The most powerful people in tech

Forbes has listed its pick of the most powerful people in the world for 2012, with big names in tech scattered across the listing of 71 candidates.

Every year, Forbes compiles its list of the most powerful people in the world following the guidelines of four criteria:

  • Must have power over a lot of people;
  • Must have control over large financial resources;
  • Are powerful figures in many spheres/sectors;
  • Must actively make use of their power.

Each candidate is looked at in their own personal context, and the final choices were determined by an average score derived from rankings made by 10 senior Forbes editors.

While the top positions of the rankings are mostly filled by heads of state and financial leaders, many big players in the tech and telecommunications industry also featured.

The top tech player with the most power is former Microsoft CEO and founder, Bill Gates. Not only is Gates the second richest man in the world, worth about $61 billion (after giving away $28 billion, Forbes points out), he is also a powerful force in philanthrapy, co-chairing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Microsoft’s current CEO, Steve Ballmer doesn’t rank quite as highly – placing 46th overall, and 8th in tech.

Gates is the only major tech player featured in the top 10 list, overall, but Mexican telecom player, Carlos Slim Helu of América Móvil, just misses out (11th)  – but features second in tech.

Google co-founder, Sergey Brin and CEO, Larry Page, tie for 3rd place (20th overall) – as directors of the world’s biggest search and Internet company. Brin and Page are also billionaires, worth about $18.7 billion each.

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of the overall top 10 in 2012 (having placed 9th in 2011) to 25th place. In terms of the tech rankings, however, he fills in at 5th place.

Zuckerberg has had a tough year, seeing his company lose over half of its value since listing publicly in May – but with over one billion Facebook users signed up, he remains one of the youngest (aged 29) and most powerful figures in the world.

Faceebook’s share price is currently priced at $27.75 on the Nasdaq, having listed at $38, giving the group a market cap of $60 billion.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, ranks in 7th (35th overall) – a stark contrast to his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who ranked 2nd (in tech) in 2010, placing 17th overall.

South African-born SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk, is also present in the rankings – riding his space program to 66th on the overall most powerful list – 11th in the technology space.

Tech #
Overall #
Name Title Place
1 4 Bill Gates Co-Chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2 11 Carlos Slim Helu Honorary Chairman América Móvil
3 20 Sergey Brin Co-founder, Director Of Special Projects Google
3 20 Larry Page CEO Google
5 24 Jeffrey Immelt CEO General Electric
6 25 Mark Zuckerberg Co-founder, Chairman and CEO Facebook
7 35 Timothy Cook CEO Apple
8 46 Steve Ballmer CEO Microsoft
9 53 Masayoshi Son CEO Softbank
10 55 Terry Gou CEO Hon Hai Precision
11 66 Elon Musk Founder, CEO SpaceX
12 71 Reid Hoffman Chairman LinkedIn Corp

You can find the full list of Forbes’ 71 most powerful people in the world here.

Related articles

Forbes lists Africa’s power players

Richest IT people in South Africa

South Africa’s richest people

Forbes lists Africa’s power players

Forbes lists 1,226 billionaires around the globe

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

The most powerful people in tech