Donald Trump became US president this January, bringing with him an administration rocked by more than a dozen high-profile exits. Robert Mugabe resigned after a military coup, ending a 37-year reign over Zimbabwe.
Outside politics, Britain’s Prince Philip officially retired from his formal duties after 65 years of public service. In business, high-profile figures like Uber’s Travis Kalanick also resigned.
Scroll down to read about more leaders who left the world stage this year, in chronological order.
Barack Obama, US President — January 2017
Barack Obama ended his eight-year presidency on January 20, 2017.
In a letter to his successor, Donald Trump,he said: “We’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune.
“Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.”
Park Geun Hye, South Korean President — May 2017
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A South Korean court removed Park Geun Hye from the nation’s presidency in March, after she was accused of taking part in an alleged bribery ring which encouraged companies to donate money in return for government favours.
Her successor, Moon Jae In, was elected in early May and assumed office the day after.
Francois Hollande, French President — May 2017
François Hollande ended his five-year term as French President, and welcomed 39-year-old former banker Emmanuel Macron to the Elysée Palace in May.
Macron defeated Marine Le Pen, a far-right, anti-EU nationalist in a landslide victory earlier this year.
James Comey, FBI Director — May 2017
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FBI directors aren’t usually especially famous. But Comey’s central role in the 2016 election and subsequent rocky relationship with Trump, who has condemned him publicly after often, pushed him to prominence.
Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO — June 2017
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned in June after being forced out by investors. Even though he’s not a politician, the huge prominence Uber took under his tenure makes him a world figure.
His resignation came as the ride-sharing company’s internal turmoil — including discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying — began to spill into the public sphere, and he was made to step aside.
Kalanick’s successor, Dara Khosrowshahi, took the reigns in September and ended an internal practice that he said turned employees into “being an a–hole.”
Enda Kenny, Irish Taoiseach — June 2017
Enda Kenny, the taoiseach (roughly analogous to prime minister) of Ireland announced his resignation as leader of the Fine Gael party in May.
His successor, Leo Varadkar, became the country’s youngest and first openly gay prime minister.
Prince Philip, British Royal — August 2017
Prince Philip officially retired from royal duties this August, ending a 65-year stint of public service.
The 96-year-old had carried out 22,219 solo engagements and 637 solo visits overseas visits since 1952, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean President — November 2017
Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwean president after a military coup this November, ending his 37-year rule over the southern African country.
His former vice-president and one-time bodyguard, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was sworn in as his replacement a few days later.
Janet Yellen, Chair of US Federal Reserve — December 2017
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Janet Yellen held her final press conference on December 13, where she took her final opportunity to raise interest rates by 0.25%.
Her term formally ends in February, but she has limited opportunity to wield power by altering rates in the US, which gave her huge influence over the world economy for years.
Trump has nominated Jerome Powell, a former private equity executive, to replace her, even though Yellen actively interviewed to stay on at her job.