The 10 Most Influential CEOs
Our look at corporate titans who have been game changers in business and culture.
Our list, The 10 Most Influential CEOs, includes mavericks like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, two competing computer giants who have both become cultural iconoclasts; John Mackey, the “right-wing” hippie behind Whole Foods (WFMI) who doesn’t believe that climate change exists; Oprah Winfrey, a dynamo who built her Harpo Productions empire by blasting through social norms; and Andrew Witty, GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) young chief who has dramatically improved access to drugs in poor nations and encouraged other Big Pharma companies to follow suit.
Read more about the lives of these leaders and others, below.
|Virgin’s Richard Branson Expands His Orbit
The iconoclast who started by selling record “cut-outs” now pushes biofuels and space tourism.
|Walmart's Mike Duke Grows a Greener Operation
Some call it a PR move, but the head of the world's largest retailer says he will put the earth first.
|PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi Pushes for People Power, Diversity
The Indian-born leader is known for hiring from all walks of life and inspiring staff with her infectious spirit.
|Microsoft's Bill Gates Redefines "The Second Act"
His philanthropic foundation targets "problems the world wants to solve."
|Apple's Steve Jobs Embraces His Inner Control Freak
Motivated executives-turned-Machiavellian tyrants owe a debt of gratitude to this CEO.
|Whole Foods' John Mackey Resists Conventional Label
A non-believer in climate change or universal health care, he still owns "organic" with a blockbuster shop.
|GSK's Andrew Witty Gets Medicine to World's Poorest
The Big Pharma head has influenced other drugmakers to follow his lead in making drugs affordable where they're most needed.
By Lisa LaMotta
|Morgan Stanley's John Mack Rejects Bonus, Sets Trend
The banker established a new tone on Wall Street, even if pay remains a hot-button issue.
|Oprah Winfrey Adds Cause to Clout
The talk-show host and Harpo CEO has made free and open speech a best-selling product.
|Disney's Bob Iger Resists "Legacy" Baggage
The media chief has proven to be a tough, stubborn negotiator unburdened by Disney's fairy tale history.
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