The list of 72 power brokers -- one for every 100 million people on Earth -- included 17 heads of state and 27 industry leaders, the youngest in each category being North Korea's 30-year-old leader
It was only the second time in Obama's presidency that he failed to top the list, and Forbes' rationale in awarding the No. 1 spot to Putin seemed more Obama's failing than the Kremlin leader's accomplishment.
"Putin has solidified his control over Russia, while Obama's lame duck period has seemingly set in earlier than usual for a two-term president," the magazine said, pointing to the government shutdown this month as an example of Obama's declining authority.
Forbes also alluded to the Russian government's success in averting threatened U.S. airstrikes against Syria by proposing to secure Syrian President
"Anyone watching this year’s chess match over Syria and
Putin angered the U.S. administration in granting asylum to former National Security Agency contractor
Third on Forbes' list of the most powerful is Chinese President
Pope Francis, who succeeded Pope Benedict as Vatican leader in March, was ranked No. 4, followed by German Chancellor
The top 10 most powerful people, according to Forbes, were rounded out with:
Newcomers to the world's most powerful this year, in addition to the pope, are Samsung Chairman Lee Kun Hee (41), Volkswagen's Martin Winterkorn (49), South Korean President Park Geun Hye (52),
Forbes, which launched its annual ranking of global power brokers in 2009, said it attempts to addresses the question: What is the true nature of power and can we really compare and rank heads of state with religious figures and drug traffickers?