Full List: Fortune's 12 Greatest Entrepreneurs Of Our Time
About the "Fortune's 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time" List
- This list of the world's greatest entrepreneurs is subjective and largely on social and economic impact; the world-changing vision of a founder who has inspired employees and other entrepreneurs alike; a record of innovation; and the actual performance of their companies over time.
- These founders created and then nurtured healthy, sustainable organizations that now have a combined market value of more than $1.7 trillion.
- They directly employ more than 3 million people, ranging from a high of 2.1 million at Wal-Mart to just over 3,000 at Facebook.
- Each of their companies sits at the nucleus of a thriving ecosystem that has cultivated and nurtured dozens if not hundreds of other enterprises. Small companies have thrived as suppliers, for example, to Whole Foods, which, among other things, buys produce from more than 2,000 local farms. So the power of each of these organizations extends far beyond its own walls.
- Some of the obvious choices
- Late Steve Jobs, who helped make Apple the hottest and most valuable company on the planet
- Mark Zuckerberg, who will take Facebook public in what is anticipated to be the biggest IPO of all time (at a value of more than $80 billion).
- N.R. Narayana Murthy, the visionary founder of Infosys who has built one of the largest companies in India, helping to transform that economy and put it on the world stage.
- Not a single woman makes the list of the top 12
The Full List of Fortune's 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time
1. Steve Jobs
Sales: $108.2 billion
Market Value: $546 billion
2. Bill Gates
Sales: $69.9 billion
Market Value: $273.5 billion
Advice: Find very smart people and create small teams.
3. Fred Smith
Sales: $39.3 billion
Market Value: $30 billion
Advice: Rely on "first-level" managers
4. Jeff Bezos
Market Value: $84.0 billion
Sales: $48.1 billion
Advice: Take regular mini-retreats.
5. Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Sales: $37.9 billion
Market Value: $203.2 billion
Advice: Spare no expense on innovation.
6. Howard Schultz
Sales: $11.7 billion
Market Value: $40 billion
Advice: Always challenge the old ways.
7. Mark Zuckerberg
Sales: $3.71 billion
Market Value: $75 billion-$100 billion (estimate)
8. John Mackey
Company: Whole Foods
Sales: $10.1 billion
Market Value: $15.5 billion
9. Herb Kelleher
Company: Southwest Airlines
Sales: $15.6 billion
Market Value: $6.4 billion
Advice: Make your customers No. 1.
Advice: Purpose inspires people.
Advice: Embrace paranoia.
10. Narayana Murthy
Sales: $6.0 billion
Market Value: $32 billion
Advice: Sacrifice today, cash in tomorrow.
11. Sam Walton
Company: Wal-Mart Stores
Sales: $446.9 billion
Market Value: $36.5 billion
Employees: 2.0 million
Advice: Give the people what they want.
12. Muhammad Yunus
Company: Grameen Bank
Advice: Small gifts can equal big impacts.