10 Candidates for the Most Influential Business Leaders of 2014

10 Candidates for the Most Influential Business Leaders of 2014

Few businesses can grow and flourish without a great leader. Some leaders,

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however, go beyond simply growing their business and instead influence and shape the world around them, either by pushing new technologies, changing the way business occurs, or shaping new markets. Below at 10 candidates for the most influential business leaders of 2014.

Here Are 10 Candidates for the Most Influential Business Leaders of 2014

1. Jeff Bezos The founder and CEO of internet giant Amazon, Bezos in known for his aggressive and visionary approach. Not one to be told something is impossible, Bezos seems to constantly be on the cutting edge of the new and innovative. His creative approach to business and technology has enabled him to grow Amazon to the giant it is today. In 2013, he purchased struggling newspaper The Washington Post for $250 million, indicating that he intended to aggressively and experimentally work to move newspaper forward. Jeff Bezos, Amazon   2. Elon Musk Born in South Africa, Musk moved to the United States at age 17 where he later co-founded the internet payment company PayPal. Since the selling of PayPal to eBay in 2002, Musk has continued to play a major role in creating technologically innovative companies. In 2002, he founded SpaceX, a company focused on space exploration which now has a contract with NASA to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. He also is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, a growing electric car company, as well as a co-founder and largest shareholder of SolarCity, the largest provider of solar power in the United States. He is a strong advocate for clean energy, and continues to push for development and technological advancement on renewable energy. Elon Musk, Tesla   3. Igor Sechin A close ally of Russia President Vladimir Putin, Sechin is the Executive Chairman of Rosneft, the Russian oil giant. Rosneft is the largest oil company in Russia. While it is one of the world’s largest publically traded oil companies, nearly 80% of those shares are owned by the Russian government. Under Sechin’s leadership for the past two years, Rosneft has grown significantly as it has bought out or absorbed various Russian competitors. Sechin’s already important role in the international oil industry, and as Putin’s adviser, may increase this year, as Russia faces sanctions and weakening international relationships as a result of its actions in the Crimea. Igor Sechin


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4. Mukesh Ambani Ambani is the Managing Director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), an Indian gas and oil company. In 2013, under pressure from Ambani, the Indian government doubled the nation’s gas prices. While this was a major step forward for RIL, it has created a storm of controversy, as the company now faces criminal investigation over allegations of gas hoarding. Ambani has been accused of “running the government” by those opposed to him. In addition to the energy sector, RIL and Ambani are major players in the retail industry, with Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of RIL and the largest retailer in India, and with Reliance Jio Infocomm a major player in the Indian telecom industry. Ambani has stated he intends to invest $25 billion in his businesses over the next two years, which will make him an increasing influential player in the Indian, and international, economy. Mukesh Ambani   5. Masayoshi Son Son is the founder and CEO of Softbank, the leading internet venture company in Asia. Softbank has grown significantly over the past several years, largely a result of Son’s aggressive business approach to investing and purchasing other companies. Never one to shy away from risk, Son is notorious for having lost billions in the dot.com crash, and yet has continued to aggressively acquire companies. After last acquiring a majority share of Sprint Corporation last summer, rumors have swirled about Son’s interest in a Sprint – T-Mobile merger. This is just the latest example of Son’s aggressive approach to business and investing. Masayoshi Son, Softbank   6. Virginia Rometty Rometty is the CEO of IBM, which is currently the biggest computer company by revenue. As the first woman CEO of IBM, she has focused the company on expanding markets in Africa and other underdeveloped areas of the world. This has allowed IBM to be well positioned for growth in the future. Virginia Rometty, IBM   7. Robin Li A Chinese internet entrepreneur, Li is the co-founder and CEO of Baidu, the largest internet search engine in China. Over the past year, shares of Baidu have increased significantly, as under Li’s leadership Baidu has made a number of major acquisitions; Baidu is positioning itself to expand beyond being just a search engine. Because of this, the organization appears positioned for continued growth in 2014, as Li leads the company to increasing avenues for revenue. Robin Li
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8. Doug McMillon In February, McMillon took over as the CEO of Walmart, replacing Michael Duke in the role. While it is early in McMillon’s role, as CEO of the world’s largest retailer and private employer, McMillon carries considerable influence. For the past five years, McMillon served as the CEO of Walmart International, which enjoyed rapid growth and expansion under McMillon’s leadership. As the newly appointed CEO of Walmart, McMillon seems poised to continue Walmart’s growth and influence internationally. Doug McMillon, Wallmart   9. Martin Winterkorn Winterkorn chairs the German automaker Volkswagen Group. Under Winterkorn’s leading, Volkswagen has enjoyed the largest revenues and profits of any automaker in the world. In addition to leading Volkswagen to highly profitable international success, Winterkorn has also emphasized a goal to make the Volkswagen Group a leader in electric car manufacturing; this is an area Winterkorn believes will have rapid growth in the near future. Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen   10. Larry Page As the co-founder and CEO of Google, Page has played a key role in making Google into the giant it is today. However, true to form, Page continues to seek to innovate and expand Google’s business opportunities as Google continues to acquire other technological and internet companies. Additionally, Google’s recent stock split ensures that Page and co-founder Sergey Brin will retain majority control over the company for the foreseeable future. This is an important move for Page and Brin, as it will allow them to be able to continue to retain their ability to creatively grow and expand Google. Larry Page, Google
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