- (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)
Forbes' Most Powerful List 2012, released Wednesday, has been topped by United States President Barack Obama. The list's Top 10 featured six heads of state among the world's most powerful people. The pope was also featured near the top of the list.
The list compiles what Forbes calls the world's 71 most powerful people, and bases its rankings on numerous factors such as wealth to global influence, according to the magazine.
Other heads of state in the Top 10 of the list included British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladamir Putin, and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
The list also included some of the world's most influential businessmen, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates at No. 4. Others also included in the Top 10 were U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
Interestingly last year's Forbes Most Powerful list included China's President Hu Jintao at number three. However, he fell off the list this year as he is leaving power. His successor Xi Jinping entered the list at number nine.
Others who have reported that will be leaving their powerful positions were also excluded from the final list, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Pope Benedict XVI, the spiritual head of the more-than 1 billion member Catholic Church was ranked as number five on the list.
There were also some controversial additions to the list, including Joaquin Guzman Loera at number 63; he is a billionaire nicknamed "El Chapo," and is the head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. Forbes lists him as the world's most powerful drug trafficker.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch were unable to make the Top 20 in the list and came in at 25th and 26th respectively. Last year, Zuckerberg was in the Top 10 but according to Forbes not longer deserved his place there following the company's disappointing IPO this year.
Here is a video with analysis of this year's Forbes Most Powerful List: