Search People Result

Who are the most influential people in world?

Identify leaders in your chosen discipline, research top professors in your area of study, and search for schools based on the luminaries who most inspire you!

Note: These rankings dynamically change as our AI learns new things and new publications and citations are made. Academics are actively researching and publishing new insights, leaving our measure of more recent influence subject to continual adjustments. While we delay real-time changes for quality assurance reasons, be not surprised as you see our rankings change over time.

Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …

Gender designations here are based off data sourced from Wikidata.

About our data on gender

List of the most influential people in Business, for the years 2010 – 2020

Mark Zuckerberg
# 1
Mark Zuckerberg

1984 - Present (36 years)

#308 person's overall influence

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American media magnate, internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is known for co-founding Facebook, Inc. and serves as its chairman, chief executive officer, and controlling shareholder. He also is a co-founder of the solar sail spacecraft development project Breakthrough Starshot and serves as one of its board members.

Bill Gates
# 2
Bill Gates

1955 - Present (65 years)

#81 person's overall influence

William Henry Gates III is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. He is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief executive officer , president and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He is one of the best-known entrepreneurs and pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

Muhammad Yunus
# 3
Muhammad Yunus

1940 - Present (80 years)

#629 person's overall influence

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. These loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below". The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that "lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find way

Richard Branson
# 4
Richard Branson

1950 - Present (70 years)

#642 person's overall influence

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor, author and former philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s, which controls more than 400 companies in various fields.

Warren Buffett
# 5
Warren Buffett

1930 - Present (90 years)

#330 person's overall influence

Warren Edward Buffett is an American investor, business tycoon, philanthropist, and the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of US$78.9 billion as of August 2020, making him the world's seventh-wealthiest person.

Jack Welch
# 6
Jack Welch

1935 - 2020 (85 years)

#1295 person's overall influence

John Francis Welch Jr. was an American business executive, chemical engineer, and writer. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001. When he retired from GE he received a severance payment of $417 million, the largest such payment in business history. In 2006, Welch's net worth was estimated at $720 million.

Travis Kalanick
# 7
Travis Kalanick

1976 - Present (44 years)

#4021 person's overall influence

Travis Cordell Kalanick is an American businessman. He is the co-founder of Scour, a peer-to-peer file sharing application; Red Swoosh, a peer-to-peer content delivery network; and Uber. Red Swoosh was sold to Akamai Technologies in 2007. Kalanick is the co-founder and former CEO of Uber, a position he held from 2010 to 2017. He resigned from Uber in 2017, after controversy over the company's reported unethical culture, including allegations that he ignored reports of sexual harassment at the company. In the weeks leading up to a December 24, 2019 announcement that he would resign his Board s...

Steve Blank
# 8
Steve Blank

1953 - Present (67 years)

#8370 person's overall influence

Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur based in Pescadero, California.

George Soros
# 9
George Soros

1930 - Present (90 years)

#357 person's overall influence

George Soros, Hon is a Hungarian–American billionaire investor and philanthropist. , he had a net worth of $8.3 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations.

Elon Musk
# 10
Elon Musk

1971 - Present (49 years)

#449 person's overall influence

Elon Reeve Musk is a business magnate, industrial designer, engineer, and philanthropist. He is the founder, CEO, CTO and chief designer of SpaceX; early investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018. In 2018, he was ranked 25th on the Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People, and was ranked joint-first on the Forbes list of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019. As of September 2, 2020, his net worth was estimated by Forb

Oprah Winfrey
# 11
Oprah Winfrey

1954 - Present (66 years)

#409 person's overall influence

Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America's first black multi-billionaire, and she has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. By 2007, she was sometimes ranked as the most influe...

Rupert Murdoch
# 12
Rupert Murdoch

1931 - Present (89 years)

#235 person's overall influence

Keith Rupert Murdoch, is an Australian-born American media mogul. Through his company News Corp, he is the owner of hundreds of local, national, and international publishing outlets around the world, including The Sun and The Times in the UK, The Daily Telegraph and The Australian in Australia, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post in the US, book publisher HarperCollins, and the television broadcasting channels Sky News Australia and Fox News . He was also the owner of Sky , 21st Century Fox , and the now-defunct News of the World.

