12 Notable entrepreneurs worldwide.
It’s an age-old question: Who holds more international sway, the most prominent politicians or the richest business man? The newest edition of the World’s Most Powerful People list over at Forbes seems to think it takes a healthy mix of both. Sure, out of the 72 people listed (for the 7.2 billion people on Earth), the top six are all either politicians or Pope Francis–but let’s not forget to take a moment to recognize these 12 notable entrepreneurs who made the list:
1.Frobes Rank. 71.
Terry Gou – Whether you call it Foxconn or Hon Hai Precision, Gou’s company is known worldwide. As the world’s biggest electronics contract manufacturer, it’s a supplier for companies like Apple, HP, Sony and Nokia. With a net worth of $6.9 billion and rising, Gou may be a controversial leader–factoring in the company’s history of controversial labor practices and employee suicides–but his success is undeniable.
2.Frobes Rank. 53.
Ma Huateng – The founder, CEO and Chairman of China’s Tencent–which baits customers into playing online games with services like free messaging–is now the third-richest man in China (behind fellow power-listers Jack Ma and Robin Li). Fun fact: Ma often goes by “Pony” (“ma” is Mandarin for “horse”).
3.Frobes Rank. 52.
Elon Musk – It’s almost shocking that Musk is this low in the rankings, considering how often the Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO is in the news these days. The always-entertaining South African won a $1.6 billion contract with NASA for SpaceX in September, and then followed it up in October by announcing the self-parking, driver-greeting Tesla Model D.
4.Frobes Rank. 41.
Robin Li – Google may seem ubiquitous in the United States, but it’s Li’s Baidu that leads all search engines in China. It’s known for participating in the Chinese government’s online censorship efforts, which is particularly interesting given Li’s recent interest in politics. In 2013, Li became a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a notable political advisory body.
5.Frobes Rank. 38.
Masayoshi Son – The founder and CEO of Japan’s SoftBank who invested $20 million in Jack Ma and Alibaba 14 years ago is now on the hunt for new entrepreneurs–especially in India, where he plans on financing up to $10 billion for e-commerce within the next 10 years. It’s nothing new for the man who once patented a translating device that eventually sold to Sharp Electronics for $1 million. In college, he vowed to come up with at least one entrepreneurial idea every day.
6.Frobes Rank. 30
Jack Ma – The Alibaba founder is now China’s richest man after his company’s IPO hit an unprecedented $25 million in September. The only question now: What’s next? On the business side, Alibaba will continue to work toward growing and developing. Don’t be surprised if the staunch environmentalist gets a little more involved in the philanthropy world, too.
Michael Bloomberg – He’s out of public office–and back in his private one. The founder and again-CEO of Bloomberg L.P. owns 88 percent of the massive company, which will take in more than $9 billion in 2014 revenue. But we have to ask, in the name of sheer power: Does leaving politics help or hurt his placement on this list?
Mark Zuckerberg – The Zuck continues to amaze, from showcasing foreign language skills to fighting off social media competitors like Ello. Face book’s stock has given Zuckerberg’s net worth $15 billion more over the past year, and the service is used by almost 20 percent of the world’s population. Not bad.
Jeff Bezos – The Amazon.com founder seems to be everywhere these days, from purchasing The Washington Post in August 2013 to recently announcing a $2 billion investment for Amazon in India. Bezos still owns 18 percent of Amazon, and at only 50 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page – Yes, they’re technically two people, but Forbes counts these Google co-founders as one. Page has overseen a number of acquisitions over the past year, while Brin has focused on its innovative GoogleX division. And given how easily Google could probably take over the world, we think a top-10 listing is fitting.
Bill Gates – It’s no surprise that the Microsoft co-founder and consummate billionaire ($81.6 billion net worth as of early November) shows up so high on the list. Today, Gates is working through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to give back, most recently announcing $500 million in expenditures to fight malaria and other diseases