After decades of interviewing the top CEOs in business, CNBC is now going to try to pick its top 25.
The news outlet has assembled a list of the 200 most important business executives based on recommendations from an advisory board, including experts like Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean at the Yale School of Management, and Paul Steiger, former Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Executive Chairman and Founding Editor of ProPublica.
The list includes the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and a number of others. It's naturally weighted more toward traditional sectors like banking and tech, but is still a pretty wide array. The candidates are being judged based on their impact in the past 25 years and been responsible for some level of meaningful change — such as in management style or human behavior — using business as a starting point.
The final 25 will be decided upon and unveiled in April.
Below are a selection of 50 of the executives and business people named to the list. The full list of all 200 professionals can be found on CNBC, where the news outlet is asking viewers to vote on who should be named to the 25 most important.
Mark Zuckerberg — CEO and cofounder of Facebook
Roger Ailes — chairman of Fox Television
Marc Andreessen — investor and partner at Andreessen-Horowitz
Marc Benioff — CEO and founder of Salesforce.com
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — Saudi Arabian billionaire and investor
Lloyd Blankfein — CEO of Goldman Sachs
Michael Bloomberg — former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg LP
Bono — frontman for U2 and activist
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe — Chairman of Nestlé
Richard Branson — serial Virgin entrepreneur
Jim Breyer — Partner at Accel Partners, early investor in Facebook
"Google Guys" Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt — CEO (Page), cofounder (Brin), and chairman (Schmidt) of Google
Warren Buffett — CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, investor
Ursula Burns — First african-american female Fortune 500 CEO, CEO of Xerox
Alan Greenspan — Former Fed chair
Reed Hastings — CEO of Netflix
Arianna Huffington — founder of the Huffington Post
Carl Icahn — activist investor
Bob Iger — CEO of Disney
Satoru Iwata — CEO of Nintendo
Steve Jobs — founder and former CEO of Apple
Magic Johnson — basketball star and entrepreneur
Ingvar Kamprad — founder of Ikea
Li Ka-shing — Hong Kong tycoon
Gail Kelly — first female CEO of a big Australian bank, CEO of Westpac
John Lasseter — chief creative officer of Pixar
Jack Ma — executive chairman of Alibaba
Marissa Mayer — CEO of Yahoo
Anne Mulcahy — former CEO of Xerox
Elon Musk — founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX
David Novak — CEO of Yum Brands
Pierre Omidyar — founder of eBay
Howard Schultz — CEO of Starbucks
Vera Wang — Fashion designer
Jack Welch — CEO of GE
Meg Whitman — CEO of Hewlett-Packard, former CEO of eBay
Anna Wintour — artistic director of Condé Nast
Oprah Winfrey — Billionaire media entrepreneur
Carlos Slim — Billionaire Mexican business magnate
Masayoshi Son — founder of SoftBank
George Soros — investor and philanthropist
David Stern — NBA commissioner
Martha Stewart — founder of home-making media empire
Larry Summers — economist
Jimmy Wales — cofounder of Wikipedia
"Dreamworks Trio": Stephen Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzengerg, David Keffen — Dreamworks SKG
George Lucas — founder of Lucasfilm
Alan Mulally — CEO of Ford
Matthew Lynley is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News in San Francisco. Lynley reports on Silicon Valley and the tech industry.
Contact Matthew Lynley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.