Eric Schmidt
# 13
Eric Schmidt

1955 - Present (65 years)

#788 person's overall influence

Eric Emerson Schmidt is an American businessman and software engineer. He is currently chair of the US Department of Defense's Defense Innovation Advisory Board. He is known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, executive chairman of Google from 2011 to 2015, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017, and Technical Advisor at Alphabet from 2017 to 2020. In 2017, Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 119th-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of US$11.1 billion.

Indra Nooyi
# 14
Indra Nooyi

1955 - Present (65 years)

#5805 person's overall influence

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-American business executive and former chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo.

Rashmi Bansal
# 15
Rashmi Bansal

1985 - Present (35 years)

#6111 person's overall influence

Rashmi Bansal is an Indian non-fiction writer, entrepreneur and a youth expert. As of 2019, she is the author of nine books on entrepreneurship. Her first book, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, traced the progress of 25 MBA entrepreneurs and sold over 500,000 copies, a record for books published in India.Her books are published by Westland.

Jack Ma
# 16
Jack Ma

1964 - Present (56 years)

#4530 person's overall influence

Jack Ma, or Mǎ Yún , is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.

Peter Thiel
# 17
Peter Thiel

1967 - Present (53 years)

#1456 person's overall influence

Peter Andreas Thiel is a German-American billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist. A co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, Founders Fund, he was the first investor in Facebook.

Sheryl Sandberg
# 18
Sheryl Sandberg

1969 - Present (51 years)

#3352 person's overall influence

Sheryl Kara Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook, the founder of LeanIn.Org, and a philanthropist. In June 2012, she was elected to Facebook's board of directors, becoming the first woman to serve on its board. Before she joined Facebook as its COO, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, and was involved in its philanthropic arm Google.org. Before that, Sandberg served as chief of staff for United States Secretary of the Treasury, Lawrence Summers.

Reid Hoffman
# 19
Reid Hoffman

1967 - Present (53 years)

#4904 person's overall influence

Reid Garrett Hoffman is an American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. Hoffman was the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network used primarily for professional networking. He is currently a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. On the Forbes 2019 list of the world's billionaires, Hoffman was ranked #1349 with a net worth of US$1.8 billion.

Jeff Bezos
# 20
Jeff Bezos

1964 - Present (56 years)

#1339 person's overall influence

Jeffrey Preston Bezos is an American internet entrepreneur, industrialist, media proprietor, and investor. He is best known as the founder, CEO, and president of the multi-national technology company Amazon. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos has been the world's richest person since 2017 and was named the "richest man in modern history" after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018. According to Forbes, Bezos is the first person in history to have a net worth exceeding $200 billion.

Ronnie Screwvala
# 21
Ronnie Screwvala

1962 - Present (58 years)

#12055 person's overall influence

Rohinton Soli "Ronnie" Screwvala is a first generation Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Martha Stewart
# 22
Martha Stewart

1941 - Present (79 years)

#1992 person's overall influence

Martha Helen Stewart is an American retail businesswoman, writer, television personality, and former model. As founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she gained success through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandising and e-commerce. She has written numerous bestselling books, is the publisher of Martha Stewart Living magazine and hosted two syndicated television programs: Martha Stewart Living, which ran from 1993 to 2004, and Martha, which ran from 2005 to 2012.

Satya Nadella
# 23
Satya Nadella

1967 - Present (53 years)

#4873 person's overall influence

Satya Narayana Nadella is an Indian-American business executive. He is the chief executive officer of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. Before becoming CEO, he was the executive vice president of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms.

Adi Godrej
# 24
Adi Godrej

1942 - Present (78 years)

#15645 person's overall influence

Adi Burjorji Godrej is an Indian billionaire industrialist and businessman, head of the Godrej family, and chairman of the Godrej Group. , he has a net worth of US$2.9 billion.

Steve Ballmer
# 25
Steve Ballmer

1956 - Present (64 years)

#2564 person's overall influence

Steven Anthony Ballmer is an American businessman and investor who served as the chief executive officer of Microsoft for fourteen years from 2000 to 2014. Ballmer is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association . As of July 2020, Forbes estimates his personal wealth at US$71.4 billion, ranking him the 11th richest person in the world.

