It’s a list that, if you’re on it, you don’t need to be told — you’re so powerful, you already know. Yes, it’s Forbes Magazine’s annual notation of The World’s Most Powerful People. The 2013 list is winnowed by the Forbes editors from hundreds of nominees down to the Top of the Top 72 power-brokers, based on their “scope of influence and their financial resources relative to their peers.”
Seventeen are heads of state, with such usual suspects as President Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Another 27 are CEOs or executive chairs and a dozen are entrepreneurs. But who are the tech stars?
Just some of the Forbes Most Powerful
Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee, number 41, is new to the list, and his place on it flows from his firm's position as the world’s largest consumer electronics company. The first woman to head IBM, CEO Virginia Rometty, is also a newbie, and her company is similarly a giant among giants — the largest computer company in the world by revenue.
Clocking in at No. 17 is the Google dynamic duo of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg takes place No. 24 and Space X/SolarCity/Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk, who has more titles than most people have socks, grabbed the 47th spot. Well-connected venture capitalist Reid Hoffman — a partner in Greylock Partners, a key funding force behind Airbnb, Facebook, PayPal and co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn — is No. 6, while Oracle’s Larry Ellison is No. 58.
The True Nature of Power
Other tech notables include Microsoft’s Bill Gates (No. 6), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (No. 15), Apple’s Tim Cook (No. 19) and Chinese search engine Baidu’s Robin Li (No. 61).
When it first started in 2009, the magazine notes, the Most Powerful list was an attempt to answer a big question: “What is the true nature of power and can we really compare and rank heads of state with religious leaders and drug traffickers?”
Although it’s not clear if Forbes has answered that question, at least not to the satisfaction of followers of religion or drugs, it has consistently allocated one slot for every 100 million souls on Earth. It started with 67 Most Powerful. Now that number has grown, concurrent with the planet’s population, to 72.