Vladimir Putin has beaten Donald Trump to top Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people, taking the number one spot for the third consecutive year.
“Russia’s president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe,” the US business magazine wrote.
“From the Motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants.”
The 64-year old Russian leader is “unconstrained by conventional global norms (and) his reach has magnified in recent years,” Forbes said.
The Forbes list, now in its eighth year, identifies 74 people – one for every 100 million on the planet – whose actions have the most impact on the world. Factors taken into consideration include a number of people a person has power over, the financial resources they control, whether they have influence in more than one sphere, and how actively they wield their power to change the world.
This year, 28 members of the list serve as chief executives of major companies. The top ten of those CEOs – all of whom are American – run firms with a combined market capitalization of $3tn (£2.4tn), Forbes reports.
Trump’s rise to second from number 72 last year is the biggest ever on the list.
Third place this year went to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been at the helm of Europe’s economic powerhouse for 11 years and announced plans to run for reelection next year.
Barack Obama, who placed second in 2015, plummeted to 48th place this year as he waits out the final weeks of his presidency, with his Democratic Party ousted from the White House after Trump’s shock election win and out of power in Congress.
Fourth place went to China’s President Xi Jinping, while the fifth spot on the list went to Pope Francis.
Khalid Al-Falih, the oil minister of Saudi Arabia, is another newcomer at number 49, as is the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, at number 63. Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, who drove the company to become the richest startup in history, is new at number 64, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest person on the list, at number 10.