What do the president of the United States, the Pope and the founder of Facebook all have in common? They’re all featured on Forbes’ 2012 ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People –an annual look at the heads of state, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who truly run the world.
The annual list named the world's 71 most-powerful people, who exert their influence over the 7.1 billion global population.
Fresh from his election victory, Obama comfortably took the number one spot, but media mogul Rupert Murdoch, perhaps in the wake of the Leveson inquiry and the continued allegations of phone hacking on News International, slipped down the list, dropping two places to 26.
And Facebook's CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has plummeted out of the top 10, to number 25.
He was number nine in 2011. David Cameron scrapes into the top 10 at number 10, the only Brit on the list.
According to Forbes, 2012 has seen the influence of German chancellor Angela Merkel swell, and she leapfrogs to second place, up from fourth.
She is followed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Pope Benedict XVI.
Sixth is US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke, followed by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, and the newly elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping.
But despite the slip of media and internet tycoons like Murdoch and Zuckerberg, new entries on the list have a distinctly new media flavour. They include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, last on the list at number 71, and Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of Paypal.
There is a changing of the guard as old faces announced retirement from politics for 2013, including outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao, last year's third most powerful person, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Both fail to make the list after announcing their retirements.
Four factors are taken into account; how many people they have power over; the financial resources they control; if they have influence in more than one sphere; and how actively they wield their power to change the world./huffingtonpost.co.uk