In the process of giving away their massive fortune, Bill and Melinda Gates are looking to cure disease, improve education and lift millions out of poverty.
For that impactful work at the Gates Foundation, the Seattle area power couple have landed the second spot in Fortune’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” They rank right behind the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, who organized a powerful movement in the wake of the horrific school shooting at their Florida high school.
The list focuses on the concept of what the Fortune editors call “unbundling” — a concept that runs counter to “empire building” and encourages “disaggregating enterprises of all kinds.”
Others with deep roots in the technology world made the list, including Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier (No. 6); Apple CEO Tim Cook (No. 15); Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (No. 21); and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell (No. 43). Noticeably absent is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who actually is mentioned in the analysis, and apparently runs counter to the concept of unbundling.
“The unbundling trend is especially powerful because it’s driven from the bottom up as well as from the top down. Many people are eager to be free of institutions,” the Fortune editors write.
As a contrast, Ina Fried at Axios described Amazon this way today: “Amazon is an iceberg: People only see what’s above the surface. Meanwhile, underneath, the company just keeps expanding.”
You can see the full list — a combination of political, sports, business and non-profit leaders — here.