Why Bill Gates, Tim Cook, and Marc Benioff Are Among the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

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Mary Barra, Oprah Winfrey, and Jamie Dimon aren’t just big names within the business community–they’re among the greatest leaders in the world.

Those three, among other prominent business figures, made Fortune magazine’s new World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list, a group that also includes politicians, actors, and activists who are making important contributions in–and beyond–their chosen fields. Here are six more big names and the reasons they were selected.

Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders, Gates Foundation
Through their foundation, the couple has committed resources to a public-private partnership aimed at fighting malaria by developing better insecticides. They have also taken a strong stance on gender equity in the tech industry, partnering with Aspect Ventures, a fund founded by two women, investing in cybersecurity, future of work, digital health and other emerging technology.

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
Cook has been a worthy successor to Steve Jobs, ensuring his iconic company remains a “cash-generating machine without sacrificing innovation.” Fortune singled out his ability to engage with China’s government even as he leads Apple’s pro-privacy crusade.

Ma Huateng (“Pony” Ma), CEO, Tencent 
With a net worth of more than $40 billion, Ma is China’s richest man. His company’s chat service has more than one billion users, cementing its “role as the electronic thread that stitches together the digital fabric of China.” Tencent also has invested billions of dollars in companies including Snap and Tesla, as well as smaller startups.

Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce
Benioff has championed social causes including gender parity and corporate philanthropy. He has also repeatedly been ahead of the curve on innovation trends, such as businesses’ increased use of consumer social tools.

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Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO, SpaceX
Shotwell takes Elon Musk’s seemingly outlandish ideas and ambitious timelines and makes them a reality. The company’s in-development projects include delivering high-bandwidth internet through satellites and a next-generation rocket designed to take people to Mars and to reach any city on earth in under an hour.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the mission of Aspect Ventures. The venture-capital fund, founded by two women, invests in cybersecurity, future of work, digital health and other emerging technology.

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Written by Aba Forson

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