CEO performance, Best in the world

October 17, 2014

CEO performance, Best in the world

Harvard Business Review just released their 100 Best-Performing CEOs in the WORLD list. As the editor in chief says, “We approached the task scientifically, basing the ranking on hard data, not on reputation or anecdote.” I was surprised to read this because it somewhat dismissed the importance of reputation and grouped it in a category of hearsay. Oh well. But then later in the press release I read on the ranking, there is an unattributable statement that since the best CEOs are not only those who are high performers investment-wise, they asked Reputation Institute for the top CEOs based on “workplace, CSR, governance and leadership.” Of RI’s top three reputation-bearers, none are Americans. Seems to me that HBR doubled back on their earlier statement to cover all bases because as we know, CEO reputation accounts for something and perhaps gives CEOs the permission and confidence to perform over the long-term. 

A few noteworthy stats appear in the study findings which I want to list here:

  • 24 of the CEOs have undergraduate or graduate degrees in engineering and 29 have MBAs. Curious how many were philosophy or liberal arts majors. Few I imagine.
  • Only two women make the list — Debra Cafaro of Ventas and Carol Meyrowitz of TJX. Good for them. 
  • 13 are of nationalities that differ from their companies which is an increase from 2013. Progress is being made in terms of bringing true outsiders in. 

Hope to spend more time reading the full report but that was my first impression. Check out their interactive tables for even more. 

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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