World's elite gathers for Davos 2014

The rich and famous visit Davos

Davos, Switzerland
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Many of the world's most influential business leaders, politicians and celebrities descend on the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos this week, where the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum has been held for more than 40 years.

The forum has also drawn its fair share of showbiz celebrities and the glitz didn't stop last year, with Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron launching her Africa Outreach Project at the event. This year proves to be no different, with famous faces expected from the world of politics, sports, film and technology.

Click ahead for a who's who of the rich and famous expected to attend this year's meeting.


Posted by Matt Clinch on 17 January 2014

Goldie Hawn

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Star of films like "Death Becomes Her" and "The First Wives' Club", Hawn is set to team up with Arianna Huffington, the president of the Huffington Post, for an evening talk on healthier and happier living. The Academy Award-winning actress runs her own charity foundation which offers a research-based training program for educators and children.

Mario Draghi

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He may have calmed the world's markets with his famous pledge to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro, but the president of the European Central Bank is now dealing with the looming specter of weak consumer prices. Fresh from the ECB's latest rate decision, Draghi appears at Davos at a time when the central bank looks increasingly likely to announce further stimulus for the euro zone.

(Read More: Draghi: Too soon to declare euro zone victory)

Prince Andrew

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The third child of the British Queen and fifth in line to the throne of the U.K., the Duke of York (or Prince Andrew) is a regular visitor to the World Economic Forum.

His focus in recent years has been assisting the economic success of the U.K, according to his website. Concentrating on education, science and engineering, and entrepreneurship, Prince Andrew will no doubt be in an upbeat mood with economic indicators in the country pointing in the right direction.

Britain has posted some modest growth figures of late and has received the backing of the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, with both organisations upgrading their outlook for the country in recent months.

Boris Johnson

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Known for his flamboyance, the often controversial Boris Johnson is now in his second term as London mayor.

(Read More: 'Stop bashing the rich,' says London's mayor)

In November, he was heavily criticized for suggesting some people would not be successful in life because of their low IQs. London now ranks as the top city for foreign real estate investment opportunities, according to a survey released by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, but price surges have led many to believe there's a housing bubble on the horizon.

Christine Lagarde

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The International Monetary Fund's managing director remains a staple for Davos each year and will take the stage at a seminar with central bankers Mark Carney and Haruhiko Kuroda. Lagarde last week indicated the IMF's plans to raise global growth forecasts, amid increased optimism about the world's economic future.

(Read More: IMF planning to raise growth forecasts: Lagarde)

Marissa Mayer

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Shares of have risen a massive 160 percent since the appointment of Mayer as president and CEO. One of the most anticipated speakers at Davos and now Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum 2014 Meeting. Mayer's due to debate the emerging issues of 2014, and their implications for the global economy.

After her well-received speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, CNBC's very own Jim Cramer dubbed her the "heir apparent" to the late Steve Jobs.

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Jamie Dimon

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Another Davos regular, the JPMorgan CEO last year was one of the many highlights. Dimon gave praise for the Federal Reserve at a seminar in 2013, declaring he thought it "saved the system" on a global scale after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

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Matt Damon

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The "Good Will Hunting" star is speaking at Davos as co-founder of, a nonprofit organization that has worked to transform communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water, according to its website.

The Academy award-winning actor and philanthropist will discussing innovative community-driven solutions to safe water and sanitation.

Bill Gates

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Back for another year, Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, spoke at last year's event on his concerns that austerity measures could clip some public funding for deadly diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

"The money that helps out the poorest overwhelmingly comes from government aid budgets", Gates told CNBC at last year's Davos, adding that it was unclear what kind of priority aid will have in future budgets. Gates remains a part-time chairman of Microsoft but his full-time gig is with his charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini
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No stranger to the annual meeting, Nouriel Roubini, whose nickname is "Dr Doom", surprised market watchers by delivering an upbeat message in his 2014 predictions, expecting economic performance to "pick up modestly" in both advanced economies and emerging markets.

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"The advanced economies, benefiting from a half-decade of painful private-sector deleveraging, a smaller fiscal drag, and maintenance of accommodative monetary policies, will grow at an annual pace closer to 1.9 percent," he said in an opinion piece on the Project Syndicate website in late December.

Eric Schmidt

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Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, is also making the trip to the alpine resort. Heavy on technology faces this year, Davos will be welcoming Schmidt as well Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg.

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There will be much to talk about for Schmidt, with the Google exec telling an audience at the Paley International Council Summit in New York back in November that the company thought about moving its servers out of the U.S. after the NSA debacle.

George Soros

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Now 83, George Soros made the trek to Davos last year to issue a warning for turbulent times despite the good news of the euro zone's ability to avoid an all-out financial crisis.

This year, Soros' main fear is China, according to an opinion piece on the Project Syndicate website in early January.

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"The major uncertainty facing the world today is not the euro but the future direction of China. The growth model responsible for its rapid rise has run out of steam," Soros, chairman of the Soros Fund Management, said.

Sheryl Sandberg

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Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, lambasted managers last year for gender stereotypes in the workplace during the panel discussion, "Women in Economic Decision-making." She sparked debate across the globe later in 2013 with the release of her book "Lean In, Women, Work and the Will to Lead" in which she urged women to make the most of opportunities in the workplace.

(Read More:)

Last year was a big one for . With the shares languishing at around $26 in July, the company reported second-quarter earnings and revenue on July 24 that beat Wall Street forecasts on a growing mobile ad business. Shares surged 20 percent shortly afterwards and have kept on going, clocking up a rally of 115 percent since.

The U2 lead singer may have been rocking out stadiums since the 1980s, but Bono is also well-known for lobbying some of the globe's top lawmakers.

The musician joins U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and other global leaders on the stage at Davos 2014. Bono will focus on the future of the Millennium Development Goals, developed back in 2000 in accordance with the United Nations.