers, Allen & Company can be lauded for its success at brokering major deals and bringing in huge profits while maintaining an extremely low profile. The firm, of which Allen III, 42, is president, held its annual Sun Valley summit in July, and with the companies of so many of the attending executives in crisis, the discussions took on a much more significant role as moguls continued to struggle to adapt to a new era.

Chris Anderson
Anderson, 52, has produced his annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference since 2003, hosting such speakers as Bono and Al Gore for an exclusive audience of 1,300. TED has become the leading venue for introducing and discussing world-changing ideas, and recently Anderson (not to be confused with the Wired editor) has democratized and expanded the TED brand, making videos of “TEDTalks” available free online (they have been viewed nearly 145 million times and are translated into 55 languages) and organizing shows in England, India, and throughout the U.S. He even moved the flagship TED show from Monterey to the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach in order to accommodate more attendees, who happily pay $6,000 each.

Irving Azoff
The longtime Eagles manager is poised to become the most powerful person in the music business if a proposed merger between his Ticketmaster service and concert promoter Live Nation goes through. The anointment would give Azoff enough redemption to merit his own VH1 Behind the Music episode: nearly 20 years after leaving the top echelons of the music business (where he was widely credited with turning around MCA Records), the feisty 61-year-old is back on top.

Christopher Bailey
Appointed creative director of Burberry in 2001, Bailey, 38, has resuscitated Britain’s tired fashion house, breathing new life into its iconic tartan pattern and weather-friendly trench coats and helping to dramatically increase the company’s revenues. The British-born designer, who worked as the senior women’s-wear designer at Gucci until 2001, had been inspired by the classic, timeless look of Burberry long before arriving at the company. While giving the luxury brand a funky face-lift, Bailey has still managed to keep the integrity of the 153-year-old company intact.

Stacey Bendet Eisner and Eric Eisner
The power couple are making names for themselves in two worlds: Bendet in fashion, Eisner in film. In the spring, Bendet’s fashion line Alice & Olivia released a spin-off collection called 9T, which features tees and tanks at more recession-friendly prices (proving the 32-year-old hasn’t forgotten what she learned at Wharton). She’s also looking to strengthen her company’s foothold on the popular leggings market. Meanwhile, Eisner, son of former Disney chief Michael Eisner, attracted buzz in March when he was chosen to option Craig Glazer’s memoir The King of Sting for the big screen. Through his company L&E productions, Eisner, 36, is developing a biopic on Grateful Dead lead singer Jerry Garcia and Havana Nocturne, a story of Cuban gangsters set in the 1950s.

Tory Burch
As celebrity-designed clothing lines have become the trend that insiders love to hate, Burch, 43, has successfully made the transition from socialite to legitimate fashion powerhouse. Despite the severely diminished retail market, she sold a minority stake in her eponymous line to the Mexican investment firm Tresalia Capital in July and plans to open 14 more stores by the end of 2010. And her experience on the benefit circuit is proving to have not been for nothing, as the recently formed Tory Burch Foundation has begun offering micro-loans to women starting small businesses.

David Chang
Chang’s small, über-popular family of Momofuku restaurants (Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar) are at the forefront of the movement toward gourmet casual dining. The accessible menus (highlights include ramen noodles, pork buns with pork belly, and cereal-infused soft serve) allow food lovers to enjoy inventive and innovative options while avoiding the pomp and circumstance of other highly rated New York hot spots. And while gourmands may wheedle or pull strings to land a coveted table elsewhere, Chang, 32, has created an egalitarian, albeit complicated (and frustrating), computerized reservation system at the insanely popular Ko for people dying for a taste. Even Chang’s parents must use the system to make their reservations.

Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig
The ladies behind Marchesa continue to grow their successful evening-gown fashion label. The British pair’s dresses are coveted by Hollywood stars and stylists—Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway both wore Marchesa to this year’s Oscars—and the recession has not prompted them to rethink their strategy of concentrating on the high-end-gown market. Chapman, who is married to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, expanded her horizons this fall with a collection she created as a guest designer at jeweler Garrard and with a guest appearance on fellow Nexter Josh Schwartz’s TV show Gossip Girl.

Alexa Chung
Having already won the heart of Britain, the 25-year-old model and television personality is now taking America by storm as the cheeky host of MTV’s newest talk show, It’s On with Alexa Chung. A recurring name on the pages of international fashion magazines for her sassy sense of style and a contributing editor at British Vogue, Chung has just been named the new face of D.K.N.Y. Jeans, a post that will thrust her even further into the American spotlight.

