Jobs hailed as most powerful person in business

Steve Jobs heads Fortune magazine's 2007 list of the most powerful businesspeople, while Bill Gates has dropped to seventh place

Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs has topped a list of the 25 most powerful business people in the world.

Jobs took the top spot in Fortune magazine's Power 25 for 2007, published on Tuesday, for having "twice altered the direction of the computer industry". Apple's launch of the Apple II in 1977 "kicked off the PC era", wrote Fortune, which also praised the graphical user interface launched with the Macintosh computer in 1984. 

"Along the way Jobs conceived of 'desktop publishing', gave the world the laser printer, and pioneered personal computer networks," stated the article, which also claimed that Jobs deserved his place at the head of the list for the launch of the iPod, iTunes, Apple stores, and the iPhone.

Media mogul and head of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch was placed at number two, in part due to his company's ownership of social-networking site MySpace, which was acquired in 2005 for $580m (£280m). News Corp also owns The Sun and The Times in the UK, and the Fox network in the US. In addition, News Corp owns the financial news organisation The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires.

Technologists feature heavily in the top five of the Power 25. In joint fourth place are Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Fortune said that, as well as having "massively disrupted" the advertising industry, the Google heads have also set their sights on "altering how mobile telephones work, fixing climate change, [and] utterly redefining the very nature of work". Google's mobile-phone efforts revolve around the ongoing development of Android, an open-source platform for handsets. The company also announced on Tuesday that it would enter the clean-energy business.

Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft, has been edged out of the top five, dropping to number seven. Nevertheless, Fortune still described him as "the iconic technologist, entrepreneur and business leader of his generation".