Forbes publishes World’s Most Powerful People list: Steve Jobs #57

“Power has been called many things. The ultimate aphrodisiac. An absolute corrupter. A mistress. A violin. But its true nature remains elusive,” Michael Noer and Nicole Perlroth write for Forbes. “After all, a head of state wields a very different sort of power than a religious figure. Can one really compare the influence of a journalist to that of a terrorist? And is power unexercised power at all?”

Noer and Perlroth write, “In compiling our first ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People we wrestled with these questions–and many more–before deciding to define power in four dimensions. First, we asked, does the person have influence over lots of other people? Pope Benedict XVI, ranked 11th on our list, is the spiritual leader of more than a billion souls, or about one-sixth of the world’s population, while Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke (No. 8) is the largest private-sector employer in the United States.”

Noer and Perlroth write, “U.S. President Barack Obama emerged, unanimously, as the world’s most powerful person, and by a wide margin. But there were a number of surprises. Former President George W. Bush didn’t come close to making the final cut, while his predecessor in the Oval Office, Bill Clinton, ranks 31st, ahead of a number of sitting heads of government. Apple’s Steve Jobs easily made the list, while Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie star governor of California (alone, the world’s fifth largest economy) did not.”

The Top 15 along with Steve Jobs’ entry at #57 (name, title, age):

01. Barack Obama, President United States of America, 48
02. Hu Jintao, President People’s Republic of China, 66
03. Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister, Russia, 57
04. Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman, Federal Reserve, 55
05. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Founders, Google, 36
06. Carlos Slim Helu, Chief executive, Telmex, 69
07. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, News Corp., 78
08. Michael T. Duke, President, CEO and Director, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 59
09. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, King, Saudi Arabia, 85
10. William Gates III, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 54
11. Pope Benedict XVI, Pope, Roman Catholic Church, 82
12. Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister, Italy, 73
13. Jeffery R. Immelt, Chairman, General Electric Company, 53
14. Warren Buffett, Chief executive, Berkshire Hathaway, 79
15. Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany, 55

57. Steve Jobs, Chief executive, Apple, Inc., 54: Insanely creative Apple co-founder transforms multibillion-dollar industry every few years. First personal computers with Apple II, Macintosh; then film with Pixar; more recently music distribution (iTunes) and mobile handsets (iPhone). Known for egotism, wearing blue jeans with black mock turtlenecks. Took a leave of absence from Apple in 2009 to address serious health concerns; tumor removed from pancreas 2004, liver transplant in April 2009. Largest shareholder in Disney, personal net worth of $5.1 billion. “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s interesting that, of all the Jobs quotes, they pick that one (really a riff on T.S. Eliot’s “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal”), instead of a more appropriate one like: “I want to put a dent in the universe.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mac Man By Choice” for the heads up.]


  1. Absolute rubbish!

    Silvio Berlusconi @ number 12.

    I doubt that the oleaginous Prime Minister is in the top 12 powerful people in Europe, given the reputation of the Italian government.

    As for Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, give me a break – the head of FIFA might influence the world of soccer as Americans like to call it, but that would be about it.

    The top 100 people who influence my world would hardly include the Pope given the fact that I’m a lapsed Jew, just as Catholics probably don’t have to worry about the Dalai Lama.

    In short, a waste of ink and electrons.

  2. “In short, a waste of ink and electrons.”

    That about sums up your post then! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

    mine too, 🙁

  3. Interesting comment on Gates:
    Richest man in the world monopolized, transformed software business. More than 85% of world’s hundreds of millions of computer users stare at, struggle with, Microsoft products on daily basis.

  4. @YoursSmugly:

    Trust me, he really doesn’t.

    I’m not a woman, so he can’t tell me what to do with my body and he certainly hasn’t halted my use of condoms despite the Catholic Church’s patently false propaganda on the subject and its role in preventing HIV/AIDS.

  5. How the hell can the POTUS be the number one most powerful person in the world? He has not done a damn thing…wait…I take it back. He did receive the Nobel Peace price for “potential.”

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