The international edition of business magazine Fortune has drawn criticism for its cover depicting Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as revered Hindu god Lord Vishnu.

Nigel Buchanan illustrated the magazine’s January issue for a piece entitled ‘Amazon Invades India’, which tells how Bezos plans to conquer the "next trillion-dollar market". 

With past clients including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time and The Radio Times, the Australian-based digital illustrator is no stranger to intense scrutiny. 

But Nigel is not alone to portray a CEO as a religious figure: in 2010, illustrator Jon Berkeley gave Steve Jobs a halo in an Economist cover.

In a statementFortune Editor Alan Murray said: “Neither the artist nor the editors of Fortune had any intention of parodying a particular deity or of offending members of the Hindu faith. It is clear that we erred and for that, we apologise".

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed led the protest. On Twitter, he said that the juxtaposition “trivialises our venerated deity”. But he later thanked Fortune for showing maturity and “understanding community feelings by apologising”.