America’s Most Influential Business Leaders

Using E-Score® Celebrity, we tracked some of the top leaders in business and tech to reveal the scope of their impact and influence.

  • The three most Influential businesspeople are Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk, all of whom share a score of 47, although Gates leads in Awareness at 66%.
  • Half of the businesspeople in the top 10 Influential list are/were leaders of tech companies, illustrating the dominance technology has in the business world.
  • Two of the ten most Influential businesspeople are women. With an Influential score of 35, Sheryl Sandberg would have made a third, but her awareness is just below the threshold for this list.

Zuckerberg’s Profile

Some of these businesspeople have turned their attention to politics. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, despite his denials. With all the controversy surrounding him and his social media platform, we dug deeper to see his perception among Americans of various political affiliations.

  • Although Zuckerberg is considered Influential by more than a third of respondents (36%), he has the lowest Appeal (24%) among our top 10 Influential business leaders.
  • Even bad press can have a silver lining as now more than two thirds of respondents (67%) are Aware of the Facebook founder since his testimony before U.S. Congress, a jump of 9 points.
  • If Zuckerberg has any political aspirations, his Appeal and Trustworthy scores need help. He scores highest in Appeal among Democrats (23%), followed by independents (20%) and lastly, Republicans (17%).

Charismatic Leaders

Americans are fascinated by charisma and innovation. Using E-Score Celebrity we are able to track these qualities and find the most Interesting business leaders. These moguls are good candidates for books, TV shows or movies.Interesting-Business-Leaders1_b

  • ABC’s Shark Tank has a strong influence on the list, as three of our top ten (Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, and Daymond John) are from the hit show. Mark Cuban, fellow Shark and Dallas Mavericks owner, is among the top 20.
  • Elon Musk, CEO of the tech car company Tesla, ranks number one most Interesting but is also among the top three in Intelligent alongside fellow tech pioneers Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak.
  • Bill Gates holds the highest Appeal in the top 10 Interesting businesspeople list, likely due to his widely recognized philanthropic efforts. For more on how doing good affects public perception, view our earlier post on this topic.


With the importance of technology and business in our daily lives, top businesspeople are more influential than ever among American consumers. Whether it’s in politics, entertainment or other areas of culture, E-Score Celebrity is the definitive source for identifying, evaluating and comparing business leaders and other categories of celebrities.


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