What is Variety500?

Welcome to the fifth annual edition of Variety500, an index of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry.

Updated Dec. 21, 2021, the Variety500 reflects the accomplishments of its members over the previous 12 months. They were selected by the Variety editorial board, which conducted extensive research for its selections.

For more on our internal selection process, you can view a full rundown here.


The Walt Disney Company

Bob Chapek


He was given a tough act to follow at Disney, made even tougher by the pandemic.


Shonda Rhimes


In a renewed deal with Netflix, the TV visionary will expand into movies and digital content.


Shari Redstone


A chip off the old block as a long-respected, savvy strategist, she’s establishing her own identity as a media titan.

The Weeknd

The pandemic hasn’t slowed down his output, which continues to span several mediums.

Lana Wachowski

The science fiction storyteller has returned to “The Matrix” for the first time in 18 years.

Simu Liu

Marvel’s newest superhero launched himself onto a worldwide global stage, speaking truth to power.

Echo Films

Jennifer Aniston

The versatile comedic actor draws old fans and new as she takes charge of her own projects.

Left Handed Films

Riz Ahmed

The Oscar-nominated actor is branching out into writing and producing.

Piki Films

Taika Waititi

The Kiwi filmmaker is at home with intimate comedies and Marvel tentpoles.

Rock'n Robin Productions

Robin Roberts

The co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” is branching out into her own productions.