Steve Jobs tops list of business power people

There are some familiar tech names on Fortune's list of powerful business people--and one tech titan falls a little lower on the list than some might expect.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the most powerful business person in the world News.com

Five of Fortune magazine's top four most powerful businesspeople in the world are very familiar to the tech world--and one of the names you might have expected to crack the top five isn't there.

Yeah, I said five of the top four, but this is Fortune's list, so blame the magazine for the accounting. But we'll get to that later.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs came in at the top of the list, which was posted to the magazine's Web site Tuesday. The magazine noted that Apple's chairman and CEO "twice altered the direction of the computer industry"--with the introduction of the graphical user interface and the conception of "desktop publishing" (the quote marks around desktop publishing are courtesy of the magazine). Also noted prominently were Jobs' forays into the entertainment industry with the introduction of iPod and iTunes, as well as his success with animation powerhouse Pixar.

No. 2 on the list is publishing magnate Rupert Murdoch. The News Corp. chairman and CEO caused quite a ripple on the Internet with his recent purchase of The Wall Street Journal, but nothing close to the splash created by MySpace, which he acquired for $580 million in 2005. MySpace, the world's largest social-networking site, has some 100 million users worldwide. In light of a recent deal with Microsoft that valued competitor Facebook at a cool $15 billion , Murdoch got one of the better deals in tech history.

Next on the tech list is where Fortune's accounting gets a little out of whack. But, hey, we are talking about the guys from Google. If you could count as high as their checking account balances, you could make up your own rules too. Coming in at No. 4 are Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergei Brin. What started out as the company that powered Yahoo's search engine in 2000 is now one of the biggest companies in the world. In addition to "massively" disrupting the advertising industry, the magazine notes that the ambitions of Google's CEO and co-founders are "boundless," with new focuses on the wireless industry and renewable energy.

At No. 5 is Warren Buffett, and while not being a major tech player, he is quite a card player who has been known to move markets as well as athletes to action. He also moved his famous friend and fellow contract bridge enthusiast Bill Gates out of the top five shuffle.

Yeah. Not in the top five. Not No. 6 either (that would be ExxonMobil's Rex Tillerson). You have to go to the next stop on Fortune's list to find Microsoft's co-founder and chairman, or the seventh most powerful person in business (or No. 9 not applying Fortune accounting). The magazine notes that he "invented the software industry, (and) masterminded the rise of the PC," but is it giving him lower ranking due to his impending part-time status at the software giant?

The other power player keeping Gates out of the top five was Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs (No. 3).

Tech players rounding out the list are Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO John Chambers (No. 11) and Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd (No. 16). Nope, no Intel CEO Paul Otellini, no eBay CEO Meg Whitman, nor Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was recently named tech's most influential person.

A couple of other names not on the list were Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who once upon a time tried to buy Apple but decided against it, and Gil Amelio, who resigned as CEO before Jobs returned to the company's helm and engineered its long string of successes.

 

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