Facebook founder falls from grace in 'most powerful' list

Mark ZuckerbergAP Photo/Eric Risberg

Forbes Magazine has published its list of the most powerful people in the world. The top names are not a huge surprise, with Barack Obama first, Angela Merkel second (up two places from last year), Vladimir Putin third, and Bill Gates fourth. However, the list brought a shock fall from grace for Mark Zuckerberg - down from ninth place to 25th.

So what has happened to Zuckerberg, and who else made the list?%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%


Zuckerberg, co-founder and Chairman of Facebook, has been relegated to 25th place. His dramatic fall comes after Facebook launched on the stockmarket in May this year - to a critical panning - and the value of the company fell like a stone.

It didn't help that the exchange it was listed on (Nasdaq) suffered technical difficulties in the first few hours of the IPO, resulting in a number of trades going awry. The stock was felt to be over-priced, and fell to half its value in three months. It has since recovered some ground, but remains around a quarter below its launch price. Zuckerberg himself was calculated to be worth $14 billion (down from $17.5 billion).

The slide to 25th place means he's not the most powerful tech leader. After Bill Gates in fourth, Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google) and Larry Page (CEO of Google) are named as joint 20th. And Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is closing in on him fast in 27th place.

Powerful leaders

While movements in the tech sphere are dramatic, Forbes has concluded that the power still lies with the world leaders.

After the US, Germany and Russia, Pope Benedict XVI was named as fifth most powerful, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud (King of Saudi) was named seventh, Xi Jinping (General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party) was ninth, and David Cameron squeaked into tenth place.

The rest of the top ten was completed by Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve at six, and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank in eighth place.

Women and the elderly

It's not a stunning show for woman. Aside from Merkel in second place, Sonia Gandhi in twelfth, and Dilma Rousseff in 18th, you have to look as far as 38th place for the next woman (Christian Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund), then 58th place for Margaret Chan (Director General of the World Health organisation). It's a stunning sign of how women still remain largely excluded from most real positions of power in the world.

Brits also put in a shocking showing, with just Cameron at 10 and Lakshmi Mittal (Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal) at 47.

Older people, however, have made a mockery of claims that people disappear from the world stage after the age of 60. In the top ten there are two octogenarians (the Pope and the King of Saudi), and only one man under the age of 50 (David Cameron).

At the top end, its only the tech leaders under the age of 40 - until you get to Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea in 44th place at the tender age of 29 - who one could argue had a bit of a hand securing his position. In fact, 29 of the top 50 are over the age of 60.

The top 25

1. Barack Obama, US President
2. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
3. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
4. Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
5. Pope Benedict XVI
6. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve
7. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia
8. Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank
9. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party
10. David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
11. Carlos Slim Heli and family, Honorary Chairman of America Movil
12. Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress
13. Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of China
14. Francois Hollande, President of France
15. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
16. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor New York City
17. Michael Duke, CEO of Walmart
18. Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil
19. Manmohan Singh, Indian Prime Minister
20. Sergey Brin, Co-founder and Director of Special Projects, Google
20. Larry Page, CEO of Google
21. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, Grand Ayatollah of Iran
22. Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil
23. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
24. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric
25. Mark Zuckerberg, Cofounder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook

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Facebook founder falls from grace in 'most powerful' list

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