40 under 40

Our 2013 edition of the list features young hotshots who are rocking businesses as diverse as air travel, natural gas, and genetic coding, as well as—if you can believe it— government.

26. Jonah Peretti

40u40 jonah peretti buzzfeed
  • Age: 39
  • Title: Founder and CEO
  • Company: BuzzFeed

If online media had a Henry Ford, it would be Peretti, who for more than a decade has been studying—and ruthlessly optimizing for—the ways people get information on the Internet. His success at goosing the rankings of HuffPost stories in search results fueled the site's frantic growth; by the time he launched BuzzFeed in 2008, social networks were in bloom, hence the site's wellknown reliance on shareable listicles like "15 Tiny Hats on Cats." The formula is working: In August, BuzzFeed drew a record 85 million unique visitors—and a growing roster of heavyweight journalists help it break real news too.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 30 2013 03:41 PM ET
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