By Phil Goldstein
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Almost everyone in the wireless industry knows who the top executives are in the market: Tim Cook, Tom Wheeler, Randall Stephenson and John Legere are generally household names--at least in households built by working in the wireless industry.
(If you're not familiar with any of these executives, check out our "most powerful people" list.)
But it's much harder to know where innovation is coming from next. Who in the wireless industry is shaking things up? Who is building the new and exciting innovations that will change the world? Who are the industry's rising stars?
Every year, FierceWireless takes a look at these emerging executives in the wireless industry--the people we think are the ones to watch.
This year's list of rising stars includes Craig Barratt, senior vice president for access and energy at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), who is leading the search giant's charge to expand Internet access on both wired and wireless networks. Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology at Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), was a longtime Adobe executive who is now in the thick of bringing the Apple Watch, the company's first wearable, to market. And David Zufall, vice president of wireless at Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), has responsibility for turning Dish's ever-growing trove of spectrum into an actual business, an increasingly urgent task in light of the company's $13.3 billion haul of airwaves in the recent AWS-3 auction.
All of the executives on this year's list are taking leadership positions at their respective companies. They are in charge of large budgets and major technology transformations. Some, like AT&T's (NYSE: T) Tom Keathley, are veterans taking over from longtime executives. Others, like Verizon Wireless' (NYSE: VZ) Parissa Pandkhou, are taking over relatively new business areas. All of them are blazing career paths that are likely to propel them into the industry's roster of household names.
Do you think we left anyone out? Let us know in the comments! Also, check out our rising stars from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.
Also, stayed tuned because in the coming weeks FierceTelecom will publish a similar list for executives to watch in the wireline industry, and FierceCable will publish a list of the rising stars in the cable industry. --Phil