Francisco Costa
The Brazilian-born designer Costa is making his mark on one of America’s most iconic fashion houses. When Calvin Klein sold his company to Phillips–Van Heusen in 2003, Costa took over as creative director. In the six years since, the 45-year-old has concentrated on keeping the label fresh yet timeless and in doing so received C.F.D.A.’s award for best women’s-wear collection twice, in June 2006 and June 2008. This past July, on behalf of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt 10th Annual National Design Awards, Costa was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama for his achievements in fashion design.

David de Rothschild
Son of legendary financier Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, and member of Europe’s most legendary banking dynasty, David de Rothschild will one day inherit a share of his father’s $685 million fortune. For now, however, the 31-year-old environmentalist and author of The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook is dedicated to environmental causes. The crusading “eco-warrior” is the founder of Adventure Ecology, an online resource that allows its members to follow the scion’s awareness-raising travels. Next adventure: sailing across the Pacific Ocean in a catamaran made of plastic bottles and other recycled materials.

Harrison Dillon
Dillon, 38, and his South San Francisco–based company, Solazyme, entered into a deal last year with Chevron in which the oil giant will help Solazyme increase its production of algae fuels, lower their price, and bring them to market. Dillon has said the company could be producing algae-derived biodiesel at a cost of just $2 to $3 per gallon as soon as 2011. It’s even created a viable jet fuel from the green goo.

Jesse Dylan
The eldest son of rock legend Bob, Jesse, well known in his own right for directing music videos, commercials, and movies (American Wedding, Kicking and Screaming), is now channeling his creative energies into publicizing ideas and products designed to change the world. The 43-year-old recently started FreeForm, a multi-media production company whose clients include Red, Bono’s nonprofit organization aimed at fighting AIDS in Africa, and he won an Emmy Award for his work on the popular “Yes We Can Song” video that he directed for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Lapo Elkann
Once known as the ultimate international playboy, the Fiat heir has more recently been exhibiting an extremely industrious side: Since forming his fashion label, Italia Independent, in 2007, Elkann, 32, has expanded its offerings to include sunglasses, hats, household accessories, handmade shoes, and made-to-measure suits. At the same time, he continues to run his advertising agency, Independent Ideas.

Jon Favreau
Barack Obama hired Favreau (no relation to the actor and Iron Man director of the same name) to be his speechwriter back in 2004, when Obama was a senator-elect and Favreau was barely a year out of college. He became a key player in Obama’s campaign and remains one today in his White House as chief speechwriter. The president calls the 28-year-old his “mind reader.” Still, when you’re that young you’re bound to slip up: last December a picture of him at a party groping the chest of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton surfaced on Facebook and caused a public outcry. Since then, “Favs” has kept his head down and avoided media attention.

Tina Fey
For Fey, the past 12 months were nothing if not a testimony to her incredible versatility. 30 Rock, which she writes, produces, and stars in, continues to be a darling of the critics and is slowly gaining cultural resonance: its third season received its highest ratings ever. Fey, 39, unexpectedly found herself at the center of the presidential election with her pitch-perfect portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. Her first Palin skit immediately became the most watched video in’s history. If that wasn’t enough, a bidding war for a forthcoming book landed her a $5 million deal.

Saul Griffith
It’s hard to think of anyone more deserving of the label “inventor” or of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” (which he received in 2007) than Griffith. The 35-year-old Aussie has invented, among other things, a desktop printer that can make lenses for low-cost prescription eyeglasses and a handheld, human-powered electricity generator. One of the six
companies he has helped to found is Makani Power, which plans to use huge, kite-like turbines to capture wind energy at high altitudes, where the wind is much stronger—Google has invested $15 million. In his spare time, Griffith writes educational children’s comic books and a column for Make magazine.

Chris Hughes
After becoming a millionaire in his early 20s as a co-founder of Facebook, Hughes left the social-networking site in 2007 to direct Barack Obama’s online organizing effort. The campaign amassed an e-mail list of 13.5 million supporters, had the most popular page on Facebook, and raised $500 million in online donations—in short, the Web was central to Obama’s victory. However, Hughes jumped ship before the netroots became disillusioned with Obama; in March he joined General Catalyst Partners, a Cambridge, Massachusetts–based venture-capital firm that invests in software, new-media, and clean-energy companies. Still only 25, Hughes also serves as a strategic adviser for GMMB, the political consulting and advertising firm that the Obama campaign used.

