This anti-big money mood is surprising territory for a man who embraces free markets and whose livelihood consists of bringing world CEOs and political leaders together for elite brainstorming sessions.
Klaus Schwab is also unusually downbeat, his trademark optimism tempered by global economic turmoil and public unrest ahead of this year's forum.
"We have unfinished business and we have to act fast," he told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday ahead of the forum's Wednesday opening.
"I'm a deep believer in free markets but free markets have to serve society," he said in Davos, a ski resort tucked away deep in the Swiss Alps. He lamented excesses and "lack of inclusiveness in the capitalist system."