Special Report

50 Least Powerful People in the World

Source: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

36. Josh Trank
> Occupation: Director
After his first feature film, “Chronicle,” grossed over $126 million worldwide on a $12 million budget, director Josh Trank was offered a number of high-budget projects from a variety of major studios. In June 2014, it was announced that Trank would direct a standalone Star Wars film. Trank was dismissed from the project, however, after it was reported that there were a number of issues concerning the director’s conduct during the production of his 2015 “Fantastic Four” reboot. “Fantastic Four” was critically panned upon release and barely generated enough box office revenue to cover its production budget and advertising costs. While the consecutive career setbacks may have hurt the young director’s reputation, Trank may be able to escape movie jail directing “Fonzo,” an Al Capone biopic set for release in 2018.

Source: United States Congress / Wikimedia Commons

>37. Paul Ryan
> Occupation: Speaker of the House
As Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan acts as the administrative head of the U.S. House of Representatives and helps to push bills of the majority-holding Republican Party through the House and Senate. With the 2016 election of Trump and a majority in the House and Senate, the GOP was positioned to pass its priority legislations: repeal of Obamacare, tax reform, and tougher sanctions on hostile regimes. In recent months, however, the Republican party has failed to pass any significant legislation, and Ryan was blamed for his ineffectiveness to organize the GOP. The most recent vote to advance the GOP health care bill failed in the Senate after three Republican senators joined with all 48 Democratic senators to block the legislation. The disorganization amongst GOP lawmakers has sullied the party’s credibility and damaged Ryan’s reputation as one of the Republican Party’s most competent members.

Source: United Airlines

38. Oscar Munoz
> Occupation: CEO of United Airlines

In April 2017, United Airlines made international headlines when a passenger was forcibly dragged off the plane after refusing to give up his seat for commuting crew members. The video of the incident went viral, creating a public relations disaster for United Airlines and CEO Oscar Munoz. Munoz initially blamed the passenger for the incident, and did not offer an apology until his third statement to the press. Unfortunately for Munoz, the incident occurred as he was scheduled to take over as chairman of the board of directors at the company’s annual stockholder meeting in 2018. In April, United Continental Holdings stated that the change would not be taking place. Additionally, the compensation structure for Munoz and other executives will be altered so that pay will be more closely tied with customer satisfaction.

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

39. Dilma Rousseff
> Occupation: President of Brazil
Dilma Rousseff, the first female president of Brazil, ended her half-decade in power with a corruption scandal and impeachment. Rousseff’s troubles began in 2014 when executives at Brazilian energy company Petrobras were accused of illegally diverting billions from the company’s accounts for their personal use or to pay off officials. Rousseff served as chair of Petrobras during the years when the alleged corruption took place. She denied any knowledge of the corruption. In December 2015, she was accused of hiding her country’s budget deficit the year before in order to help her win re-election. The scandal led to an eventual impeachment trial, and on Aug. 31, 2016, the country’s senate voted overwhelmingly to remove Rousseff from office.

Source: Heisenberg Media / Wikimedia Commons

>40. Travis Kalanick
> Occupation: CEO of Uber

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, resigned in June after taking a leave of absence. Kalanick co-founded the ridesharing company in 2009. Kalanick’s departure was forced by shareholders who felt the company needed new leadership in light of revelations of a toxic company culture as well as a personal scandal. The criticism began with multiple allegations of sexual harassment within the company, which were allegedly ignored by many of those at the top. Kalanick helped build the company from a $60 million operation to a global powerhouse valued at as much as $70 billion. Uber’s valuation has slipped to $50 billion from $68 billion.