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.

32. Niraj Shah

40u40 niraj shah wayfair
  • Age: 39
  • Title: Co-Founder and CEO
  • Company: Wayfair

You may not have heard of Wayfair, but neither have a lot of the people who've turned the online purveyor of home goods (faux florals, ceiling fans, fire pits) into a nearly $1-billion-in-sales business. CEO Shah and his Cornell classmate Steve Conine started out with racksandstands.com in 2002 and quickly expanded, buying dozens of niche domain names and launching many from scratch—simplydogbeds.com, justshagrugs.com, dinnerplates.com—and in 2011 changing the company name from CSN Stores to Wayfair (700 employees went on a Boston bar crawl in Wayfair T-shirts to help market the new name). Today under three main sites—Wayfair, flash-sales site Joss & Main, and the higher-end AllModern.com—it's the biggest online-only homegoods seller, and this summer it acquired New York retailer DwellStudio. The Boston business community is keeping close watch for an imminent IPO. We bet Jeff Bezos is too.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 30 2013 03:41 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.