Power Listicle: Disruptive Bezos Displaces Apple Execs as No. 1 on VF Annual Ranking

Published on October 4, 2013
by Kara Swisher


Vanity Fair magazine thinks Jeff Bezos is top dog of the digerati this year, giving him the No. 1 spot on its annual New Establishment list.

While it’s no “People’s Sexiest Man Alive”-list kudos — these are largely geeks, after all — the Amazon impresario vaulted to No. 1, displacing Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and design guru Jonathan Ive (now at No. 3) because of his continually disruptive ways. Also, in an epic retro-chic move, Bezos up and bought the Washington Post, so there’s that.

The magazine gave Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and the pairing of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and its premium online video content exec Ted Sarandos the biggest jumps on its list of 50 “leading innovators who are shaking the foundations of their industries and shaping the world we live in today.” (This year, at least.)

Sandberg went from No. 41 to No. 14 (Lean in, people!), while Hastings and Sarandos went from No. 40 to No. 12 (Francis Underwood, people!).

Interesting new debuts on the list are Samsung’s ruling family Lee Kun-hee and Lee Jae-yong, and National Security Agency head Keith Alexander — the former for making a lot of popular smartphones, and the latter for hacking into them without telling us (shhhhhh, this egregious invasion of privacy is classified!). Also added, the yoga-loving hedge fund dude, Dan Loeb of Third Point, who has basically been buying and selling tech stocks of late to the irritation of various managements, at No. 20.

One glaring omission: Not one single person from Microsoft.

While the list also includes entertainment and media types — let’s be clear, no one is curing cancer here — most of the women on the list are from tech, including: Sandberg, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer (No. 15) and Google’s advertising queenpin Susan Wojcicki (No. 36). (Full disclosure: Me too, at No. 33, with my longtime All Things Digital partner Walt Mossberg.)

Here is the whole list in order, as well as one called the “The Powers That Be” — power players who presumably just won’t go away:


Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google
Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive, Apple
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Elon Musk, Tesla Motors, SpaceX
Lee Kun-hee and Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics
Keith Alexander, National Security Agency
Jack Dorsey, Square, Twitter
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz
Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn/Greylock
Dick Costolo, Twitter
Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, Netflix
Ben Silbermann, Pinterest
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo
Herb Allen III, Allen & Co.
Preet Bharara, attorney
Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
Tyler Perry, filmmaker
Daniel Loeb, Third Point
Yuri Milner, Digital Sky Technologies
Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp
Dan Doctoroff, Bloomberg L.P.
Salar Kamangar and Robert Kyncl, YouTube
Cory Booker, politician
Kevin Systrom, Instagram
Chris Meledandri, Illumination Entertainment
Megan and David Ellison, film producers
Paul Graham, Y Combinator
Jennifer Lawrence, actress
Drew Houston, Dropbox
Peter Thiel, Founders Fund
Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, AllThingsD
Tony Hsieh, Zappos
Nate Silver and Bill Simmons, ESPN
Susan Wojcicki, Google
Alex Karp, Palantir Technologies
Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler, Kickstarter
Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, comedians
Tony Fadell, Nest Labs
Daniel Ek, Spotify
Sebastian Thrun, Udacity
Travis Kalanick, Uber
Brian Chesky, Airbnb
Hosain Rahman and Yves Béhar, Jawbone
Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat
Ali Pincus and Susan Feldman, One Kings Lane
Shane Smith, Vice Media
David Karp, Tumblr


Jay Z and Beyoncé, musicians
Michael Bloomberg, New York City mayor
Brian Roberts and Steve Burke, Comcast
Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company
Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox
Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Beats Electronics
David Zaslav, Discovery Communications
Jill Abramson, The New York Times
Jenna Lyons, J. Crew
Harvey and Bob Weinstein, The Weinstein Company
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central
Robert Thomson, News Corp.
J. J. Abrams, filmmaker
Lionel Barber, Financial Times
Matt Drudge, Drudge Report
Michael Kors, Michael Kors Holdings
Len Blavatnik, Access Industries
Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective
Tory Burch, designer
Jon Feltheimer, Lionsgate
Peter Chernin, The Chernin Group
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Important Studios
Mike Allen, Politico
Ben Affleck, actor, director
Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington, AOL

(More full disclosure: I occasionally write for Vanity Fair, and Peter Kafka of AllThingsD has written some of the media-focused mini-profiles on the lists.)

(Photo credit: Jonas Fredwall Karlsson, exclusively for Vanity Fair)

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