CNBC News Releases

CNBC Kicks Off Its Year-Long 25th Anniversary Celebration By Unveiling Its Nominees For CNBC First 25

A global list of leaders and thinkers who changed commerce, business and behaviour in the past 25 years

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., AND LONDON, 22 January 2014 - CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today announced its nominees for CNBC First 25: top leaders, icons and rebels, a definitive list of people who have had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century.

"For 25 years, CNBC has had the privilege of giving its viewers a front-row seat to the biggest stories in the global economy, so we thought it was time to definitively determine the leaders, icons and rebels who have shaped the world of business and, on occasion, our lives," said Nikhil Deogun, SVP and Editor in Chief, CNBC Business News. "The list stands at 200, and we look forward to our influential audience giving us their input on the 25 who mattered most."

CNBC's Tyler Mathisen will lead the network's continuing on-air coverage. CNBC will feature hits throughout the network's Business Day programming today starting on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (12PM-3PM CET).

The criteria are threefold:

  • A person must have been more than a good CEO. He/She should have altered business, commerce, management or human behaviour - in other words, the person should have been responsible for ushering in meaningful change, with business being the primary sphere of influence.
  • A person does not need to be alive, and his/her early work may have predated 1989, but his/her transformative impact should be greatest during the past 25 years.
  • The pool of candidates should be diverse, reflecting different geographies and sectors.

To help with this list, CNBC has assembled an elite advisory board with a deep knowledge of business and global expertise: Herminia Ibarra, Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD; Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean at the Yale School of Management and a CNBC contributor and Paul E. Steiger, former Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Executive Chairman and Founding Editor of ProPublica. In addition, Paul Maidment, Founding Editor of and former Executive Editor of Forbes, will serve as contributing editor on the project.

CNBC top editors, along with this distinguished group, have compiled a list of 200 nominees that fit the above criteria. From these ranks, the team will determine the final list of CNBC First 25 to be revealed in April, the month of CNBC's 25th anniversary.

CNBC viewers and users can go to to see the complete list of nominees and vote on who they think should be included in CNBC First 25. Think someone is missing from the list? Viewers and users can also share their thoughts on why a person deserves to make the top 25.

To track all of the social media coverage around CNBC's 25th anniversary, search #CNBC25 on Twitter, Facebook and more of your favourite social platforms. You can also follow @CNBC25 on Twitter for up-to-the-minute #CNBC25 updates as CNBC fans help shape the list that will eventually become CNBC First 25.

CNBC First 25 is the kick-off to CNBC's year-long 25th anniversary celebration. To acknowledge this important milestone, the network will feature special coverage and events throughout the year across its global network.

About CNBC:
CNBC is the leading global broadcaster of live business and financial news and information, reporting directly from the major financial markets around the globe with three regional networks including CNBC in Asia, CNBC in EMEA and CNBC in the US. is the preeminent financial news source on the web, featuring an unprecedented amount of video, real-time market analysis, web-exclusive live video and analytical financial tools. CNBC is dedicated to CEOs, senior corporate executives; the financial services industry and private investors. The channel is available in more than 395 million homes worldwide. CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal.

For more information contact:
Hugo Foulds, Director of Communications, EMEA
D: 44 (0)20 7653 9398