Gates and Ballmer make Forbes' Most Powerful People list

We know that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have a lot of money as the chairman and CEO, respectively, of Microsoft. But how much power do they really have? Forbes thinks both of them, and Gates in particular, have a ton of influence in the real world.

Forbes's annual list of its Most Powerful People for 2012 lists Gates at number four, with only US President Barack Obama, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's president Vladimir Putin ahead of Gates. Yes, that means Gates, according to Forbes, has more power than all but three people in the entire world; even more than the Pope.

In its listing, Forbes says:

Gates' post-Microsoft mission includes eliminating many infectious and deadly diseases: By his own estimates, that could translate into 8 million lives saved by 2020. But the quintessential activist billionaire doesn't stop there: Gates continues to persuade his peers to sign the "Giving Pledge," promising to give away half their wealth or more. 2012 HIGHLIGHT: Twenty-three more tycoons signed the Giving Pledge this year, bringing the total to 92.

Ballmer has a bit less power than Gates. Forbes lists him as the 46th most powerful person in the world. Other tech leaders on Forbes' list include Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google at 20 and 21, respectively, along with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the 25th spot.

Source: Forbes | Images via Microsoft

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25 Comments

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LUTZIFER said,
"The most powerful country in the world"... I lol'd so hard I almost sharted.

Being in the military for the past 18 years, I'd like you to show me a more powerful country! (plays the Jeopardy song while waiting)

JHBrown said,

Being in the military for the past 18 years, I'd like you to show me a more powerful country! (plays the Jeopardy song while waiting)

It is a double edge sword. US of A right now has the more powerful army of the world but it is losing the logistic war.

JHBrown said,

Being in the military for the past 18 years, I'd like you to show me a more powerful country! (plays the Jeopardy song while waiting)

Funny, according to the numbers, stats and raw military power. The European Union is number 1.
Also financially, the European Union has a bigger income then the US (just about a trillion USD apart, 12 to 13trillion USD) but its a step in the right direction.
Also the EU is going through quite a crisis, those the US had 180 years ago or so by uniting the states into 1 nation.
Not all european countries are part of the European Union yet, also allot of countries are undeveloped and the majority of EU's income and power comes from Germany, France, UK and Italy. Which is just a fraction of Europe, yet we are still more powerfull and have more money then the US of A.

Americans seriously need to pull their heads of their asses thinking they are the most powerfull nation in the world. They have been for a while, but havent been so for about a decade. And are only slowly starting to realise that they are not the most powerfull anymore, cannot boss around everyone like they want to (noone could do anything about it).
Your economy is in a ditch it might never come out of (inflation is going rampage in the US). Still hundreds of thousands of people living in tent camps in the US, only other nations that have this, are African countries, 3rd world. Even China does not have these issues as much as the US.
The Arab and Chinese world have almost bought entire Manhattan, Almost no building or area of your economic capital is owned by US companies, but by foreign companies.
And only thing the US has been causing around the world, is terror, death, destruction and hatred.
South America is still a mess which is mainly thanks to your great American Influence.

Edited by ShadowMajestic, Dec 6 2012, 11:47am :

Shadowzz said,

Funny, according to the numbers, stats and raw military power. The European Union is number 1...

So apparently the European Union is it's own country now? Wow. I never knew.

[quote=Shadowzz said]
Funny, according to the numbers, stats and raw military power. The European Union is number 1.
[quote]

I suggest people not to read past that point. Clearly this person has no idea what he's talking about.

Dumbass, EU is not 1 country.

My point is the amount of power one person has. Obama might be the leader of "the most powerful country in the world" but he can't do much without the approval of many. If you look at that list, there are some leaders on there that can get away with a whole lot without needing approval from anyone. I am not saying that is a good thing, but that technically means they have more power.

djsaad1 said,
My point is the amount of power one person has. Obama might be the leader of "the most powerful country in the world" but he can't do much without the approval of many. If you look at that list, there are some leaders on there that can get away with a whole lot without needing approval from anyone. I am not saying that is a good thing, but that technically means they have more power.


