LinkedIn is one of the platforms currently trending upwards: User numbers and reach on the business platform continue to skyrocket; simultaneously, LinkedIn continues to morph further into a content platform. Prominent entrepreneurs and personalities have amassed elevated numbers of followers with their personal accounts—some breaking the million mark. Today, OMR is publishing three different rankings to give an overview of which “LinkedInfluencers” have the most reach and which companies attract the most followers.

According to company figures, there are over 690 million members on LinkedIn at present worldwide (up by roughly 45 million in the past 6 months); 157 million of which are from Europe. Barbara Wittman, Country Manager for DACH recently announced, that LinkedIn cracked 15 million members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the first time ever.

LinkedIn only publishes curated lists

The platform started as a place, where members could add each other as contacts and thus create a network of business contacts. Since 2014, however, members and companies have had the option of following other accounts and thus subscribe to receive updates. Further proof that LinkedIn has been making an effort to create its own successful influencers with significant reach is the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Those admitted to the program were able to publish content and other opinion pieces on the platform before that option was available to others. Furthermore, their posts were given increased visibility on the platform. LinkedIn says there are a total of 500 LinkedIn Influencer worldwide at the moment; Applications to the program are not currently being accepted.

If you google for information on which LinkedIn users have the most followers, you inevitably come across LinkedIn’s “Top Voices” lists. Published annually, LinkedIn uses these lists to highlight the most valuable voices internationally and in specific markets (Here, e.g., is the most recent one published in 2019). However, these should not be seen as definitive as they are curated and not based on the number of followers, but rather, according to LinkedIn, on criteria such as output, engagement and content quality.

The OMR ranking—the methodology

So we set out to put together our own ranking based on followers. To this end, we took the “Top Voices” lists, combed our OMR network and used Google to search several keyword combinations on LinkedIn. Not every profile immediately displays the number of followers. Generally speaking, however, this is visible in the users activity history.

Cracking the global top 20 starts with 7 figures

Unsurprisingly, the global top 20 is populated by the big boys and girls. Our compiled list spans the gauntlet of international heavy hitters—from businessmen and women to politicians. Essentially a who’s who of anyone who’s anybody, if you only have 2.82 million followers you missed the cut—as is the case for Barack Obama, who came in at number 21. Better luck next time, Barry.

Die Followers-stärksten globalen Linkedin-Nutzer

(auf dem Handy nach links wischen, um die gesamte Tabelle zu sehen)

Rank Name Occupation / Company Followers
1 Bill Gates Co-Founder, Microsoft 28.1 million
2 Richard Branson Founder, Virgin Group 17.33 million
3 Jeff Weiner Executive Chairman, LinkedIn 10.76 million
4 Ariana Huffington Founder, Huffington Post, Founder, Thrive Global 9.2 million
5 Satya Nadella CEO, Microsoft 7.95 million
6 Jack Welch Management Consultant, Ex-CEO, General Electric 7.28 million
7 Mark Cuban Tech Entrepreneur 6.19 million
8 Tony Robbins Author & Personal Coach 5.81 million
9 Deepak Chopra Author and Founder, Chopra Foundation 5.73 million
10 Daniel Goleman Psychologist & Journalist 5.46 million
11 Justin Trudeau Prime Minister, Canada 4.43 million
12 Gary Vaynerchuk CEO VaynerMedia 4.14 million
13 Melinda Gates Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 3.84 million
14 Ian Bremmer President at Eurasia Group 3.7 million
15 Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India 3.54 million
16 James Caan Founder, Hamilton Bradshaw Group 3.25 million
17 Adam Grant Psychologe & Author 3.16 million
18 Guy Kawasaki “Chief Evangelist,” Canva, previously active at Apple 3.09 million
19 Simon Sinek Author (“Start with why”), Podcaster & Speaker 2.95 million
20 Gretchen Rubin Author and Podcaster 2.897 million

Accurate as of: July 15, 2020, Research conducted by OMR | List makes no claim to completeness

Topping the global LinkedIn ranking is Microsoft co-founder Sir Bill Gates, who’s been keeping a very public profile through his work with the WHO and on Covid since the outbreak. Coming in second with 11 million fewer followers is another celebrity entrepreneur, Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson.

The rest of the list is populated by CEOs and execs from the very apex of international business, personal coaches (Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra), politicians (Canadian and Indian Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Narendra Modi respectively), as well as successful authors and podcasters Adam Grant, Simon Sinek and Gretchin Rubin. The entrepreneurs on the list include Dallas Mavericks’ owner and star of TV show “Shark Tank” Mark Cuban (number 7) and not-the-actor James Caan (number 16).

