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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C

And the Forbes world's most powerful person is...

It’s a man who is known to take his top off when hunting and fishing and has caused controversy this year with anti-gay laws.

THE FORBES MOST powerful person in the world list is out and this year the title went to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

imageCredit: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/Press Association Images

The Russian leader knocked his US counterpart, Barack Obama off the top spot. The US president held the title last year.

Obama has been on the top of the list for every year with the exception of 2010, when Hu Jintao, the former political and military leader of China, was number one.

The annual World’s Most Powerful list is made up of heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs and the list represents the collective wisdom of top Forbes editors, who consider hundreds of nominees before ranking the planet’s top 72 power-brokers.


There are thirteen newcomers which include, Pope Francis (No. 4), Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 41), Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn (No. 49) and the South Korean President Park Geun-hye (No. 52), to name but a few.

There are just nine women on the list, but that is an improvement on both 2011 and 2012 which featured six women leaders and the inaugural list from 2009 included only 3. Two of the world’s most important NGO’s run by women feature on the list - Christine Lagarde (No. 35) who leads the IMF and Margaret Chan (No. 59) who steers the World Health Organisation.

Here are the top ten. To view the full list click here.

#2. Barack Obama, President of the United States

imageCharles Dharapak/AP/Press Association Images

#3. XI Jinping, General Secretary Communist Party of China

imageAP Photo

#4. Pope Francis, Roman Catholic Church

imageSource: Vatican/YouTube

#5. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

imageYves Logghe/AP/Press Association Image

#6. Bill Gates, Cofounder Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

imagePBG/PBG/Empics Entertainment

#7. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve

imageAlex Brandon/AP/Press Association Images

#8. King Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia

imageCarolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

#9. Mario Draghi President of the European Central Bank

imageSteven Senne/AP/Press Association Images

#10. Michael Duke CEO Wal-Mart

imageApril L. Brown/AP/Press Association Images

And the world’s highest earning actress is…>

Merkel, Obama, Clinton, Gates: here’s who topped the list of most powerful women>

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