Anil slips on world power ranking; Mukesh out

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 20:40

London: A sharp erosion in his wealth and a
long-running sibling rivalry notwithstanding, Indian
billionaire Anil Ambani has retained his position in the list
of the world`s 100 most powerful people, but is down 30 places
since last year, while his brother Mukesh has made a total
exit.

Ranked 97th in the latest edition of the annual ranking
compiled by British fashion magazine Vanity Fair, Anil is the
only Indian in the list, which is topped by financial services
behemoth Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Anil was ranked at 67th position jointly with Mukesh in
the previous year`s list.

The current list, described as "The New Establishment
2009" by the magazine, also figures names like Apple`s iconic
chief Steve Jobs and legendary investor Warren Buffett and
these 100 people have been described as the world`s most
powerful in today`s information age.

"Ambani was the biggest loser when Forbes published its
annual wealth ranking in March: his fortune fell by USD 32
billion, to USD 10 billion. But that still left him with
plenty of cash to close a Bollywood-meets-Hollywood deal with
Steven Spielberg to make a USD 500 million investment in
DreamWorks (along with the rights to distribute its films in
India)," Vanity Fair said about Anil.

The magazine further noted that "Anil, 50, and his
billionaire brother, Mukesh, (they grew up in a communal
building in a distressed neighborhood) foolishly hurt their
image by perpetuating a long public feud: they frequently sued
each other but rarely talked."

"In one of their biggest battles, Mumbai`s high court
ordered Mukesh`s company to make good on a deal from 2005
(when the two brothers split up their late father`s empire) to
sell natural gas to Anil`s company for 17 years at a price 44
per cent lower than that set by the government. That could
mean billions of dollars worth of savings for Anil and losses
for Mukesh, who appealed to India`s Supreme Court."

In his "latest act of do-goodery," the magazine said, Anil
opened a 730-bed hospital in Mumbai.

The magazine, in its last year rankings, had said both
Mukesh and Anil together held a large combined net worth and
they inherited their father`s sprawling industrial
conglomerate in 2002, "but never figured how to play together
nicely".

India-origin venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has moved up
14 places from the previous year to 78th spot in the list.

Jobs has improved his position to the second spot from
last year`s fourth place and Amazon`s Jeff Bezos is ranked
third in this edition.

At the fourth place is Buffett, who has moved up one
notch from the previous ranking. Internet giant Google`s Eric
Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, together have been
ranked fifth in this list.

"Since launching Khosla Ventures in 2004, the Sand Hill
Road venture capitalist has invested an estimated USD 500
million of his USD 1.1 billion personal fortune into 70-plus
tech start-ups, most of them immersed in the development of
alternative fuel and energy sources," the magazine said about
Khosla.

Other prominent names in the list include Hollywood
director Steven Spielberg (11th rank), New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg (14), Oracle`s Larry Ellison (16), Microsoft Chief
Steve Ballmer (17), French President Nicolas Sarkozy (18) and
former US President Bill Clinton (19).

Hollywood actor George Clooney (39), Mexican telecom
tycoon Carlos Slim Helu (52) and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman
(93) also feature in the list.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 20:40

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