2. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and CEO, News Corp.
News Corp. is a global force across the board – film, television, print, and even online (it owns the social networking site MySpace). Murdoch wanted more, and he got it with the $5 billion acquisition of Dow Jones. It was the crowning achievement of a career that started in 1953 when he inherited control of two Australian newspapers. Murdoch expanded to Britain in the 1960s, the U.S. in the ’70s, and Asia in the 1990s. In Britain he owns the biggest tabloid, the Sun, and in the U.S. the New York Post and his Fox News Network are known for their take-no-prisoners attitude.
3. Lloyd Blankfein
Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
Wall Street firms are taking multibillion-dollar write-offs. Titans of finance are losing their jobs. But through it all, Goldman Sachs keeps making money. The i-bank reported stellar third-quarter results: Earnings per share almost doubled from the prior year, and return on equity was 36.6%.
CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who took over last spring, gets credit for helping steer Goldman away from the most damaging investments. And Goldman, which says it has limited exposure to the subprime mess, stands confirmed – for now, anyway – as the smartest bank on the Street. —Bethany McLean
4. Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergei BrinCEO; President, Products; President, Technology; Google
The ambitions of Brin and Page, Google’s 34-year-old founders, are pretty much boundless. Sure, they’ve already revolutionized – okay, massively disrupted – the advertising industry. But the billionaires aren’t stopping there. They’ve set their sights on altering how mobile telephones work, fixing climate change, utterly redefining the very nature of work, that sort of thing.
Preposterous? Actually, there’s a method to their madness. Despite endless predictions that Google would run itself off the rails, the duo, along with CEO Eric Schmidt, have shown a good deal of management maturity. They’ve been willing to build (AdWords, their search-based advertising service) as well as buy (YouTube). And they’ve defied critics who said they couldn’t operate their company for the long term. —Adam Lashinsky
5. Warren Buffett
Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
Of course it matters that Buffett has built Berkshire Hathaway into a massive holding company with interests ranging from underwear to private jets (2006 revenues: $98 billion). Of course it’s impressive that since 1965, Berkshire has performed more than twice as well as the S&P 500. Of course it’s amazing that Buffett has made millions from something as toxic as Enron bonds. And of course it is somehow unsurprising that he managed to help broker a deal between A-Rod and the New York Yankees.
6. Rex Tillerson
Chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil
An oilman down to his boots, Tillerson makes no apologies for running the world’s biggest non-state-run oil company. Exxon Mobil gets high marks for the quality of its operations, and its stock has out-distanced the S&P 500 on Tillerson’s watch. He has even made something of a modest PR splash by acknowledging the possibility of global warming, something his prickly predecessor never did. Exxon under Tillerson has learned that it needn’t pick a fight in order to throw around its weight. —Jon Birger
7. Bill Gates
Founder, chairman of Microsoft; founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates remains the iconic technologist, entrepreneur, and business leader of his generation. He invented the software industry, masterminded the rise of the PC, and has hung in there as a force on the Internet. Still intent upon transforming how people work and communicate, now Gates is pushing software to handle all aspects of office communications, from your phone to e-mail to instant messaging. His software powers smartphones and will show up soon in television set-top boxes. And he has hooked up with upstarts like Facebook to channel the energy and advertising potential of social networks.
8. Jeff Immelt
Chairman and CEO, GE
General Electric’s chief executive is powerful for many reasons, but here’s one that’s often overlooked: the company’s AAA credit rating. Only six U.S. industrial corporations hold that credential, and it gives GE a huge competitive advantage in the finance-related businesses that bring in most of its profit. It also helps the company sell its big-ticket products – jet engines, industrial turbines, CT scanners, locomotives, and so forth – by offering financing that competitors can’t beat. Add a century of experience in developing the world’s best managers
and management practices, and GE becomes a very tough organization to catch up with or oppose.
9. Katsuaki Watanabe
No question: When Katsuaki Watanabe became president of the world’s most admired company in 2005, he took the wheel of a well-oiled machine. But he is making his own mark on it, urging the company, which earned $14.1 billion last year, to keep getting better. He launched a quality-improvement campaign that helped make the debut of the 2008 Highlander SUV just about trouble-free and has the company on track to overtake General Motors for good as the world’s largest automaker. His ultimate goal: a car that can drive across the U.S. on a single tank of gas. At the speed he has Toyota moving, you can pencil that in for 2050. —Alex Taylor III
10. A.G. Lafley
Chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble
Since taking charge in 2000, when Procter & Gamble was sinking under the weight of too many new products and organizational changes, Lafley has refocused on consumers and rejuvenated core businesses. P&G now boasts 23 billion-dollar brands, including Tide, Crest, Pampers, Gillette, Olay, Pantene, and the latest addition, Gain laundry detergent. By denouncing insularity and demanding innovation in everything that P&G does, this company lifer has pushed P&G toward higher-margin areas like health, beauty, and personal care. The payback: Profits have tripled on his watch, to more than $10 billion on $76.5 billion in revenues.
Δείτε το original post εδώ.