If business leaders were hoping that the start of 2011 would usher in a period of greater stability in the global environment, they were sorely disappointed. During the period covered by CARMA’s latest survey of media coverage of business leaders, January 6 to March 11, 2011, natural disasters, political unrest across the Middle East, soaring oil prices and worries about the fragility of the global recovery stoked uncertainty. Floods brought destruction and human misery in eastern Australia in January and a huge earthquake and tsunami devastated northern Japan on March 11 – the last day covered by this CARMA survey.
In this uncertain environment, many of the usual heavyweights retained prominent positions in CARMA’s latest ranking of media reporting of the world’s top business leaders. The last survey’s three most visible CEOs played seesaw, with Steve Jobs of Apple swapping places with Warren Buffett. Jobs finished in first place as news that he was again taking medical leave spurred media comments, mainly favourable. Despite his ill health, Jobs hosted the launch event of Apple’s second generation iPad tablet computer in early March. Buffett, the Sage of Omaha, slipped from first to third place. Rupert Murdoch remained in second place as he persisted in his bid to take control of BSkyB and the phone hacking scandal at newspapers within his empire continued to gain attention.