According to the list by Forbes, Putin in followed by Donald Trump who moved up from 72 to second position. China’s President Xi Jinping is fourth, with Pope Francis behind him. Barack Obama has fallen from number 3 on the list to 48
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has retained his place at the top of the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people, after a year in which the Kremlin dominated foreign affairs and ignored the United States, with its lame duck President Barack Obama.
The outgoing president, who has just over a month left in the White House, has already plummeted to 48th place on the list.
His successor, Donald Trump, has moved up from 72nd to number two on the list and could well be challenging Putin for top spot in 12 months’ time.
China’s President Xi Jinping is fourth, with Pope Francis behind him.
Facebook is widely perceived to have had a disastrous year, with a number of public relations gaffes, but that has not stopped its founder, Mark Zuckerberg climbing from 16th to 10th place.
The full list is published on the Forbes website and it shows France’s outgoing President Francois Hollande clinging on in 23rd place, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch at 35 and North Korea’s eccentric leader Kim Jong-un at 43.
The list randomly ends at number 74 – Chuck Schumer, a New York senator, who will replace Harry Reid as Senate Minority Leader next month.
Big names which have dropped off the list since last year include Britain’s former Prime Minister David Cameron, whose dramatic fall from power saw him turfed out of Downing Street after the Brexit referendum. He is not even an MP any more.
Among the 11 new names on the list are Mr Cameron’s successor, Theresa May, the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, and, slightly randomly, the maverick President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.
Forbes said the list is drawn up every year, considering each of the contenders’ political, financial and spiritual power.
Pope Francis does not lead a nation but he is the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics.
Doug McMillon, who came in at number 27, may not be a household name but he is the CEO of the world’s largest private employer, Wal-Mart Stores, which employs 2.3 million workers globally.
But the highest ranked businessman on the list was Bill Gates, who is number seven on the list.
Forbes said: ‘Our picks project their influence in myriad ways: Elon Musk (number 21 on the list) has power in the auto business through Tesla Motors, in the aerospace industry through SpaceX, because he’s a billionaire, and because he’s a highly respected tech visionary.’