John Zimmer, 32, is the cofounder of Lyft, the car service that’s going head-to-head with Uber, the most valuable private company in the world. While Uber dominates in the U.S., Lyft says it is gaining ground in all top 20 markets, where the vast majority of rides are taken. It has also stuck up some big partnerships — from Starbucks to General Motors — and an international alliance with Uber competitors Ola Cabs, Grab Taxi and Didi Kuaidi.
In the past year, Lyft has tripled the number of its rides in the U.S. But the road to running a company valued at $5.5 billion hasn’t been easy. Zimmer — who previously worked at Lehman Brothers — and cofounder Logan Green have been working in the car sharing space together since 2007. The two headed up Zimride, a carpooling service for college campuses, which they sold in 2013.