To celebrate their centennial, Forbes has amassed what they believe to be the greatest-ever collection of business essayists–100 entrepreneurs, visionaries and prophets of capitalism who have shaped the past century.
More than a dozen editors met dozens of times over two years. In the end, they opted for doers over theoreticians, disruptive entrepreneurs over those that inherit or CEOs that maintain. They sought people who had either created something with a lasting impact on the world or innovated in a way that transcends their given field.
Africans on Forbes 100 Greatest Living Business Minds List
Of the 100 people who made the cut, two Africans featured and both are from South Africa.
Musk is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; a co-founder, a Series A investor, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; founder and CEO of Neuralink. He was previously co-founder and chairman of SolarCity; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal.
As of January 2017, he had an estimated net worth of $10.7 billion, and was ranked as the 3rd-wealthiest person from Africa on our Africa’s Billionaires of 2016 List. As of this writing, his wealth has more than doubled since January, as reported on the Forbes site, to 21.6 billion as of September 20th 2017.
For Forbes he wrote:
“Artificial intelligence will provide many societal benefits, including self-driving cars and improved medical diagnostics. However, with AI we may be summoning the demon and could create an existential risk to humanity. If a digital superintelligence were inadvertently optimized to do something detrimental to humanity, this could have catastrophic consequences. It could be something like directing the AI to get rid of spam, and it concludes the best way to get rid of spam is to get rid of humans. Or a financial program decides the best way to make money is to increase the value of defense stocks by starting a war. We’re the first species capable of self-annihilation, and it’s extremely likely, given enough time. The question: Can we get ahead of it? We need to learn as much as possible and should create a government agency to regulate AI. Ultimately the private sector will have to take the lead in building safe and useful technology that benefits humanity.”
Motsepe is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, which has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum. He also sits on several company boards including being the non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold, the 12th largest gold mining company in the world. He is also the deputy chairman of Sanlam, a financial services group in Cape Town. In 2003, he became the owner of football club Mamelodi Sundowns. In 2013, he joined The Giving Pledge, committing to give half his wealth to charitable causes.
As of January 2017, he had an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion, and was ranked with 3 other in 20th position as one of the wealthiest people from Africa on our Africa’s Billionaires of 2016 List. As of this writing, his wealth has grown by more than 50% since January, as reported on the Forbes site, to 1.76 billion as of September 20th 2017.
For Forbes he wrote:
“After I completed my first significant transaction, buying mines that were closed or about to close, with a demotivated workforce of 8,000, who for years had been told, “Guys, you’re not cutting it,” people asked if I was mad. But we ran our business differently and it worked — we paid our workers based on profitability, with bonuses based on aspirational targets that, if achieved, created money for the mine workers, the company and its shareholders alike.”
The 5 African American Greats
- Oprah Winfrey (Talk Show Master; Syndication Superstar; Branding Juggernaut; Founder, Oprah Winfrey Network)
- Berry Gordy, Jr (Founder of Motown Records)
- Russell Simmons (Hip-Hop Pioneer; Serial Entrepreneur; Yoga Guru)
- Shonda Rhimes (Televisionary: Hollywood’s Top Showrunner)
- Sean Combs (Hip-Hop Mogul (Bad Boy); Fashion Mogul (Sean John); Liquor Mogul (Ciroc))