Figures from British industry made a meagre showing in the Power 300 listing published this week.
Swamped by big names from the world of media, sport, popular music and the financial world, about 25 players from the industrial sector including politicians and trades unionists made it onto the list, compiled by researchers for The Observer and Channel 4 television.
Trade and industry secretary Peter Mandelson was ranked fourth, just behind Bill Gates, owner and founder of Microsoft.
The highest ranking British manufacturing boss was Sir Dick Evans, chairman of British Aerospace. Sir Peter Bonfield, chairman of BT was 14th. Trade and industry minister David Sainsbury was at 81st place, just before Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.
George Simpson, managing director of GEC appears at 102, while ICI chairman Sir Ronald Hempel is 17 places lower at 119.
Pharmaceuticals, software and food companies are the most common among the industrials listed, though maverick engineer James Dyson comes in at 157, ahead of Brian Moffit, chairman of British Steel.
Union leaders appear near the bottom of the list, with Bill Morris, Transport & General Workers’ Union general secretary, at 265.