Top 100 CEOs in the World

by Meg Guiseppi on January 28, 2010

Harvard Business Review’s Magazine for January-February takes a look at which CEOs have done the best job running their companies, and ranks them on a variety of criteria.

The authors, Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer, collected data on close to 2,000 CEOs worldwide to determine which large public company CEOs performed best over their entire time in office, or for those still on the job, up until September 30, 2009.

Criteria used included:

  • During their tenures, the CEOs had to post a total shareholder return of 997 percent (adjusted for exchange-rate effects).
  • They had to raise company shareholder wealth by $48.2 billion (adjusted for inflation, dividends, share repurchases and share issues).

steve-jobsPerhaps it’s no surprise that Apple’s Steve Jobs is number one on the list. Following him are Yun Jong-Yong (Samsung Electronics), Alexey B. Miller (Gazprom), John T. Chambers (Cisco Systems) and Mukesh D. Ambani (Reliance Industries).

There are some relatively unknown faces at the top, and some obvious candidates in terms of reputation don’t make the top 50, or even the top 100 or top 200.

The top five female CEOs are Margaret C. Whitman (eBay), Andrea Jung (Avon Products), Carol Meyrowitz (TJX), Susan M. Ivey (Reynolds American) and Kate Swann (WH Smith).

Location and industry didn’t factor heavily in the results. But whether the CEO was with the same company or a different one before taking on the CEO role was a factor. CEOs who were insiders (promoted from within their companies) performed better than those who joined their organizations in that position.

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