Four Indians in Forbes

The economic slowdown has not got all the Indians trickling down in the latest list of Forbes’ world’s wealthiest CEOs.

According to a list of 10 wealthiest CEOs compiled by Forbes magazine, Reliance Industries (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani is the third-richest chief executive in the world. The other Indians to follow are Lakshmi Mittal, Anil Ambani and Sunil Mittal.

“Being a CEO isn’t what it used to be. Crackdowns on corporate frills like private jets and over-the-top offices have become the norm, taking some of the fun – but none of the stress – out of running billion-dollar businesses.

“While some chief executives’ jobs may be in peril, these 10 have stuck it out long enough to partake in what’s left of the global economy. These have made our annual list of the world’s wealthiest CEOs,” Forbes said.

Despite a 62 per cent drop in RIL share prices since last year, Mukesh Ambani climbed up three places in the 2009 rankings.

For steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who heads ArcelorMittal, it was a slip down to the fourth position from second.

While Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel has joined the league at ninth position, Wipro chief Azim Premji is out of the race.

Interestingly, the total number of Indians on the list have remained unchanged at four this year too.

“To compile our list for 2009, we looked at chief executive officers and managing directors (a title that sometimes denotes the top leadership position at corporations outside the US) of public companies the world over and ranked them according to the size of their stakes in the businesses they run,” Forbes said.

Yet the undisputed wealthiest chief executive is once again, the American billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

“Due to the difficulty of pinning down private holdings in the midst of volatile market swings, we excluded CEOs of private companies from our rankings. We also excluded individuals’ private holdings. Full net-worth estimates will be available in March, when we release our annual list of the world’s billionaires,” Forbes added.

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