Murdoch setting the agenda of Europe’s digital economy

Media mogul tops annual survey of high-tech visionaries.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  May 5, 2002

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch has topped silicon.com’s annual Agender Setters report of the 50 visionaries shaping Europe’s digital economy. Silicon.com brought together a panel of industry experts along with representatives from silicon.de and silicon.fr to vote according to three criteria - decision-making prowess, longevity and influence in Europe (though candidates do not have to be European).

This year's poll features a strong mix of technology leaders, but mobile and telecoms players who dominated the list last year have been knocked out in favour of media types. Jorma Ollila of Nokia and Keiji Tachikawa of NTT DocCoMo have both dropped out of the top ten leaving just Vodafone's Chris Gent at number ten. Some technology figureheads have also taken a hit: John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco (3rd last year) did not get a mention and neither did any representative from Intel.

Commenting on Murdoch taking the top spot, panellist David Taylor, president of IT director association Certus, said: "Never has a man been so unpopular but had a vision and seen through so many difficult times. You've got to hand it to him in terms of his overall reach and knowledge."

Jon Bernstein, editor-in-chief of silicon.com, commented: "It seems there has been a shift away from mobile and telecoms companies who dominated the list last year. Media moguls have strengthened their grip in the chart after the shakeout in the technology industry at the end of last year."

Full details of the report and profiles of each agenda setter are available on Silicon.com’s micro-site: http://www.silicon.com/agendasetters2002.

The top ten Agenda Setters for 2002 are:
1. Rupert Murdoch, CEO, News Corporation
2. Steve Case, chairman, AOL Time Warner
3. Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft
4. Jean-Marie Messier, CEO, Vivendi Universal
5. Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, Dell Computer
6. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect, Microsoft
7. Thomas Middelhoff, chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann
8. Sergey Brin, co-founder and CTO, Google
9. Greg Dyke, DG, BBC
10. Chris Gent, CEO, Vodafone

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