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May 23, 2013

4 Internet Giants Operated by Women

Besides Mark Zuckerburg, the people behind online businesses usually stay behind the virtual curtains. Nobody knows if the person is a man or a woman, experienced or a teenager, or where they're located. Of course, this can all be revealed with a little research, but most people don't take the time. The good news is that, at least when it comes to online companies, women are keeping pace with the men and even surpassing them in some instances.

Some of the most popular, most lucrative online businesses have women at the helm. It's a new era for tech-savvy women, and these leaders have blazed the path for up and coming entrepreneurs. For a little inspiration and motivation, check out what these female leaders have been up to.

1. Arianna Huffington: The Huffington Post (News - Alert)

Everyone knows the Huffington Post, and it's considered one of the most authoritative sites. The brains behind it is Arianna Huffington, a Greek-American who made her name as an uber-liberal Democrat and then segued into a conservative columnist in the mid-90s. She ran for the Governor of California in 2003 and by 2009, Forbes ranked her as one of the top 12 most influential women in the world. AOL (News - Alert) bought The Huffington Post in 2011 for $315 million, making her one of the most successful female Internet business owners in history.

2. Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook (News - Alert)

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook, not the founder, but she's still charged with running one of the most successful companies, well, ever. Sandberg is known for her work ethic and commitment to encouraging more women to pursue the CEO, COO and CFO route. She joined the Facebook Board of Directors in 2012 after serving as the COO for four years. She's also a popular public speaker and author, and credits her mother for her ambition.

3. Caterina Fake: Flickr

As co-founder of Ludicorp along with Stewart Butterfield, Fake is behind the largest, most successful photo-sharing site in history. It's a favorite for professional photographers and will likely outlast other trending sites like Instagram. Flickr was created in 2004 and purchased by Yahoo! in 2005. Free services are available, and there are over 51 million registered users around the world.

4. Robin Chase: Zipcar

Anyone living in a city is well aware of the reach of Zipcar. It was a revolutionary spin on car rental possibilities, and Robin Chase is behind it all. Zipsters can rent by the hour, so those in an urban area who just need a car to pick up their friend from the airport can do it for less than $20. Zipcar pays for the gas, and it's simple to search for a local Zipcar parked on the street.

These giants aren’t the only companies run by women; smaller business are also opening with women at the helm. For example, Jade Nguyen, founder of Ahh! Prods Furniture. Beanbags have come a long way in recent years, and they're on deck to be the furniture piece de resistance in coming years. Nguyen was well ahead of the game when it comes to comfort, value and ergonomics. There are a lot of e-furniture retailers, but when it comes to beanbags, AhhProds rises to the top.

Women have come up with some incredible sites that have changed the world for everyone. What's next? From furniture to social media, the possibilities are endless.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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