Special Report

50 Least Powerful People in the World

Source: United States Government / Wikimedia Commons

16. Sean Spicer
> Occupation: White House Press Secretary
Sean Spicer effectively served as the mouthpiece of the Trump administration, fielding questions from the press on an almost daily basis as the White House Press Secretary. Certainly not an easy task, his very first day on the job, Spicer told a demonstrable lie, claiming the audience of Trump’s inauguration was the largest of any president. His tenure was marred by other missteps, including an assertion that Hitler never used chemical weapons. Spicer was also widely ridiculed and was the subject of an SNL impression that went viral.

Six months appeared to be all Spicer could handle, as he resigned in late July in an apparent refusal to work under Trump’s newly appointed communications director, Anthony Scaramucci. Unlike most individuals on this list, Spicer has enjoyed some degree of vindication, as Scaramucci was fired only days after Spicer’s resignation. Despite Scaramucci’s abrupt departure, Spicer will not return to his former position.

Source: Wilson Dias/ABr / Wikimedia Commons

17. Sérgio Cabral Filho
> Occupation: Governor of Rio De Janeiro

Serving as the governor of the State of Rio De Janeiro from 2007 to 2014, Sérgio Cabral Filho was instrumental in bringing the Summer Olympics in 2016 to the capital city of the state, Rio De Janeiro, one of the largest cities in South America. Currently, Cabral is facing over a decade in prison. The former politician was involved in an organized crime scheme that ultimately funneled over $60 million out of public construction projects, including a stadium renovation in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, and a highway construction project. The ex-governor himself is estimated to have personally profited in excess of $800,000 in bribes. He was found guilty of corruption and money laundering in June 2017 and sentenced to 14 years and two months in prison.

Source: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform / Wikimedia Commons

18. Martin Shkreli
> Occupation: Pharmaceutical CEO/hedge fund manager

“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli is one of the most widely hated public figures of the last few years. The hedge fund manager and founder of drug companies Retrophin and Turing Pharmaceuticals made headlines both for jacking up the prices of several lifesaving drugs and for what some perceived as a highly arrogant attitude in response to the public criticism. Shkreli’s haters rejoiced after he was federally indicted and arrested on various charges of fraud. Shkreli maintained a public and often antagonistic persona leading up to and during the trial, only fanning the flames of hatred. In August, Shkreli was convicted of three separate counts of securities fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Source: MingleMediaTVNetwork / Wikimedia Commons

19. Tim Allen
> Occupation: Actor, comedian

After six seasons, ABC network announced it was cancelling Tim Allen’s sitcom “Last Man Standing” in May 2017. The network’s decision was shocking to many, including the newly out-of-work star. Upon hearing the news, Allen tweeted: “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years.” Many have since speculated that the abrupt cancellation was a reaction to Allen’s political views. Allen was among the crowd in at President Trump’s inauguration. However, when it comes to primetime television, ratings are king, and “Last Man Standing’s” viewership was down considerably in its last season compared to its first.

Source: Justin Ruckman / Flickr

20. John Stumpf
> Occupation: CEO of Wells Fargo

After nearly a decade as CEO of Wells Fargo, the third largest bank in the United States by total assets, John Stumpf is now out of a job. Wells Fargo became embroiled in scandal on September 8, 2016, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined the bank $185 million, for opening some 2 million accounts without customers’ knowledge between 2011 and 2015. Wells Fargo employees created the fake accounts largely to meet unrealistic sales quotas set by those at the top. In the following days and weeks, the FBI opened an investigation and Stumpf found himself on the receiving end of a barrage of tough questions and harsh words from lawmakers in a September 20th Senate hearing. Because of the controversy, Stumpf resigned in mid-October 2016.

Ironically, Stumpf was once applauded for his leadership practices that put customers above profits. The bank remains under scrutiny from lawmakers for deceptive, and potentially criminal, business practices.

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