Fortune: World’s Greatest Leaders

Fortune Magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders

 

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates
    For evidence of what happens when an unstoppable force — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — meets a profoundly movable human being, the empathetic Melinda Gates, one has simply to measure the impact of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  2. Jacinda Ardern
    Jacinda Ardern had already broken new ground as a pregnant woman—and then a new mother—leading a nation. And this year, the 38-year-old Prime Minister showed the world her fullness as a leader as she deftly, empathetically, and humbly navigated New Zealand through the worst terror attack in its history, after 50 were killed at two mosques in Christchurch in March.
  3. Robert Mueller
    Few people on either side of the partisan divide seem satisfied with the outcome of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. But that very dissatisfaction speaks to the nobly impartial example the former FBI director set as he led an arduous, sensitive investigation. He and his team didn’t uncover the smoking guns that President Trump’s critics craved, nor did they grant the President the exoneration he demanded. Instead, sticking to the evidence and tuning out the hype, they exposed serious wrongdoing and shed light on systemic flaws that the nation is now more likely to address.
  4. Pony Ma
    Compared with others in China’s boisterous tech scene, Ma keeps a low profile. But his influence has gone global thanks to WeChat, Tencent’s billion-member instant messaging service. WeChat is the epitome of the super-app model, a single interface through which users can pay bills, order food, book tickets, play games, and more.
  5. Satya Nadella
    Under Nadella, Microsoft has generated incredible growth from new businesses like its Azure cloud platform. And Nadella recently showed that he could put principles first while navigating employee unrest, as he stood by a contract to supply the U.S. Army with augmented reality headsets. He argued that Microsoft shouldn’t withhold technology from institutions that protect our democracy.
  6. Greta Thunberg
    Greta Thunberg isn’t here to inspire you; she’s here to give you anxiety. “I don’t want your hope,” the 16-year-old climate activist said in a speech at the World Economic Forum this year. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
  7. Margaret Vestager
    At a time when U.S. lawmakers are divided over reining in Big Tech, Vestager has shown how it can be done. She “Apple-converted-space” fined Google a total of $9 billion for alleged anticompetitive behavior, sought $15 billion in back taxes from Apple (both moves are being appealed), and is investigating Facebook. Dismissive of industry excuses, Vestager says: “If it’s your algorithm, it’s your responsibility.”
  8. Anna Nimiriano
    South Sudan has lost five years and an estimated 383,000 souls to civil war, and the challenges of speaking truth to power at Nimiriano’s newspaper range from gas shortages to death threats. When security forces hauled a colleague to jail and told her to shut down the paper, she persuaded them to release him and let her publish.
  9. José Andrés
    In March, chef José Andrés descended on Manhattan to prepare for the launch of a fresh addition to his restaurant empire—a 35,000-square-foot Spanish food hall in the sparkling new Hudson Yards complex. Here, alongside other A-list chefs such as the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller and Momofuku’s David Chang, Andrés’s New York City culinary concept would ply patrons with cured meats and cheese, tapas and paella, and a selection of a dozen sherries.
  10. Doug McMillon and Lisa Woods
    Health care costs in the U.S. have reached astronomical levels—spending hit $3.7 trillion in 2018—and they continue to climb, weighing on patients and the employers who help foot the bill. As America’s largest employer, Walmart is all too familiar with these trend lines—which have led McMillon and Woods to innovate to do health care better. For the company’s 1.1 million U.S. employees and their families, Woods launched the Centers of Excellence (COE) program in 2013, enabling workers to travel to top hospitals Walmart contracts with for select procedures.
  11. Aliko Dangote
    Dangote is Africa’s richest person—worth $16.4 billion, according to Bloomberg—and the four publicly traded companies under the umbrella of his Dangote Industries now account for about a third of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange. He’s now converting his wealth into impactful philanthropy: Dangote’s foundation, the largest in Africa, has helped establish a top-tier business school at Nigeria’s Bayero University; it’s also teaming up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight chronic malnutrition in Nigeria.
  12. Masayoshi Son
    Son has become a tech kingmaker. He upended venture capitalism in 2016 by launching the $100 billion Vision Fund, and his backing often proves ­pivotal in battles between rival startups. Son personally vets CEOs of potential portfolio companies and spurs them to scale up dramatically, even if profit is elusive. Ride sharing as we know it might not exist without his avid backing of Uber, Grab, and Didi Chuxing.

There are 50 leaders on the list. Ardern stands out as a politician – there are few of any others.