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Sunday, November 24, 2013

World's Most Powerful People 11-23

The World's Most Powerful People 2013

Who's No. 1?

Who’s more powerful: the autocratic leader of a former superpower or

 the handcuffed commander in chief of the most dominant country in 

the world? This year the votes for the World’s Most Powerful went to 

Russian President Vladimir Putin. He climbs one spot ahead of U.S. 

President Barack Obama, who held the title in 2012.

Putin has solidified his control over Russia while Obama’s lame duck 

period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president 

— latest example: the government shutdown mess. Anyone watching 

this year’s chess match over Syria and NSA leaks has a clear idea of 

the shifting individual power dynamics.

The Most Powerful People in the World list is an annual snapshot of the 

heads of state, CEOs and financiers, philanthropists and NGO chiefs, 

billionaires, and entrepreneurs who truly rule the world. It represents 

the collective wisdom of top FORBES editors, who consider hundreds of 

nominees before ranking the planet’s top 72 power-brokers – one for 

every 100 million people on Earth — based on their scope of influence 

and their financial resources relative to their peers. (See full 

methodology here).

This year’s list features 17 heads of state who run nations with a 

combined GDP of some $48 trillion — including the three most powerful 

people, Putin, Obama and Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the 

Communist Party of China. The 27 CEOs and chairs control over $3 

trillion in annual revenues, and 12 are entrepreneurs, including new 

billionaires on the list, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote (No. 64), founder of 

Dangote Group, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison (No. 58). 

Speaking of, this year’s class has 28 billionaires valued in excess of 

$564 billion.

Newcomers: Among the 13 newcomers are Pope Francis (No. 4), 

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 41), Volkswagen’s Martin 

Winterkorn (No. 49), South Korean President Park Geun-hye   (No. 52), 

IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 56), and Janet Yellen (No. 72), 

nominated by President Obama as the next leader of the U.S. Federal 

Reserve. Rosneft CEO and Putin confidant Igor Sechin (No. 60) and Jill 

Abramson (No. 68), the executive editor of the New York Times, make 

a return appearance after dropping of the list in years past.

He’s Not No. 1: This is the first year that Putin carries the crown. 

Obama has been on the top of the list for every year with the 


of 2010, when Hu Jintao, the former political and military leader of 

China, was No. 1.

Women Moving Up In Numbers: This year there are nine women on the 

list, representing 12% of the world’s most powerful — in stark contrast 

to being 50% of the world’s population. Both 2011 and 2012 featured 

six women leaders, and the inaugural list from 2009 included only 3 — 

or just 4.4%. Recently elected Park of South Korea joins the other 

female heads of state German Chancellor Angela Merkel No.5), Brazil’s 

Dilma Rousseff (No. 20)and de facto head of India Sonia Gandhi (No. 

21). Two of the world’s most important NGO’s are run by women: 

Christine Lagarde (No. 35) leads the IMF and Margaret Chan (No. 59) 

steers the World Health Organization.

Billionaires: Worth a cumulative $564 billion. Sure they’re rich but 

many of these billionaires deserve special attention for their 

philanthropic work, including Warren Buffett (No. 13), Michael 

Bloomberg (No. 29), Li Ka-shing (No. 30), Charles and David Koch (No. 

31), and Mohammed Ibrahim (No. 71).

Entrepreneurs Represent:  There are 12 in total. As expected, many 

are headquartered on the West Coast:  Google’s Larry Page and 


Brin (No. 17), Mark Zuckerberg (No. 24), Elon Musk (No. 47), Ellison 

and Reid Hoffman (No. 65). Global entrepreneurial spirit spans from 

Japan’s  Masayoshi Son (No. 45) and China’s Robin Li (No. 61) to 

Africa’s Dangote and Ibrahim.

Year-over-year growth: The FORBES Most Powerful started in 2009, 

seeking to answer a straight yet complex question: What is the true 

nature of power and can we really compare and rank heads of state 

with religious figures and drug traffickers?  The premise has always 

been to select one person for every 100 million on the planet.

 The first list had 67 slots. This year we are up to 72. At this fifth 

edition, it’s notable that most of the leaders who made the top 10 on 

the inaugural list are still on today: Obama, Putin, Bill Gates (No. 6), 

U.S. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke (No. 7), the King of Saudi Arabia (No. 8), 

Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke (No. 10), billionaire Carlos Slim Helu (No. 

12), Page and Brin, and Rupert Murdoch (No. 33).

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