Mark Zuckerberg is #1 on Vanity Fair’s ‘New Establishment’ list: justified?

zuck VF

Well… this is surprising. Vanity Fair decided to forgo their usual celebrity/dead celebrity/Kennedy covers and put an actual, living, breathing businessman on their October cover. Mark Zuckerberg is only 31 years old and he’s being declared – by VF – as the #1 most important person on Vanity Fair’s annual New Establishment list. Actually… he’s part of the New Establishment Disrupters list. VF editor Graydon Carter writes about Zuck:

“At 31, Mark Zuckerberg stands out as something of an elder statesman,” Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter writes in his October editor’s letter. “He is far and away the youngest person ever to grab the top spot on the New Establishment list. He has not only proved himself as a brilliant entrepreneur; he may well become one of the great long-haul corporate leaders of the past half-century. . . . The $240 billion company he scratched out of his dorm room at Harvard is apparently just his first step toward world domination in the realm of social networking.”

[From Vanity Fair]

I glanced through the top twenty and I don’t know… while I would definitely say Mark Zuckerberg belongs in the top ten, I kind of think Uber’s Travis Kalanick has had a much bigger year (Kalanick is #2). Jeff Bezos seems too high at #3. The intelligentsia’s love affair with Elon Musk (he’s #6) continues unabated as well. Marvel’s Kevin Fiege is only ranked #11? No, he should be top ten. And Miranda Kerr’s boyfriend Evan Spiegel is #12. Something for her to gloat about, probably. You can see the full list of the New Establishment here.

Celebrities on the Disruptors list… Amy Schumer is the highest ranking actress/comedienne at #15. John Oliver is #28, which is amazing because I AM STILL OBSESSED. Jessica Alba is at #35 for The Honest Company. Jared Leto is at #38 because he is – apparently? – one of the savviest tech investors out there right now.

Oh, and Taylor Swift is #1 on the “Powers That Be” list. Of course she is. LeBron James is #6!

VF list

Photos courtesy of Vanity Fair.

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42 Responses to “Mark Zuckerberg is #1 on Vanity Fair’s ‘New Establishment’ list: justified?”

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  1. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Shallow thought: he looks sort of like a dead fish on the cover.

    • mimif says:

      Ha yeah I typed something similar, more like punchable face, but after reading Mindy Kaling’s wise words I decided I should try and be less judgmental. Thanks for opening it up for me. 😛

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Mimif tis a better woman than me, lol.

      • mimif says:

        Nah I was just faking it for 5 secs. Can’t stand the guy.

      • Sochan says:


        Did you read his statement released for the announcement of his wife’s pregnancy? Except for the bit about her miscarriages — which I genuinely feel sympathy for — it’s gag-inducing.

      • mimif says:

        Yeah. Seriously, I have zero tolerance for him. Like I had to paste a bag on his face* to even comment here.

        *I know I’m a horrible person.

  2. mimif says:

    Oh hey Lebron.

  3. hmmm says:

    Dystopia has arrived. Does this mean the ‘New Establishment” is composed of psychopaths?

    • Katenotkatie says:

      Holy neoliberal hellscape! Totally agreed. The “establishment” remains the same as it always was, it just has fancy new toys.

      Also: the “That Rape Story” headline near the bottom of the cover? Ughhh. Of course VF will do a hand-wringing story over the fate of a college rather than on, you know, the toxic culture promoted by said college.

  4. Frosty says:

    Not a Zuckerberg fan. FB policies are downright sociopathic.

    • mimif says:

      Dude. DOOD. I loathe FB with the rage of a thousand dying Suns. So glad I got off of there before any of my info was archived & exploited.

      • Sochan says:

        I feel the same — FB policies should be criminal, and I loathe Zuckerberg (plus, he’s got the personality of a throw rug), but I’m STILL on FB. There’s nothing that can’t be collected from an invasion of my privacy via FB that hasn’t already been collected through other criminal violations via our own government’s snooping.

      • mimif says:

        I should have added that I’m not knocking people who chose to be on it. I think it’s a great tool for some folks and cheers to the people who genuinely enjoy it. I get on my bf’s feed once in a while just to confirm that people are still posting pics of babies burgers, and eCards, and then I go on my merry anonymous way.

      • Sochan says:

        I use it as my primary source of news because it’s the best way I’ve found to get all the sites and blogs that I like in one place. FB is quite good for that. Bookmarking doesn’t work for me because I just forget to look at the bookmarks. And RSS feeds don’t work for me because I don’t like the format, and I like to leave comments sometimes. But with FB all the posts roll right through my feed in a nice line.

      • mimif says:

        That makes perfect sense. I think right before I got off the final time I had hidden pretty much everyone from my feed except the few interesting sites/people I followed. I get frustrated when I want to comment on a news article but they only use FB’s commenting system. There’s lots of ragey fist shaking going on at my place. Lol

      • mimif says:

        The End.

  5. Sochan says:

    Is it okay for an elite, privileged, white, cis, heterosexual, one-percenter, capitalist, male (did I miss anything?) to be on the cover of an international mag in celebration of his astronomical wealth and privilege because he donates to the Left?

  6. Gauchita says:

    Facebook is all over the world. Is Uber any where else? Never heard a non-American mention it, and that goes for all the football players like Tom Brady who you see as superstars but are just local celebrities. Maybe basquet and Le Bron are sorta semi-famous, but “power” is not power if you can only get it at home.

  7. funcakes says:

    Anna is trying to keep the circulation of her magazine up. she’ll put anyone on the cover to keep relevant. (Side eye to Kim Kardasian)

  8. taxi says:

    No particular fan but his origination of social networking & generosity to charitable causes (ok, tax deductions) make him far more interesting to me than Kim & Kanye, Beyonce, or Caitlyn. Even Paris Hilton got a cover once.

  9. Syko says:

    I’m fully aware of the faults of Facebook, but as an elderly, disabled person who very rarely is able to leave the house, it’s a primary source of entertainment, news and reading for me, as well as a way to keep up with extended family and friends. So I’m grateful to the dead fish for that, and for his generous support of Planned Parenthood, as well as other charities.

    • minx says:

      I certainly understand. It’s a great way for people to keep in touch and see photos of family and friends who live far away.

    • mimif says:

      I sort of amended my loathing of FB upthread to write the same thing, minx. @Syko, I’m happy to hear that FB is a positive outlet for you.

  10. QQ says:

    Im Hostile to him cause i’m Mad Hostile to FB… FB primary purpose is for people doing their humblebragging, shady subtweets and which family members and friends you need to block cause they are Highkey assh*les and racists

  11. Duchess of Corolla says:

    He has the strangest eyes. Don’t know what it is, but I find them disarming.

  12. India Andrews says:

    Please don’t feed these tech guys’ egos any more.