Kara Swisher
2023 Icon

Tech Journalist & Podcaster 

b. December 11, 1962

“Sure, I am funny … Mostly, though, I just tell the truth.”

Kara Swisher is an American tech journalist and podcaster. Arguably the most powerful insider and authoritative voice in the industry, she has broken some of the biggest stories in Silicon Valley. 

Swisher grew up on Long Island knowing she was gay from an early age. She attended Georgetown University and interned at The Washington Post. She earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University before returning to the Post for a full-time position.

In 1997 Swisher joined The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), where she became one of the first major reporters on the internet beat. She wrote a column called “Boom Town,” covering Silicon Valley’s hottest corporate players and personalities. Appearing on the front page of WSJ’s Marketplace section, it quickly secured her reputation as top tech writer. Many of the most powerful figures in the industry, such as Jeff Bezos and Marc Andreessen, sought her counsel early in their careers.

Swisher published a book about the internet-access giant AOL in 1998. She published a sequel in 2003. The same year, she and fellow journalist Walt Mossberg launched the award-winning conference “D: All Things Digital.” They later expanded the concept into the popular blog AllThingsD.com, a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co. and part of the WSJ digital network. In 2014 Swisher and Mossberg left to start a new tech news site, Recode (later sold to Vox), and the Code Conference series. 

Praised for her no-nonsense style and courage to hold power accountable, Swisher has interviewed dozens of prominent figures, going head-to-head with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Rupert Murdoch, Larry Ellison, and Elon Musk. Her conferences have hosted groundbreaking conversations, like her joint interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates—the only one they ever did together—and the introduction of iconic products like Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. 

Swisher earned her stripes breaking big tech-industry news and ethics stories, such as the falsified résumé and subsequent resignation of Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson and the ouster of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich. Eich donated to California’s Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage. She regularly reported on controversial topics, including consumer privacy, regulatory issues, and the underrepresentation of women at major tech companies.

In 2018 Swisher became a New York Times Opinion writer and host of “Sway,” a podcast about power. In 2022 she hosted her last Code conference and launched a new podcast, “On With Kara Swisher,” with Vox Media and New York Magazine. She also co-hosts Vox’s “Pivot” podcast. 

Swisher is married and has four children.