What do Bill Gates, the Pope Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Toyota boss Akio Toyoda have in common? The all have been named to the Forbes magazine list of the world’s 71 most powerful people. With a total of 7.1 billion people living on this planet, Forbes says its list is of the 71 who matter, which averages one person for every 100 million. Of all the political, religious, and business leaders on this list, Musk and Toyoda are the only two that are head of car companies.
The man who founded PayPal and used his fortune to fund Tesla Motor, Elon Musk was ranked at number 66 on this list. Tesla became more mainstream in 2012 after selling its electric Roadster sports car in a limited number of years, in which Tesla launched its Model S electic sedan. The Model S electric has earned accolades from the automotive press, including being named Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year.
However, the reason Musk was positioned on this list has less to do with Tesla and more to do with another of his companies, SpaceX. After launching a rocket to the space station this year to deliver supplies, Forbes calls him “the most powerful man in space” and says that he, “stands to make out like a 19th-century railway tycoon.”
Ranking above Musk is Akio Toyoda, the CEO of the world’s largest automaker and great-grandson of its founder, whom was named after his grandfather. Selling over 200 million vehicles since it was established, Toyota is about to solidify its third year as the world’s top selling automaker. On top of being an automaker, the company’s Toyota Financial Services division also makes Toyota a bank. With its Prius model synonymous with the word hybrid, Toyota is also seen as a pioneer in green technology.
Each of the 71 individuals on the list are there based on their individual rankings in four “power categories,” including how many people they have power over, the financial resources they control, how many different areas they have power in (political, religious, economic, etc.), and finally, they must actively use their power. US President Barack Obama was placed first on the list, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, putting Russian President Vladimir Putin in third.