Along with co-founder Scott Farquhar, Cannon-Brookes founded Atlassian, a tech company selling development and work management software, in 2002. According to him, they wanted to make the same money they’d make working for a big company without having to bow to a boss. They overshot a little, and 20 years later, the company pulled in $2.8 billion in 2021 revenue and employs more than 8,000 people. Aside from his corporate success, Cannon-Brookes also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of South Wales and owns a minority stake in an NBA team, the Utah Jazz. He’s been honored in Australia as the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year and by the Work Economic Forum as a 2009 Young Global Leader.
Why They Made the Worthy 100: Cannon-Brookes may be a tech billionaire, but he’s also at the forefront of addressing the world’s energy and climate crises. In 2022 alone, he invested in the SunCable project, which is looking to build a solar energy farm on 12,000 hectares at Powell Creek in Australia. That energy will help power his native country, but it’ll also be linked via a more than 2,600-mile-long undersea cable to as far away as Indonesia. Another effort in 2022 had him purchasing almost 11.3 percent of an Australian energy company, AGL Energy Ltd., where he’s currently in a heated battle with its board over the company’s green energy and climate change policies.