Calvin Klein
# 26
Calvin Klein

1942 - Present (78 years)

#3278 person's overall influence

Calvin Richard Klein is an American fashion designer who launched the company that would later become Calvin Klein Inc., in 1968. In addition to clothing, he also has given his name to a range of perfumes, watches, and jewellery.

# 27
Jimmy Wales

1966 - Present (54 years)

#582 person's overall influence

Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales is an American-British Internet entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia .

# 28
Ajit Balakrishnan
#16950 person's overall influence

Ajit Balakrishnan is an Indian entrepreneur, business executive and administrator. He is the founder, current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rediff.com, an internet company based in Mumbai. Balakrishnan was Chairman of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta for two five-year terms ending in March 2017.

Tony Elumelu
# 29
Tony Elumelu

1963 - Present (57 years)

#19822 person's overall influence

Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu is an African economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of the Niger and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2003. He received Nigeria's National Productivity Order of Merit in 2019.

Tulsi Tanti
# 30
Tulsi Tanti

1959 - Present (61 years)

#19865 person's overall influence

Andrew Yang
# 31
Andrew Yang

1975 - Present (45 years)

#4196 person's overall influence

Andrew M. Yang is an American entrepreneur and former presidential candidate. Originally a corporate lawyer, Yang began working in startups and early stage growth companies as a founder or executive from 2000 to 2009. In 2011, he founded Venture for America , a nonprofit organization focused on creating jobs in cities struggling to recover from the Great Recession. He then ran as a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries.

Tim Cook
# 32
Tim Cook

1960 - Present (60 years)

#2142 person's overall influence

Timothy Donald Cook is an American business executive, philanthropist and industrial engineer. Cook is the chief executive officer of Apple Inc., and previously served as the company's chief operating officer under its cofounder Steve Jobs.

Seth Godin
# 33
Seth Godin

1960 - Present (60 years)

#7365 person's overall influence

Seth W. Godin is an American author and former dot com business executive.

Donald Trump Jr.
# 34
Donald Trump Jr.

1977 - Present (43 years)

#2462 person's overall influence

Donald John Trump Jr. is an American businessman and former reality television personality. He is the eldest child of US president Donald Trump and businesswoman Ivana Trump.

Divyank Turakhia
# 35
Divyank Turakhia

1982 - Present (38 years)

#20323 person's overall influence

Divyank Turakhia is an Indian-born computer-programmer, businessman, billionaire, serial entrepreneur, and investor. His net worth is estimated at $1.76 billion . He founded Media.net, which he sold in 2016 to a Chinese consortium for $900 million, the third-largest ever ad-tech deal.

Steve Case
# 36
Steve Case

1958 - Present (62 years)

#5779 person's overall influence

Stephen McConnell Case is an American entrepreneur, investor, and businessman best known as the former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online . Case joined AOL's predecessor company, Quantum Computer Services, as a marketing vice-president and became CEO of the company in 1991. Since his retirement as chairman of AOL Time Warner in 2003, he has gone on to invest in early and growth-stage startups through his Washington, D.C. based venture capital firm Revolution LLC. Case authored The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future which became a New York Times bestselli

Eric Ries
# 37
Eric Ries

1979 - Present (41 years)

#17946 person's overall influence

Eric Ries is an American entrepreneur, blogger, and author of The Lean Startup, a book on the lean startup movement. He is also the author of The Startup Way, a book on modern entrepreneurial management.

# 38
Amey gadre

1953 - Present (67 years)

#19746 person's overall influence

Bharat Desai is an American billionaire businessman, and the co-founder and chairman of Syntel.

Guy Kawasaki
# 39
Guy Kawasaki

1954 - Present (66 years)

#7431 person's overall influence

Guy Takeo Kawasaki is an American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing their Macintosh computer line in 1984. He popularized the word evangelist in marketing the Macintosh as an "Apple evangelist" and the concepts of evangelism marketing and technology evangelism/platform evangelism in general.

Kanwal Rekhi
# 40
Kanwal Rekhi

1945 - Present (75 years)

#15805 person's overall influence

Kanwal Singh Rekhi is an Indian-American businessperson. He is credited as the first Indian-American Founder & CEO to take a venture-backed company public on the NASDAQ.

