Facebook and YouTube execs are among the world's most powerful women, says Forbes

If you work for Facebook, YouTube, HP or even IBM, your boss is more powerful than Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey or Queen Elizabeth II, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of the World's Most Powerful Women

The 10 most powerful women from Forbes magazine's annual 100 listing

The 10 most powerful women from Forbes magazine's annual 100 listing

If you work for Facebook, YouTube, HP or even IBM, your boss is more powerful than Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey or Queen Elizabeth II, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of the World's Most Powerful Women.

Forbes' 2016 list seems to be an improvement on previous efforts. Germany's Angela Merkel is, as usual, top, but a number of celebrities - Ellen Degeneres, Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie - have been dropped to make way for female leaders from various nations. These now include Croatia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Scotland, and Taiwan, with the USA likely to follow. (That would bump Clinton ahead of Merkel.)

However, Forbes notes that "impeached Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff dropped from the list, as did former Argentinian president Cristina Kirschner."

How are the mighty fallen....

While it still has major problems with gender equality, the technology industry is well represented by C-suite women:

7. Sheryl Sandberg - COO, Facebook, U.S.

8. Susan Wojcicki - CEO, YouTube, U.S.

9. Meg Whitman - CEO, HP, U.S.

11. Ginni Rometty - CEO, IBM, U.S.

15. Angela Ahrendts - Senior VP, Apple, U.S.

20. Safra Catz - Co-CEO, Oracle, U.S.

27. Ruth Porat - CFO, Alphabet, U.S.

34. Ursula Burns - CEO, Xerox, U.S.

35. Lucy Peng - CEO, Ant Financial Services Group, China

44. Amy Hood - CFO, Microsoft, U.S.

55. Marissa Mayer - CEO, Yahoo, U.S.

61. Zhou Qunfei - Chair, Lens Technology, Hong Kong

76. Gwynne Shotwell - COO, SpaceX, U.S.

81. Solina Chau - Cofounder, Horizons Ventures, Hong Kong

86. Mary Meeker - Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, U.S.

100. Jenny Lee - Managing Partner, GGV Capital, Singapore

Both Melinda Gates (4) and Laurene Powell Jobs (49) also make the Top 100, but not through their association with technology.

Departures from the tech list include Twitter's Katie Stanton Jacobs, Intel's Renee James, and Theranos's CEO Elizabeth Holmes, "whose net worth has essentially plummeted from $4.5 billion to zero, based on Forbes' new estimation".

Forbes says: "As with every year, four metrics were used: money (either net worth, company revenues, or GDP); media presence; spheres of influence; and impact, analyzed both within the context of each woman's field (media, technology, business, philanthropy, politics, and finance) and outside of it."

Given Yahoo's size and Marissa Mayer's huge media profile, it may be surprising to find her ranked 55th, below Gina Rinehart, Australia's mining queen, and Phebe Novakovic, the CEO of General Dynamics.

It remains to be seen how long these women will retain their power, but in many cases, it won't be long. For example, the Top 10 in 2004 comprised Condoleezza Rice, Wu Yi, Sonia Gandhi, Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Megawati Sukarnoputri, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and (ha ha!) Carly Fiorina.

The Top 10 from 2010 - only six years ago - includes more recognizable names: Michelle Obama, Irene Rosenfeld, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Merkel, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Indra Nooyi, Lady Gaga, Gail Kelly, Beyoncé Knowles and Ellen DeGeneres.

All these power lists are much like pop charts, and there aren't many enduring stars....

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