The World’s Most Powerful People



Barack Obama Drops To No. 2 Spot On 5th Annual List, Plus An Exclusive Look Into Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Great Economic Transformation

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New York, NY (October 30, 2013) – Russian President Vladimir Putin (No. 1) takes the top spot on Forbes’ fifth annual ranking of “The World’s Most Powerful People” (p. 136), as he continues to solidify control over Russia and the international stage.  President Barack Obama (No. 2) dropped from the number one spot, followed by General Secretary, Communist Party of China Xi Jinping (No. 3), Pope Francis (No.4) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 5).  Rounding out the Top 10 are Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates (No. 6), U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (No. 7), Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz (No. 8), European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (No. 9 ), and the highest ranking active business person on the list – Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke (No. 10).  UK Prime Minister David Cameron (No. 11) dropped out of the Top 10 to take the 11th spot on the list. 

Among the 13 newcomers to the list (and new to their positions) are Pope Francis (No. 4), China Investment Corp. Chairman Ding Xuedong (No. 36) and Governor of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda (No. 39).  They are joined by the richest man in Africa – Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote (No. 64), Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 41), Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn (No. 49), IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 56), and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (No. 58).  Politicians who are new to the list include South Korean President Park Geun-hye (No. 52), Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe (No. 57), and US Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen (No. 72). 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (No. 15) moved up the list from the 27th spot last year; his recent purchase of the Washington Post has sparked debate about the disruption of “old media” and his larger ambitions.  Apple CEO Tim Cook (No. 19) also jumped up the list from No. 35 in 2012.  Forty percent (or 26 people) on the list are billionaires, with their combined net worth totaling $564.1 billion – more than the GDP in Sweden, according to The World Bank Group. Four are from China and 4 are from India. Nine out of the 72 are women, more than ever before.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (No. 24) and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un (No. 46) are the youngest on the list, at ages 29 and 30, respectfully.

Four factors were taken into account to select the 72 people that matter from the 7.2 billion people on the planet: how many people they have power over; the financial resources they control; if they have influence in more than one sphere; and how actively they wield their power to change the world.  For the full list, complete methodology and associated features, visit:




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