Marc Andreessen
# 41
Marc Andreessen

1971 - Present (49 years)

#1122 person's overall influence

Marc Lowell Andreessen is an American entrepreneur, investor, and software engineer. He is the co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used web browser; co-founder of Netscape; and co-founder and general partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He co-founded and later sold the software company Opsware to Hewlett-Packard. Andreessen is also a co-founder of Ning, a company that provides a platform for social networking websites. He sits on the board of directors of Facebook. Andreessen was one of six inductees in the World Wide Web Hall of Fame announced at the First I...

Jack Dorsey
# 42
Jack Dorsey

1976 - Present (44 years)

#4042 person's overall influence

Jack Patrick Dorsey is an American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist who is the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and the founder and CEO of Square, a financial paymentss company.

Ashton Kutcher
# 43
Ashton Kutcher

1978 - Present (42 years)

#4825 person's overall influence

Christopher Ashton Kutcher is an American actor, producer, and entrepreneur. He began his acting career portraying Michael Kelso in sitcom That '70s Show . He made his film debut in the romantic comedy Coming Soon , followed by the comedy film Dude, Where's My Car? , which was a box office hit. In 2003, Kutcher moved into romantic comedies, appearing in that year's Just Married and My Boss's Daughter. In 2003, he created and produced the television series Punk'd, also serving as host for the first eight of its ten seasons. In 2004, Kutcher starred in the lead role of the psychological film T...

Larry Page
# 44
Larry Page

1973 - Present (47 years)

#1317 person's overall influence

Lawrence Edward Page is an American software engineer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of the co-founders of Google along with Sergey Brin.

Jeffrey Epstein
# 45
Jeffrey Epstein

1953 - 2019 (66 years)

#1025 person's overall influence

Jeffrey Edward Epstein was an American financier and convicted sex offender. He began his professional life as a teacher but then switched to the banking and finance sector in various roles, working at Bear Stearns before forming his own firm. He developed an elite social circle and procured many women, including underage girls, who were then sexually abused by Epstein and some of his contacts.

Philip Kotler
# 46
Philip Kotler

1931 - Present (89 years)

#9503 person's overall influence

Philip Kotler is an American marketing author, consultant, and professor; the S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University . He gave the definition of marketing mix. He is the author of over 80 books, including Marketing Management, Principles of Marketing, Kotler on Marketing, Marketing Insights from A to Z, Marketing 4.0, Marketing Places, Marketing of Nations, Chaotics, Market Your Way to Growth, Winning Global Markets, Strategic Marketing for Health Care Organizations, Social Marketing, Social Media

Oleg Deripaska
# 47
Oleg Deripaska

1968 - Present (52 years)

#4712 person's overall influence

Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska is a Russian oligarch and industrialist. He is the founder of Basic Element, one of Russia's largest industrial groups, and Volnoe Delo, Russia's largest charitable foundation. Until 2018, he was the president of En+ Group, a Russian energy company, and until 2018 headed United Company Rusal, the second-largest aluminium company in the world.

Vince McMahon
# 48
Vince McMahon

1945 - Present (75 years)

#4281 person's overall influence

Vincent Kennedy McMahon is an American professional wrestling promoter and executive, American football executive, and media proprietor currently serving as the chairman and CEO of WWE, and the founder and owner of Alpha Entertainment. McMahon is widely recognized as the pioneer of the professional wrestling revolution in the United States of the 1980s and 1990s, as well as being the industry's most important figure well into the 21st century.

Steve Wozniak
# 49
Steve Wozniak

1950 - Present (70 years)

#1576 person's overall influence

Stephen Gary Wozniak , also known by his nickname "Woz", is an American electronics engineer, programmer, philanthropist, and technology entrepreneur. In 1976, he co-founded Apple Inc., which later became the world's largest information technology company by revenue and the largest company in the world by market capitalization. Through their work at Apple in the 1970s and 1980s, he and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs are widely recognized as two prominent pioneers of the personal computer revolution.

Russell Simmons
# 50
Russell Simmons

1957 - Present (63 years)

#3398 person's overall influence

Russell Wendell Simmons is an American entrepreneur, record executive, writer, and film producer. He is chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, co-founded the hip hop music label Def Jam Recordings, and created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris. Simmons' net worth was estimated at $340 million in 2011.