At Virgin were always keen to keep a close eye on top entrepreneurial talent, not least our very own Richard Branson. So when Forbes compiled a list of the worlds top business leaders we were pleased to see the Virgin Group founder featuring, as well as a host of other well respected bosses.
We think David K. Williams list is pretty good as far as top 10s go but how about you? Do you think theres been a glaring omission? Does the order need a little adjusting? Have a read and let us know your thoughts below
1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon Jeff Bezos is a pioneer in world of internet commerce. It is he who innovated the concept of predictive analyticsrecommending products to customers based on search history and buying habits. Whether you like the concept or you hate it, the idea has made online commerce more profit rich and efficient, and is making online shopping a better experience for consumers throughout the world.
2. Anne Mulcahy, Xerox Anne turned things around when her company faced a financial crisis. Anne never aspired to the role of CEO, but neither did she shy away from the opportunity to lead when elected by the board of Xerox in 2001. During her tenure she was required to reduce the companys workforce by 30% and later eliminated the entire desktop portion of Xerox. Forbes acknowledged Anne as one of the worlds most influential women in 2005 and 2009.
3. Brad Smith, Intuit - one of the worlds largest and most successful financial software companies. Even as a company of nearly $4B in revenue with a market cap of approximately $16.5B, Intuit continues to operate like a collection of startups. Brad has fostered a culture where nearly 8,000 employees are allowed to take risks and to grow by learning from success and failure.
4. Howard Schultz, Starbucks From his upbringing in a poor family in the Bronx to an athletic scholarship and eventually the head of Starbucks, Howard Schultz is a consummate example of courage, hard work, and the ability to achieve the American dream. Even in the glow of his own successes, Howard is also interested in investing in others success and continues to invest actively in other business ventures, such as eBay.
5. Larry Page, Google Larry Page is another example of a businessperson who can persevere any challenge. Larry and his company have faced much criticism and received ample praise over the years for his companys actions. But in the midst of the storm, he has never let what others think sway him from pursuing the course for his company that he considers the best.
6. Tim Cook, Apple Steve Jobs is a hard act to follow, but thus far, Tim Cook is doing a tremendous job. Rather than attempt to match the consumer-facing innovations Steve Jobs had been known for, Tim Cook is forging into the future with his own new advances, such as Apples newest innovative inventory management techniques.
7. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, another of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, has not only led her company to record financial results but is making strides to move PepsiCo in a healthier direction, leading the courageous charge to shed traditional fast food properties and to replace them with initiatives to supply healthier foods. She is deeply caring and committed as a senior executive.
8. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway He is a deeply conservative trader during the times that everyone around him is moving from one extreme to the other to the tune of huge losses and gains. Warren Buffett is a perfect example of patience, proving that slow and steady generally wins the business race.
9. Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Anyone who owns more than 400 companies and is worth billions of dollars is clearly doing many things right. I admire Richard Bransons tenacity, and I admire his personal brand - so much so, that when my paired leadership partner, Mary Michelle Scott, and I recently travelled to Australia with several of our team in our launch of Fishbowl Australia, we made the effort and kept the commitment to fly with Virgin Airlines every step of the way.
10. Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation Rupert Murdoch is a self-made and hard driven Australia-born head of an American publishing dynasty, as the founder, chairman and CEO of News Corporation. He continues to work unbelievably hard at an age when most would have retired long ago. In the midst of accusation and scandal hes needed to find new strength to face the accusation of bribery, corruption and hacking by subsidiary firms. This news is still breaking, as Rupert resigns from the boards of several of the subsidiary companies involved. Regardless of the outcome, the work ethic and sheer tenacity Rupert Murdoch has shown in the face of adversity continues to serve as an example to all.