Detailed Findings and Methodology:
Falls from power can manifest in a range of different ways. For a CEO, it often means mismanagement of a company, or a failure to inspire confidence on Wall Street. Politicians often lose their influence on the heels of a failure to implement major policy goals or because of scandal — real or fabricated. For professional athletes and coaches, a single disastrous season, on-field blunders, and off-field antics can all destroy a career.
Public relations disasters can have a range of effects on public figures. One of the most notable falls from the top this year was of television star Bill O’Reilly, a cash cow for media giant Fox News. Earlier this year, on revelations of sexual harassment allegations, major advertisers began pulling from The O’Reilly Factor. Ultimately, Bill O’Reilly lost his job, and Fox lost the most popular show on cable television.
It is no secret that politics can be unforgiving, and politicians dominate this year’s list — many of them tied to Donald Trump in some fashion. Indeed, the Trump White House has been a revolving door for key staffers in its first few months. But perhaps the most notable downfall was that of Hillary Clinton, who seemed destined to be the next in line for the Oval Office only to have victory snatched from her in one of the most dramatic electoral upsets in U.S. history.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick epitomises the precariousness of dominance in professional sports. Carrying his team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2013, the once promising young quarterback is now a free agent due in large part to the controversy surrounding his refusal to stand — as a form of protest — during pregame renditions of the national anthem.
Others on this list include CEOs who have been forced out by investors, and even a few who may face jail time for criminal activity.
Regardless of what any individual on this list lost or failed to achieve, he or she is not necessarily without power at the moment. As time passes, many on this list may recover, their blunders a footnote in the history books. Others will not be so lucky.
To identify the 50 least powerful people, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of many well-known individuals around the world who have recently experienced a precipitous loss in stature. Of these individuals, we selected those who fell the furthest from the greatest height. The occupations listed beneath their names are to indicate what they are best known for, not necessarily the position they currently hold.