Most Creative Alumni: Where Are They Now?

This year marks Fast Company’s fifth annual Most Creative People issue, making now a perfect time to take a look back at what some of our honorees through the years have been up to.


Above, assorted Most Creative Alumni organized by year. Below, more alumni and what they’re up to now.


What happened to those at No. 1

  • Since Scott Forstall’s exit, Jonathan Ive (2009) has added software design to his Apple hardware design duties.
  • Though Justin Bieber is now Twitter’s most popular, Lady Gaga (2010) has a new album and a role in the Robert Rodriguez flick Machete Kills.
  • Wadah Khanfar (2011) resigned as director of Al-Jazeera and founded a pro-reform think tank called the Sharq Forum.
  • Ma Jun (2012) continues as director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, lately working on pollution in Beijing.


  • As director of engineering, Singularity University founder Ray Kurzweil (2010, rank: 62) is designing superintelligent robots.
  • ReCaptcha founder Luis von Ahn (2010, rank: 56), whose company Google acquired in 2009, helped create language-learning site Duolingo.
  • Tara Walpert Levy (2011, rank: 81), previously president of ad firm Visible World, is now Google’s managing director of ads marketing.
Ron Johnson


  • Jon Rubinstein (2009, rank: 9) resigned from HP after the disastrous 2011 TouchPad.
  • Though officially booted as Apple SVP in late 2012, Scott Forstall (2011, rank: 2) remains for now an adviser to CEO Tim Cook.
  • Both Groupon founder Andrew Mason (2010, rank: 96) and JCPenney’s Ron Johnson (2012, rank: 4) were dismissed from their CEO positions earlier this year due to the poor financial performance of their respective companies.