Van Jones
The man most responsible for inserting the term “green-collar jobs” into the national conversation, Jones has been a tireless advocate for the notion that putting Americans to work making solar panels and weatherizing buildings can revitalize struggling communities while reducing emissions. Jones, 41, started out as a civil-rights activist in the Bay Area, and he awakened to the possibility of “greening the ghetto,” as he has called it, after meeting Julia Butterfly Hill, who saved a giant redwood from being cut down by living in its branches for two years. His stint as an adviser to the Obama administration ended abruptly after Glenn Beck and others made a fuss about his former radical-leftist associations and forced him to resign, in September.

Salar Kamangar
Vice president of product management for Web applications at Google, Kamangar is a veteran at the Web site, having been with the company since its start, in 1998. As one of the enterprising young stars behind the multi-billion-dollar operation, the 32-year-old is credited as the mastermind behind AdWords, the function that, by capitalizing on Google’s ad space, is one of the greatest sources of revenue for the company. Trusted by colleagues and executives as a constant source of ideas, Kamangar is now charged with reviving revenues at YouTube.

Jay Keasling
Not only did Keasling, 45, a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, discover a new way to produce the powerful anti-malaria drug artemisinin at a tiny fraction of its former cost, but he also got the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis to agree to produce it in bulk and sell it with no markup, potentially saving a million lives a year. Keasling’s breakthrough was to modify the genes of a yeast cell and then program it to convert sugar into artemisinin. Now he hopes to achieve a similar miracle with cellulose, turning the compound, which is found in all plants, into biofuel. The U.S. Department of Energy has given him $134 million to do it.

Marci Klein
The daughter of designer Calvin Klein has succeeded in becoming a power New Yorker all on her own, albeit in a wholly different sphere. As a longtime producer of Saturday Night Live, the 43-year-old can take credit for discovering some of comedy’s biggest stars today, including Will Ferrell and Tracy Morgan, and landing some of the show’s most notable guests, including Sarah Palin. She has won three Emmys for producing 30 Rock, and close friend Alec Baldwin (star of 30 Rock and perennial S.N.L. host) has called her “the greatest producer in the history of broadcast television.”

Sallie Krawcheck
Krawcheck, 44, attracted a boatload of attention last September when she abruptly exited Citigroup, where, as C.F.O. since 2004, she had been running the wealth-management division. Many attributed her departure to friction between her and C.E.O. Vikram Pandit over how much clients should be compensated for losses due to toxic investments in Citigroup hedge funds. After the August management shake-up at Bank of America, she was instituted as the company’s president of global wealth management. She faces a long road ahead of her as the biggest U.S. bank continues to struggle through its merger with Merrill Lynch, but this second coming shouldn’t be overlooked.

David Lauren
The son of Ralph Lauren, David, 37, has been quietly running much of the company’s operations in recent years as senior vice president of advertising, marketing, and corporate communications. In his efforts to modernize the classic brand, last year Lauren made Polo the first American company to launch mobile shopping. Successful abroad, the technology utilizes advertisements and window displays featuring special barcodes that shoppers, using camera-phone software, can scan in order to locate the items on the company’s Web site. The savvy decision proved that this heir is more than able to stand on his own two feet.

Sojin Lee
The 27-year-old proved her fashion-industry mettle while toiling as head of retail and buying at the revolutionary luxury online-shopping destination Net-a-Porter. The London resident, who spent time at Bottega Veneta before her six-year run at the profitable and popular Web site (which is part chic designer boutique and part fashion magazine), is now getting into the entertainment industry with Fashionair, a recently launched Web site that she has created with the backing of British music mogul and New Establishment member Simon Fuller. Unlike straightforward shopping sites, Fashionair takes advantage of consumers’ fascination with all things fashion and provides a one-stop spot (with contributions from notable industry insiders) to read news, get style tips, watch videos, check out original photography, and, of course, purchase clothes from a wide variety of luxury brands. It’s no wonder Lee is being called “fashion’s new visionary.”

Seth MacFarlane
After signing a $100 million contract with Fox last year, MacFarlane has continued to expand his adult-cartoon empire. On September 27, Fox premiered The Cleveland Show, a spin-off of MacFarlane’s resurrected hit Family Guy. On the Web, his uncensored animated shorts (dubbed Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy) are watched by millions, distributed by Google, and sponsored by such blue-chip companies as Burger King and Priceline. As if MacFarlane needed something else to celebrate, in July Family Guy was nominated for an Emmy in the best-comedy category, an honor no animated program (yes, that includes The Simpsons) has received since The Flintstones, in 1961.

