Special Report

50 Least Powerful People in the World

46. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Title: Politician

Debbie Wasserman Schultz was chairperson of the Democratic National Committee from 2011 to 2016. She resigned from her position, however, on the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention after leaked e-mails revealed that DNC staff had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party’s presidential nomination contest. Some e-mails showed party officials strategizing methods to weaken support for the Sanders campaign.

47. Brian Williams
Title: Journalist

Taking the reins from Tom Brokaw in 2004, Brian Williams served as the anchor for NBC Nightly News for over a decade. During Williams’s tenure, NBC led all other nightly news networks in ratings. However, trouble began in early 2015 when it came to light that Williams had falsified a specific experience he had covered during the Iraq War. Williams admitted to a military newspaper that he had repeatedly lied about being a passenger on a helicopter that came under fire. When an on-air apology failed to mollify viewers who expected their news anchor to be 100% trustworthy and accountable, NBC suspended him from the broadcast for six months and ultimately concluded he could not return to the anchor desk.

48. Martin Winterkorn
Title: Executive

The Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of illegally manipulating emissions results on its cars last September. After the ensuing scandal, CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned, losing control over one of the world’s largest car manufacturers. While the company claimed the wrongdoing was limited to a small group of middle managers, German prosecutors have recently launched an investigation to determine Winterkorn’s involvement. Although the results of the probe have yet to be released, many speculate that Winterkorn’s demanding management style either directly or indirectly contributed to the scandal.

49. Tiger Woods
Title: Athlete

Few would argue against calling Tiger Woods one of the greatest golfers of all time. Last year, ESPN named him one of the three best athletes of the past 20 years. However, the athlete’s career may be ending in a way no one would have predicted a decade ago. In 2009, Woods was outed as a serial philanderer and lost sponsorships with AT&T, Golf Digest, Gillette, Gatorade, and others. Now, Woods has been plagued by a back injury, and his future as a golfer is uncertain.

50. Alexander Zhukov
Title: Politician

Only 271 Russian athletes participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics, far fewer than the 389 that initially qualified. Nearly a third of Russian athletes were barred from participation by the International Olympic Committee due to revelations of widespread doping. As president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov was blamed by many for the country’s global humiliation.