Joe Cummings illustration: Amy Pascal

Amy Pascal, studio boss in real-life drama

Sony Pictures hack jeopardises not just co-chair’s job but free speech, writes Matthew Garrahan

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking: Superhero of science

The life and works of the astrophysicist enthral the public in his books and on the big screen

Joe Cummings illustration of Joshua Wong

Joshua Wong, teen in fight with Beijing

Hong Kong protest leader is counting on youth power to secure democracy

Magnus Carlsen illustration

Magnus Carlsen, an unlikely chess master

He moonlights as a model, naps on the job, skips homework – and snuffs out every rival

Taylor Swift: a star dimming Spotify

Singer’s lyrics conceal a shrewd mind and a pursuit of profit, writes Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

Joe Cummings illustration

Kevin Feige: the nerd who made Marvel hot

Full immersion in the studio’s comic heritage helped the shy showman create box-office gold

Joe Cummings illustration

Patrick Pouyanné, the Total package

French oil company’s new chief is a forceful presence and tough boss

Person in the news: Abby Johnson
©Joe Cummings

Abby Johnson: Leader of Fidelity

The fund manager’s new chief has inherited not only her father’s role but also his devotion to it

Illustration of Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano: Shyness and a dark past

Fans say the Nobel laureate for literature has his own genre, writes Anne-Sylvaine Chassany

Best of 2014: Peter Piot - Ebola’s foe

A pioneering virologist has learnt the virtues of patience, diplomacy – and action, write Clive Cookson and Andrew Jack

Rory McIlroy: A talent for golf and turmoil

The player has bounced back to carry Europe’s Ryder Cup hopes after a series of off-course upsets

Markus Persson: a gaming superstar

The shy creator of ‘Minecraft’ has sold out to Microsoft for $2.5bn and quit his company

Ana Botín, a scion of Spanish finance picks up the torch

The daughter of the late Santander chief was primed for the job from youth, writes Patrick Jenkins

Jorge Mendes, broker for football’s elite

The agent controls the game’s primary commodity – top talent, say Simon Kuper and Peter Wise

Daniel Schwartz, an expert at the quick flip

Burger King’s chief has displayed both self-belief and financial wizardry

Imran Khan, playboy turned politician

Run out last year, the former cricketer is now marching on Islamabad, writes Victor Mallet

Joseph Safra, the man behind banana bid

The Brazilian took many aback when he set out to buy Chiquita

Boris Johnson: sights set on the Tory crown

He is more than just a bit of fun but there are voters who back him as such, says Janan Ganesh

A down-to-earth industrialist takes on the Tata inheritance

The Indian group’s first non-family head must deliver

Joko Widodo, Mr Clean turned ‘accidental’ president

Many like him because he has ‘the face of someone from the village’. He also has a personal fortune of $2.5m

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