Tomas Maier
As creative director of Bottega Veneta since 2001, Tomas Maier, 52, has worked to capitalize on the understated elegance that has always been tantamount to the Italian brand. During his eight-year tenure, he has transformed the company from a luxury leather-goods maker synonymous with its Intrecciato woven handbags, to a full-fledged fashion house specializing not only in bags but also in women’s wear, men’s wear, furniture, and home accessories.

Joshua Micah Marshall
The news and analysis Web site Talking Points Memo began as a one-man operation in 2000 and has grown tremendously over the past nine years, gaining readers with its political scoops and coverage of the 2008 election. In July, founder Marshall, 40, secured somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million in financing. The investors (among them Marc Andreessen) will allow T.P.M. to increase its staff to 20 (up from 11) and to then add 40 more employees over the
next three years. With media outlets continuing to lay off nearly every day, the competition to join Marshall’s battalion should be fierce.

Stella McCartney
Daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul and the late animal-rights activist and photographer Linda, McCartney, 38, has demonstrated that, in the case of talent and passion, the apple does not fall far from the tree. After succeeding Karl Lagerfeld as creative director of the French fashion house Chloé in 1997, McCartney, a staunch supporter of PETA, partnered with the Gucci Group to launch her own, animal-friendly clothing line in 2001. In 2007 she started Care, a line of organic skin-care products, and she is imminently launching a one-off clothing line for babyGap and GapKids, which will be available internationally this fall.

Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith
The female comedy screenwriting team—a rarity in Hollywood, even more so with the rise of Judd Apatow and his tight-knit group—is behind such hits as Legally Blonde and The House Bunny. Their debut screenplay, the acclaimed 1999 teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, is now a buzzed-about TV series on ABC Family. And they seem to be having the time of their lives, happily telling reporters of the hours spent writing pool-side, bottles of champagne not far from hand. On the movie front, their latest, The Ugly Truth, with Katherine Heigl, grossed more than $100 million worldwide (and cost $38 million to make), and Smith is an executive producer of Whip It, the Drew Barrymore–directed Ellen Page movie. McCullah Lutz’s Long Time Gone, starring Christina Ricci and Anjelica Huston, is due later this year.

Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy
From their gorgeous gowns and impeccable craftsmanship, you’d never guess that the sisters behind the acclaimed fashion label Rodarte are self-taught in their trade. Since Rodarte debuted at New York Fashion Week in the winter of 2005, Kate, 30, and Laura, 29, have awed fashion aficionados and earned many accolades for their innate talents and dreamlike creations. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute acquired its first Rodarte gown in December 2007, ranking the sisters with such fashion visionaries as Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. And, after earning C.F.D.A.’s Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award in 2008, this year the endearingly quirky duo were honored as C.F.D.A.’s women’s-wear designers of the year, the most revered of all sartorial laurels.

Elisabeth, James, and Lachlan Murdoch
When Rupert Murdoch is your father, the bar to impress him is set awfully high, but these three (he’s got six children in all) seem to be handing the pressure well. Elisabeth, 41, is the founder of Shine, a British TV production company, and is said to be a candidate for the C.E.O. spot at ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster. James, 37, serves as chairman of BSkyB and News Corp.’s businesses in Europe and Asia. After Peter Chernin stepped down as his father’s right-hand man, many speculated James would take his spot. Alas, DirecTV C.E.O. Chase Carey got the job. But James is still believed to be heir apparent, despite finding himself embroiled in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal earlier this year. Lachlan, 38, meanwhile, continues to make deals through his investment house, Illyria.

Wendi Murdoch
Thirty-seven years younger than husband Rupert Murdoch, the Chinese-born Wendi holds an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management and was well on her way to a successful business career long before her marriage to the chairman and C.E.O. of News Corp. Once a vice president at Star, News Corp.’s Asian satellite-television operation, Wendi is now using her Eastern connections and knowledge of Asian markets to foster the growth of one of her husband’s most recent ventures, MySpace China, of which she has been appointed chief strategist. A mother of two, Wendi, 41, has also taken an active interest in garnering support for public education in America and sits on the boards of the Knowledge Learning Corporation and New York City’s Fund for Public Schools.

