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Bill Gates beats Mark Zuckerberg in Forbes most powerful list

Who’s more powerful: Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg? According to Forbes Magazine’s annual list of the most powerful people in the world, the winner is Gates, thanks to the philanthropic work he’s been doing in what the magazine dubs “the most productive midlife crisis in history.” In fact, the list names Gates as the fifth most powerful person in the world, behind heads of state President Barack Obama, Russian Prime Minister Vladi­mir Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As for Zuckerberg, he’s further down the list at number 9, edging out British Prime Minister David Cameron. Zuckerberg is the youngest person on the list and is far younger than the rest of the top ten, by at least a couple of decades.

Other techies included in the list are Google’s co-founders, CEO Larry Page and Sergey Brin at #30, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at #40, Apple CEO Tim Cook at #58.

Rounding out tech’s representation on the list is Masayoshi Son, the CEO of the Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank.

Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, had earned a #17 spot on last year’s list, but the magazine clearly thinks Cook has to earn his stripes before he can move up in the rankings, noting that he “inherited the world’s most valuable company, but has he inherited any of the magic?”

Other non-tech entries on the list of 70 include Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (#8), U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (#18) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (#16) and her husband former President Bill Clinton (#50).

The list takes four factors into account: how many people a person has power over, his or her financial resources, whether or not a person is influential in multiple spheres and how “actively the candidates wield their power.”

Related stories:

Steve Jobs bio: On Gates, Google, Zuckerberg

Google earnings: $9.72B in revenue, $2.73B net income

Kindle Fire a hit with analysts, though most say it’s no iPad killer

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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