For two decades, Kara Swisher, the tenacious reporter and columnist who co-founded the influential tech news site Recode, has chronicled the rise of Silicon Valley with an unmatched combination of cynicism and sourcing. Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was rumored to be so afraid of her that she hunted down suspected leakers. Mark Zuckerberg sweated so profusely under Swisher's questioning at one tech conference that he had to remove the hoodie. "A lot of these people I cover are babies," Swisher says. "I always call them papier-mâché – they just wilt."
Swisher, 54, wants
use her pull in the public sphere: She plans to run for mayor of San Francisco
in 2023. Her proposal is to get the techies to contribute more to their city –
a place with as much wealth as entrenched homelessness. "I think I'm good
at getting them to do things in their interest," she says of the industry's
elite. "They have these big ideas about changing the world, but then all
the money seems to settle with them." Still, she's not planning to put on
a fake smile for anyone. "If I do this, I'm going to do it my way,"
she says. "I'm just too fucking old. If people don't like it, fine. I have
really nice kids. My cat likes me."
Watch below: From 'Girls Trip' newcomer Tiffany Haddish to 'Recode' founder Kara Swisher, here are 10 women you need to know.