Matt Murphy
Overseeing venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins’s iFund, a $100 million initiative devoted to investing in start-ups producing iPhone applications, Murphy is banking on the idea that the iPhone is at the epicenter of the tide moving toward fully mobile computing. He’s definitely on to something. Murphy, who has a background in tech-product development, scours iPhone’s App Store looking for programs he thinks could be the next big thing. His success stories? Top application providers like the group-texting provider GOGII, video-game-maker Ngmoco (which Nexter Neil Young runs), and remote home-monitoring network iControl.

Elon Musk Musk
38, has his fingers in a lot of very promising pies. In June his electric-car company, Tesla, received a (somewhat controversial) $465 million loan from the Department of Energy to develop a $50,000 sedan that seats seven people;Tesla is also working with Daimler on a battery-powered version of the Smart car. That same month, SolarCity, the solar-power provider of which Musk is the chairman, got a new round of funding, which will allow it to expand. And in July the space-transport business Musk founded, SpaceX, delivered its first satellite into orbit (on behalf of a Malaysian company).

Jay Penske
Is he a dilettante or a jack-of-all-trades? Penske, son of automotive magnate Roger Penske, has founded businesses as diverse as an antiquarian bookstore (Dragon Books, in Bel Air), an IndyCar racing team, and a cell phone for kids. His primary concern, however, is Media Corporation, which Penske, 30, founded in 2004 as an e-mail portal but has expanded to include a number of auto- and entertainment-related Web sites. This summer he raised eyebrows by paying a reported $10 to $15 million for Nikki Finke’s insider-y movie-business site, Deadline Hollywood Daily, and by hiring celebrity-magazine editor Bonnie Fuller for Hollywood Life, another entertainment property.

Zac Posen
The 28-year-old wunderkind of the fashion world, who gained instant fame upon showing his first collection, at age 21, was forced to prove his mettle after the financial crisis prompted a huge retail slowdown. In February he decided to cancel his lavish post-fashion-show dinner, but by September he figured out how to be fiscally conservative on his own terms. His spring presentation was moved to a significantly smaller venue, but he was able to maintain exclusivity and glamour and prove that his designs could trump the spectacle. Meanwhile, Posen continues to grow his eponymous brand and has devotees waiting with bated breath for an upcoming perfume and watch line.

Ole Scheeren
The 38-year-old German-born architect is a partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the international architecture firm founded by acclaimed Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas. After collaborating with Koolhaas on the design for Prada’s multi-million-dollar stores in Los Angeles and New York, Scheeren proved he was ready to pull his weight. Now, as head of O.M.A.’s Beijing office, Scheeren is in charge of the firm’s most challenging project: the design and construction of the new headquarters for China’s largest state-controlled news broadcaster, China Central Television, and the adjacent Television Cultural Center.

Josh Schwartz
While the creator of The O.C. and Gossip Girl experienced some bumps in the road this year—his NBC comedy Chuck was saved from cancellation only after a sponsorship deal with Subway, and his Gossip Girl spin-off fizzled—things are looking up: the 33-year-old’s Web series, Rockville, was very highly praised and well received, and everyone is waiting to see if his insights into youth culture will translate to the big screen with his much anticipated (and possibly contemporized) remake of Jay McInerney’s 1984 novel, Bright Lights, Big City.

Jigar Shah
In 2003, Shah founded SunEdison, which quickly became the country’s leading solar-energy company, providing power to major entities such as Wal-Mart and California State University. The sheer success of his venture has made many consider him to be the father of modern solar power, and while SunEdison continues to grow, Shah, 35, resigned as chairman last year to work as a consultant. As C.E.O. of the Carbon War Room, he is able to travel and advise on energy matters around the globe.

Andrew Ross Sorkin
Sorkin, a business-reporting juggernaut at The New York Times, continues to build his one-man empire. Beyond his flagship mergers-and-acquisitions coverage, he also edits DealBook, his popular blog and e-mail newsletter. The youthful editor, who, at 32, is rumored to be the Times’s highest-paid reporter, saw his stake rise considerably this year as America (and New Yorkers, in particular) breathlessly followed his minute-by-minute coverage of the bailout and failures of Lehman Brothers, A.I.G., and Detroit’s Big Three. And with his insider knowledge and behind-the-scenes access, it’s no surprise that his upcoming fly-on-the-wall book covering the financial crisis, Too Big to Fail, due in bookstores this month, is hugely anticipated.

