25 most powerful people in business

Some are empire builders. Others are hired guns. But if they truly have world-class oomph, they're on Fortune's subjective - yet really quite accurate - list of the most powerful businesspeople in the world.

Jeff Immelt
8. Jeff Immelt
Chairman and CEO, GE

General Electric's chief executive is powerful for many reasons, but here's one that's often overlooked: the company's AAA credit rating. Only six U.S. industrial corporations hold that credential, and it gives GE a huge competitive advantage in the finance-related businesses that bring in most of its profit. It also helps the company sell its big-ticket products - jet engines, industrial turbines, CT scanners, locomotives, and so forth - by offering financing that competitors can't beat. Add a century of experience in developing the world's best managers and management practices, and GE becomes a very tough organization to catch up with or oppose.

As if running a company like that didn't make him powerful enough, Immelt is also chairman of the Business Council, the group of top-tier CEOs that influences government policy, and on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. --Geoff Colvin

Steve Jobs

Rupert Murdoch

Lloyd Blankfein

Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergei Brin

Warren Buffett

Rex Tillerson

Bill Gates

Jeff Immelt

Katsuaki Watanabe

A.G. Lafley

John Chambers

Li Ka-shing

Lee Scott

Lakshmi Mittal

Jamie Dimon

Mark Hurd

James McNerney

Marius Kloppers

Steve Schwarzman

Carlos Slim

Steve Feinberg

Indra Nooyi

Ratan Tata

Bob Iger

Bernard Arnault
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