2023 Tyto Tech 500: Journalists overtake business leaders for tech industry influence for the first time

In 2017, we launched the Tyto Tech 500 to identify the most influential figures within the UK technology sector and understand what truly creates influence. We included Germany in our analysis in 2019 and added France the year after, to give us greater insight into Europe’s three largest economies. 

As Tyto’s grown as a business, the Tech 500 has too. This year, we’re adding objective, data-driven insights from the Netherlands and Sweden to provide a pan-European view of changes in the technology landscape. So, what does the seventh Tyto Tech 500 report reveal?  

Key trends for tech influence in 2023 

  1. Journalists reign among the elite of European tech influence: Nearly 40% of the most influential personalities in the pan-European Tech 500 are journalists, knocking business leaders out of the top spot for industry influence for the first time. Journalists featured in the list of the top 20 most influential individuals include François Sorel, Broadcaster for BFM Business; Sarah Butler, Retail Correspondent at The Guardian; and Jonathan Amos, Science Correspondent at the BBC. The number of journalists placed in the pan-European Tech 500 ranking has risen by 38% since 2021 and now makes up 198 of the 500 most influential individuals in the list.  
  2. Influence in the European tech industry is heavily weighted towards the private sector:  37% of the most influential figures in the pan-European tech industry are business leaders although the group has relinquished its longstanding grip on first place to journalists. At a country level, business leaders make up 51% of the most influential in the UK, 70% in France, 64% in Germany, 62% in Sweden and 25% in the Netherlands. For the second consecutive year, Richard Branson, British business magnate, investor and founder of the Virgin Group is identified as the most influential person in the European technology sector.  
  3. The gender gap narrows as the number of women in tech continues to grow: Female representation in the pan-European Tech 500 has increased from 22% in 2021 to 27% in 2023. Most female influencers belong to the business leader and journalist categories, accounting for 78% of women in the pan-European top 500. The UK leads the way for female representation as 30% of the country’s top tech influencers are female, closely followed by Germany (28%), France (23%), Sweden (21%) and the Netherlands (15%). Individuals featured in the pan-European top 50 include Annalena Baerbock, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany; Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium; Sarah Butler, Retail Correspondent at The Guardian, Caroline Lucas, Member of Parliament, UK, and Parmy Olson, Technology Columnist at Bloomberg LP. 
  4. Changes in tech sector rankings highlight the dynamic nature of the European tech landscape: The Tyto Tech 500 reveals that influential figures predominantly come from four major tech sectors: General Tech, EnterpriseTech, FinTech, and ConsumerTech. This collectively constitutes over half (53%) of the total influencers ranked in the Tyto Tech 500 and mirrors the previous year, where these sectors similarly commanded the top positions, accounting for 51% of all influencers in the ranking. The fastest-growing sectors this year were ConsumerTech, General Tech and –unsurprisingly- AI & Data Science. In parallel, HealthTech, MarTech and BioTech have seen notable decreases. 
  5. EnterpriseTech is a focus for new markets analysed in the report: B2B technology is a huge focus in the Netherlands and Sweden where over 11% of the most influential figures in each country belong to the EnterpriseTech sector, being a tech sector in the top 3 position in each of this country rankings. EnterpriseTech is the Netherlands’ third most influential sector, compared to its sixth position in the pan-European ranking. Börje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson is a top name in Sweden while Job van der Voort, CEO of Remote, is the highest ranked EnterpriseTech influencer in the Netherlands.  
  6. SpaceTech and Cybersecurity gain prominence on the European stage: The SpaceTech and Cybersecurity sectors have demonstrated remarkable growth in influence in recent years. In two years, the number of influencers in the pan-European Tech 500 related to SpaceTech has risen by 350% and Cybersecurity by 43%. The huge growth rates reflect ongoing investments in space exploration and the protection of digital systems. 

These are the most influential individuals in European tech  

Holding his number one spot from last year, Richard Branson is the top technology influencer across Europe and the UK. French BFM Business anchor, François Sorel, keeps his place as France’s most influential tech personality and comes second in the pan-European rankings. George Freeman, the UK’s Minister for Science, Research, Technology and Innovation, is second in the UK and third across Europe.  

Focus on the Netherlands and Sweden 

New to the Tyto Tech 500, Pieter Zwart CEO of Coolblue is the Netherlands’ top influencer, while politician Micky Adriaansens comes second and Takeaway.com CEO Jitse Groen ranks third. In Sweden, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is number one, with Nothing CEO Carl Pei in second place and journalist Henrik Ek at third. Congratulations to Europe’s most relevant tech personalities featured in our Tech 500! 

The Tyto Tech 500 was created by assessing an individual’s traditional earned media and online influence. To read about these trends in more detail, download the full report here. In the report, you can also find lists of the top 100 tech influencers in the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden and the ranking of the top 100 most influential individuals across all five countries.