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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk introduces the Model X electric sports-utility vehicles during a presentation in Fremont, California
Stephen Lam—Reuters

Why These 9 CEOs Belong on the World’s Greatest Leaders List

Mar 23, 2017

In our current culture, CEOs arguably command more power than respect. You can blame that in part on the light-speed exchange of information in the digital era. As Fortune's Geoff Colvin writes in the introduction to this year's World's Greatest Leaders list, "Easier access to information for customers, competitors, and others causes industry dominance to change more quickly, corporate life spans to decline, and executive tenures to shorten." What's more, unflattering news goes viral in an instant.

Nonetheless, year after year there are chief executives whose impact, not just on their own companies but on the world around them, is so significant that they deserve to rank among the greats. Our annual leader list spans politics, the arts, activism, sports and the nonprofit world, but each year, many business figures shine in this particular galaxy. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is one of only two people who have made all four editions of our list. (The other is Pope Francis.)

Here are nine private-sector CEOs who made Fortune's 2017 list. (For the rest of the list, click here.)

Amazon's Emmy Celebration - Arrivals
Amazon CEO Jeff BezosGabriel Olsen—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos

Founder and CEO, Amazon
Rank on 2017 list: No. 5

Related: How Jeff Bezos Became a Power Beyond Amazon

Unilever NV Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman Portraits
Paul Polman, chief executive officer of Unilever.Photograph by Simon Dawson—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Paul Polman

CEO, Unilever
Rank on 2017 list: No. 20

Key Speakers at WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions
Qilai Shen—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Zhang Ruimin

CEO, Haier Group
Rank on 2017 list: No. 24

Fortune + Time Global Forum 2016
Last Mile Health CEO Dr. Raj Panjabi (right) speaks at the FORTUNE + TIME Global Forum.Elisabetta Villa—Getty Images for TIME

Raj Panjabi

CEO, Last Mile Health
Rank on 2017 list: No. 28

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk introduces the Model X electric sports-utility vehicles during a presentation in Fremont, California
Stephen Lam—Reuters

Elon Musk

CEO, Tesla and Space X
Rank on 2017 list: No. 30

AMD announcement in San Francisco, California, Wednesday, August 17, 2016.  (Photo by Paul Sakuma Photography) www.paulsakuma.com
Paul Sakuma Photography

Lisa Su

CEO, Advanced Micro Devices
Rank on 2017 list: No. 50

Jamie Dimon
Kevin Wolf—AP

Jamie Dimon

CEO, J.P. Morgan
Rank on 2017 list: No. 39

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 - Day 2
Steve Jennings—Getty Images for TechCrunch

Marc Benioff

CEO and Chairman, Salesforce
Rank on 2017 list: No. 43

Key Speakers At The World Economic Forum on Latin America
Karel Navarro—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor

CEO, Intercorp
Rank on 2017 list: No. 49

Click here to see the full 2017 World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list, our annual directory of world-changing leaders in business, government, philanthropy and beyond.

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