Tech companies dominate company rankings

While it should not surprise anyone to learn that the international company rankings is dominated by the big tech companies, it is worth pointing out that LinkedIn lags behind Google, the TED Conference and Amazon in its own platform—fourth is a fine showing, but it always hurts when you “lose a home game.” The outlier in the top 20, and the top 10 for that matter is the aforementioned “TED Conferences”, which came in second. The only event company anywhere on the list, TED has increased its profile over the years by regularly posting “Ideas worth sharing” and clips from TED talks. The top non-US companies by our count include British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, Swiss food and drink company Nestlé and UK accounting company Deloitte. The best showing by a company in our home market of Germany is Siemens, whose 3.37 million followers were good enough for 23rd.

Here’s the Top 20 company profiles on LinkedIn in terms of followers

Rank Company Followers
1 Google 17.724 million
2 TED Conferences 17.693 million
3 Amazon 15.048 million
4 LinkedIn 12.155 million
5 Microsoft 11.681 million
6 Apple 11.441 million
7 Unilever 10.351 million
8 Nestlé 9.855 million
9 IBM 8.696 million
10 Tesla 6.361 million
11 Facebook 6.042 million
12 Accenture 5.567 million
13 Oracle 5.527 million
14 Johnson & Johnson 5.236 million
15 Netflix 5.234 million
16 Deloitte 5.060 million
17 Procter & Gamble 4.714 million
18 EY 4.258 million
19 HP 3.896 million
20 The Walt Disney Company 3.770 million

Speaking of Germany, we would be remiss for not taking a closer look at the top individuals in our home market of the Fatherland. For this list, we included Germans working abroad and non-Germans living and working in Germany.

Top-20 German LinkedIn users in terms of followers

(If viewing on your phone, swipe left to see the whole table)

# Name Titel Company Followers
1 Andreas von der Heydt Director Talent Acquisition Amazon 431,626
2 Frank Thelen Founder & CEO Freigeist Capital 255,319
3 Dieter Zetsche Chairman of the Board TUI 253,211
4 Bill McDermott President & CEO Servicenow 213,703
5 Patrick Abrar CSO Goodgame Studios 203,385
6 Miriam Meckel Journalist & Founding publisher, ada Handelsblatt Media Group 135,535
7 Vladimir Klitschko Ex-Professional boxer, current entrepreneur Klitschko Ventures 117,610
8 Charles-Edouard Bouée Founder and Managing Partner Alpha Intelligence Capital (previously at Roland Berger) 105,877
9 Oliver Bussmann CEO & Founder Bussmann Advisory 101,006
10 Carsten Maschmeyer Founder Maschmeyer Group 91,855
11 Herbert Diess Chairman of the Board Volkswagen 87,905
12 Philipp Lahm Ex-Professional soccer player, current entrepreneur DFB Euro GmbH & Philipp Lahm Holding 85,944
13 Tim Höttges Chairman of the Board Deutsche Telekom 79,223
14 Tina Müller CEO Douglas Group 73,971
15 Joe Kaeser President & CEO Siemens 69,443
16 Suzanne Grieger-Langer “Profiler”, CEO Grieger-Lange Group 65,940
17 Christian Rätsch CEO Saatchi&Saatchi 62,140
18 Lea-Sophie Cramer Founder & Member of the Advisory Board Amorelie 61,744
19 Holger Schmidt Journalist & Speaker Netzökonom 59,315
20 Christian Klein CEO & Memeber of the Executive Board SAP 56,538

Accurate as of: July 15, 2020, Research conducted by OMR | List makes no claim to completeness

Topping the list is Andreas von der Heydt, an Amazon Manager from Germany, who is based in the USA. von der Heydt is an interesting place to start. On the one hand, he is based in the USA, LinkedIn’s homemarket—an advantage when it comes to potential reach over non-US LinkedIn members. On the other, he rarely posts in English. In spite of it all, a 2nd or 3rd tier manager at Amazon from Germany has more LinkedIn followers than all other German DAX-CEOs on LinkedIn.

The list also includes famous current and ex-soccer players from Germany, Thomas Müller, Philipp Lahm and Mario Götze, as well as former heavyweight boxing champ Vladamir Klitschko. Three of the top 20 are non-Germans, including ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott (NYC), founder and managing partner at Alpha Intelligence Capital Charles-Edouard Bouée (France) and the aforementioned Dr. Steelhammer (Ukraine).

Did we miss anybody? Get in touch and we’ll update the list!