Heather Harde (Internet RockStar)
Ever since Heather Harde transitioned from Fox Interactive Media to CEO of TechCrunch in 2007, industry pundits have kept a close eye on her.
The wildly successful and profitable tech blogs of TechCrunch, started by Michael Arrington, track the minutiae of the tech business, covering everything from products to startups. (In a coup in 2006, TechCrunch broke news of Google's acquisition of YouTube.)
Harde was recruited by Arrington to grow TechCrunch from a blog to a media company, making her a major influencer among venture capitalists and technology companies. She’s used to dealing with big transactions; at Fox, she oversaw a $2 billion budget for mergers and acquisitions.
In 2007, Harde and her blog empire hosted the Crunchies, recognizing key leaders in technology and innovation. She also recently helped organize TC Disrupt, a competition and conference to hook up New York startups with investors—an event for which they struggled to get a woman-led team to attend.
For Harde, the move from a media company to TechCrunch was a perfect hybrid of her longtime interest in technology's impact on media. "I really do think blogs are going to be the future medial channel," Harde said in 2008, "because of the type of news that blogs are breaking."
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By Joyce C. Tang
The Daily Beast