Vanity Fair has announced its “The New Establishment 100″ list for 2009. The selections are based on wealth, influence, and philanthropy, as well as such intangibles as vision and the X factor.”
Topping the list is Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Apparently, the big pay packages that he and his top executive get are not enough to erode his power in the business community. Blankfein was in the No.2 spot a year ago.
Second on the list is Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (AAPL). He should arguably be at the top of the list . He is clearly the most influential and powerful chief executive in America, taking a role that Jack Welch of GE (GE) once had.
Third on the list is Jeff Bezos of Amazon (AMZN). He has turned a rather prosaic e-commerce business into a digital powerhouse. Fourth on the list is Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), whose investment performance was poor over the last year, but still probably has the best track record of any major investor in the last half century.
Rounding out the top five are Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, the leaders of Google (GOOG). It is a bit of a cheat to look at them as a group. It is also open to question whether they belong so high on the list. Google’s fortunes have flagged over the last year as its growth has slowed considerably.
Douglas A. McIntyre