Here is our ranked list of the 25 people we judge to have had the most profound impact on business and finance since 1989, the year CNBC went live. They have disrupted industries, sparked change and exercised an influence far beyond their own companies.
As CNBC embarks on its second quarter-century, it faces a world completely altered from when it started. Then, the Dow was below 2,400, Wal-Mart didn't make the list of America's 500 largest companies and there was no World Wide Web. Only four U.S. companies had annual revenue of more than $50 billion. Today there are more than 50, including upstarts such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. No dictionary contained the words "e-commerce" or "app." A blog was still archaic slang for a servant boy.
The 25 men and women listed below—from different parts of the world and across different industries—have, for better or worse, been the rebels, icons and leaders in the vanguard of that change.
1. Steve Jobs (Apple)
2. Bill Gates (Microsoft)
3. Ben Bernanke & Alan Greenspan
4. Sergey Brin, Larry Page & Eric Schmidt (Google)
5. Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com)
6. Warren Buffett
7. Oprah Winfrey
8. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
9. Jack Bogle (Vanguard Funds)
10. Larry Ellison (Oracle)