Special Report

50 Least Powerful People in the World

31. Pat McCrory
Title: Politician

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 earlier this year, which could lead to his loss of the governorship in November in addition to damage already done. According to one poll, the vast majority of state voters believe the bill has hurt North Carolina’s reputation. The bill stipulates that individuals must use the restroom that corresponds with the gender indicated on their birth certificate — a designation that does not always line up with one’s gender identity. As a result of the controversial bill, the state has been sued by the U.S. Department of Justice. Online payment company PayPal and Deutsche Bank abandoned plans to expand operations in the state, and the NBA announced plans to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

32. Keith Olbermann
Title TV personality

Keith Olbermann distinguished himself early in his career as a sportscaster, working on multiple local radio and television stations. As his career progressed, however, he became increasingly vocal on American politics and became better known for his controversial political commentary. Dubbed a bridge-burner by some critics, Olbermann has come and gone from several high profile jobs at CNN, ESPN, Fox Sports, and MSNBC. He was vehemently critical of the second Bush administration, and his partisan rhetoric has rubbed many viewers the wrong way. In early 2015, Olbermann was suspended from his position at ESPN for tweeting that Penn State students are “pitiful” after the NCAA announced plans to reverse penalties stemming from the Sandusky scandal. Most recently, ESPN announced it would not be renewing his contract.

33. Michael Pearson
Title: Executive

Probes into Valeant Pharmaceuticals over the past year have revealed that the company regularly engaged in price gouging, accounting fraud, and the questionable practice of buying up rival companies and cutting their research and development budgets. When the accusations came to light, Valeant’s stock tanked and CEO Michael Pearson was fired. Pearson’s firing was partially brought on by Bill Ackman, a member of the Valeant board whose hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, lost billions through its investment in the pharmaceutical company.

34. David Petraeus
Title: General

A West Point graduate, David Petraeus’s career is largely defined by military service. After commanding the 101st Airborne Division in Baghdad and Mosul, Petraeus was promoted in 2007 by former President George W. Bush to the rank of full general and commander of military operations in Iraq. President Barack Obama subsequently placed Petraeus at the head of military operations in Afghanistan in 2010. One year later, Obama appointed Petraeus director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 2012, Petraeus abruptly resigned from his post at the CIA, acknowledging shortly afterward an extra-marital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Worse than the affair perhaps was the general admitting to sharing classified government information with Broadwell in a plea deal with the Department of Justice.

35. Alex Rodriguez
Title: Athlete

In late 2007, the New York Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275 million contract, which at the time made him the highest paid player in professional baseball. He had just won his third league MVP in five years. The following season, Rodriguez won a World Series ring with the Yankees. In 2014, news broke that Rodriguez had not only been using illegal performance enhancing drugs, but also had actively tried to suppress investigation. Rodriguez was hit with a one-year ban, the longest drug-related suspension in baseball history. This August, Rodriguez unceremoniously announced his retirement from baseball, much in contrast to the overwhelming praise from the entire sports community former teammate Derek Jeter received when he retired in 2014.