Scott Sternberg
Unsatisfied working as a marketing agent at Creative Artists Agency, the creator of fashion label Band of Outsiders sought to create preppy classics by pairing traditional fabrics with modern cuts. The supremely popular line was originally limited to men’s shirts and ties before expanding to a women’s-wear venture called Boy by Band of Outsiders. The pieces, created by hand in New York and Los Angeles, have attracted a cult following that led Sternberg, 34, to receive the 2009 C.F.D.A. award for men’s wear. With Sternberg striking a production and licensing deal with Italian garment manufacturer Pier Spa last February, expect an expansion of women’s offerings.

Ivanka Trump
The former fashion model has emerged as a powerful force, both within her father’s company and beyond. Serving as the Trump Organization’s executive vice president of development and acquisitions, the 28-year-old is responsible for the continued expansion of her father’s hotels business. Additionally, she runs Ivanka Trump Collection, an extravagant line of diamond jewelry. Always the Donald’s daughter, she also finds time to appear as a judge on his reality-television program, Celebrity Apprentice. This month, in the ultimate merger and acquisition, she will marry real-estate scion and New York Observer owner Jared Kushner.

Alexander Wang
Honored with the 2009 C.F.D.A. Swarovski Award for Womenswear, Wang has proved that nothing can hinder true genius. After an internship at Teen Vogue and with just two years of study at Parsons School of Design under his belt, the whiz kid decided to leave school and get an early jump on his career. Since launching his eponymous clothing label in 2005, he continues to be regarded by fashion’s powers-that-be as an unmatched prodigy of the sartorial arts. This year, on the heels of collaborations with Keds and Uniqlo, the young designer established his own line of footwear as well as a new line of cotton essentials, called T by Alexander Wang. Now 25 years old, fashion’s most successful dropout since Anna Wintour has come a long way from pushing around clothing racks at Vogue’s youthful counterpart.

Casey Wasserman Wasserman
started his career in sports management in 1998, at age 24, by purchasing the arena-football team the Los Angeles Avengers. It now appears that the entire league might go under, and in April, Wasserman pulled the plug on his franchise, but these days arena football is small beer to him. In January, Wasserman Media Group, his thriving sports agency, signed a deal to market the San Diego Chargers to potential fans in Orange County and L.A., fueling speculation that the move is related to Wasserman’s long-held goal of bringing the N.F.L. back to L.A., which has been without a team since 1993. Wasserman is also the president of his family’s charitable foundation.

Adam Werbach
In 1996, at age 23, Werbach became the youngest-ever president of the Sierra Club, but by 2004 he had become disillusioned by what he saw as traditional environmentalism’s paltry results, and he said so in a speech to some of the movement’s leaders. That caught the attention of Wal-Mart, which spent a year courting Werbach and eventually hired him as a sustainability consultant. Many former colleagues and friends have denounced Werbach as a traitor, but he feels he can accomplish more working with big companies than against them. To that end, his San Francisco–based consultancy, which was acquired by ad giant Saatchi & Saatchi last year, has also taken on Frito-Lay and Procter & Gamble as clients.

Neil Young
Many thought the video-game developer was crazy when he left his longtime position running Electronic Arts’ Los Angeles studio, in June 2008, to start Ngmoco, a company devoted solely to producing video games for the iPhone. While iPhone and iPod Touch “apps” may have been a relatively unknown entity a year ago, they are now a bona fide cash cow, as users in droves are downloading games that are constantly being updated and available at a lower cost than traditional video games. The sheer number of iPhone and iPod Touch users (more than 50 million and steadily rising) and the growing percentage of those who are downloading applications (95 percent) suggest that Young made an incredibly shrewd move.

David Zaslav
The president and C.E.O. of Discovery Communications since 2007, Zaslav, 49, is credited for partnering with America’s favorite talk-show host, Oprah, to replace Discovery Health with her television network OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and proved himself a genius of rebranding. Most recently, the savvy TV exec forged a deal with Hasbro in which the toy-maker will pay Discovery $300 million to relaunch the Discovery Kids channel under a new name.

Anthony Zuiker
As the mastermind creator of C.S.I., Zuiker turned Americans’ appetite for gore into a $6 billion franchise. This fall he will attempt to revolutionize new media with Penguin’s release of Level 26, which Zuiker hopes will be the most visible example of a true diginovel. The graphic crime book will feature a world of tie-ins crossing mediums. The Web site will include video “cyberbridges” allowing readers to have the story fleshed out for them as they progress through it, as well as a vibrant online community. Showing he truly knows where the money is, Zuiker, 41, is also perfecting a Level 26 iPhone app, and he has mapped out a sophisticated plan for extensive product integration.