^ this.

A powerful leader is a leader that can do two things : he should be able change the name of the "thing" that he leading and be able to change the color (im not kidding).

As far as leaders go, its a joke to put Obama ahead of Putin. Obama shouldn't even be close to number one. It really has nothing to do with Obama, but as far as power, the U.S. President has much less control than leaders of less democratic countries.

djsaad1 said,
As far as leaders go, its a joke to put Obama ahead of Putin. Obama shouldn't even be close to number one. It really has nothing to do with Obama, but as far as power, the U.S. President has much less control than leaders of less democratic countries.

I see what you mean but that is not really true.. Obama has a huge amount of impact on the world financially.. If they do another round of stimulus then that will increase inflation around the world and cause more government pressure against middle eastern countries.. like Egypt, Syria ect.. That all comes down to Obama spending in a certain way..

Russia has control really only over the control of oil prices in all of Europe..

Obama might not have as much power in a straight fight but he controls many aspects of monetary policy of the US which in turn affects the entire world one way or another..

djsaad1 said,
As far as leaders go, its a joke to put Obama ahead of Putin. Obama shouldn't even be close to number one. It really has nothing to do with Obama, but as far as power, the U.S. President has much less control than leaders of less democratic countries.

Being the man in charge of the most powerful country in the world, the most dominant(we can kick anyones ass) is an automatic number one in my book. The dude is the most powerful by a long shot.

JHBrown said,

Being the man in charge of the most powerful country in the world, the most dominant(we can kick anyones ass) is an automatic number one in my book. The dude is the most powerful by a long shot.

Vietnam disagrees. Anyhow, the US is also one of the most bankrupt countries in the world. Debt, debt, debt and nothing but debt!

JHBrown said,

Being the man in charge of the most powerful country in the world, the most dominant(we can kick anyones ass) is an automatic number one in my book. The dude is the most powerful by a long shot.

How do you know Japan isn't secretly stockpiling giant robots?

Lachlan said,

I see what you mean but that is not really true.. Obama has a huge amount of impact on the world financially.. If they do another round of stimulus then that will increase inflation around the world and cause more government pressure against middle eastern countries.. like Egypt, Syria ect.. That all comes down to Obama spending in a certain way..

Russia has control really only over the control of oil prices in all of Europe..

Obama might not have as much power in a straight fight but he controls many aspects of monetary policy of the US which in turn affects the entire world one way or another..


Russia still has allot of influence and control throughout the world, should'nt make that mistake.
Russia has more power and influence in the EU, Middle East and south-east Asia then the US has.
The US isnt the majority of the world, neither does it control the world. There is allot more to it then the narrowed tunnel vision most americans have. The brittish Queen has more power and influence then Obama has.
Also Obama has a congress it has to get behind him in many cases. Which for example, Putin does not, he actually has direct control and influence.

And you seriously think those middle eastern revolts are because of the way Obama spends its governmental money in its country? You must be joking right. You seem to have NO idea what is going on in the Middle-east/Northern Africa do you.

Major Plonquer said,
So when are Google's Page and Bris going to start contributing?

Probably never. Everyone seems to think of those two and Google as the nice guys but in reality it's MS and Bill who do FAR more for charities and serious world problems.

neufuse said,
what no Tim Cook? psh how can a company with too much money not get their CEO on a list like this...

he's got the 35th spot... check your facts first? although they could have mentioned him in the article.

Willem van Oort said,

he's got the 35th spot... check your facts first? although they could have mentioned him in the article.

neoWIN.

neufuse said,
what no Tim Cook? psh how can a company with too much money not get their CEO on a list like this...

Being profitable does not mean you wield a lot of power.

Willem van Oort said,

he's got the 35th spot... check your facts first? although they could have mentioned him in the article.

I was talking about at the top of the list.....

neufuse said,

I was talking about at the top of the list.....


That wasn't made clear in your comment...

Tom said,

neoWIN.

neowin is not all about windows/microsoft. We get to read a lot of stuff about apple, so a comparison would be relevant