HBR’s 2014 Best Performing #CEO’s List

As extracted from the November 2014 issue of HBR, using a novel methodology to evaluate long run CEO performance.


1. Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon

2. John Martin, Gilead Sciences

3. John Chambers, Cisco Systems

4. David Pyott, Allergan

5. David Simon, Simon Property Group

6. Lars Rebien Sørensen, Novo Nordisk

7. Hugh Grant, Monsanto

8. J. Michael Pearson, Valeant Pharmaceuticals

9. Mark Donegan, Precision Castparts

10. William Doyle, PotashCorp

11. Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing

12. David Novak, Yum Brands

13. Michael Wolf, Swedbank

14. Pablo Isla Álvarez de Tejera, Inditex

15. Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com

16. Oscar Gonzalez Rocha, Southern Copper

17. Stephen Wynn, Wynn Resorts

18. James Taiclet Jr., American Tower

19. Elmar Degenhart, Continental

20. George Paz, Express Scripts

21. Tsai Ming-Kai, MediaTek (tie)

22. Paolo Rocca, Tenaris (tie)

23. Reed Hastings, Netflix

24. Ronald Havner Jr., Public Storage

25. Michael Balmuth, Ross Stores

26. Daniel Hajj Aboumrad, América Móvil

27. Debra Cafaro, Ventas

28. James Gallogly, LyondellBasell

29. Christopher Connor, Sherwin-Williams

30. Djalma Bastos de Morais, Cemig

31. Paul Bisaro, Actavis

32. Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor (tie)

33. Renato Alves Vale, CCR (tie)

34. Alexander Cutler, Eaton (tie)

35. Stephen Luczo, Seagate Technology (tie)

36. Gordon Nixon, Royal Bank of Canada

37. Kent Thiry, DaVita

38. H. Lawrence Culp Jr., Danaher

39. Charles Davidson, Noble Energy

40. George Scangos, Biogen Idec

41. Ulf Schneider, Fresenius

42. Dan Dinges, Cabot Oil & Gas

43. Simon Wolfson, Next

44. Michael Ward, CSX

45. Fujio Mitarai, Canon

46. Carlos Alves de Brito, Anheuser-Busch InBev

47. Ed Clark, Toronto-Dominion Bank (tie)

48. Joseph Papa, Perrigo (tie)

49. Philip Pascall, First Quantum

50. John Wren, Omnicom

51. Carol Meyrowitz, TJX

52. Nick Hayek Jr., Swatch

53. John Hammergren, McKesson

54. Howard Schultz, Starbucks (tie)

55. Blake Nordstrom, Nordstrom (tie)

56. Frank Hermance, Ametek

57. Bruce Flatt, Brookfield Asset Management

58. Jeffrey Sprecher, Intercontinental Exchange

59. Wolfgang Reitzle, Linde

60. Robert Iger, Walt Disney

61. Benoît Potier, Air Liquide

62. William Rhodes III, AutoZone

63. Monty Moran, Chipotle Mexican Grill

64. Ajaypal Banga, MasterCard

65. Richard Cousins, Compass Group

66. Terry Lundgren, Macy’s (tie)

67. Benjamin Steinbruch, Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (tie)

68. Randall Hogan, Pentair

69. Gregory Case, Aon

70. André Desmarais, Power Corporation of Canada (tie)

71. Paul Desmarais Jr., Power Corporation of Canada (tie)

72. Ola Rollén, Hexagon

73. Herbert Hainer, Adidas

74. Lars Rasmussen, Coloplast

75. George Weston, Associated British Foods

76. Mark Parker, Nike

77. David Zaslav, Discovery Communications

78. Ed Heffernan, Alliance Data Systems

79. Peter Rogers, Babcock

80. Gregory Henslee, O’Reilly Automotive

81. Fabrizio Freda, Estée Lauder

82. Scott Saxberg, Crescent Point Energy

83. Tsai Eng-Meng, Want Want China Holdings

84. Eric Wiseman, VF

85. He Guangbei, BOC Hong Kong

86. Gregory Johnson, Franklin Resources (tie)

87. Michael Mussallem, Edwards Lifesciences (tie)

88. Jean-Paul Clozel, Actelion

89. Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen

90. Kari Henrik Stadigh, Sampo

91. Lars Renström, Alfa Laval

92. Michael Kowalski, Tiffany & Company

93. John Finnegan, Chubb

94. Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo

95. Jean-Paul Luksic, Antofagasta

96. Edward Matthew Tracy, Sands China

97. Gregory Goodman, Goodman

98. Franck Riboud, Danone

99. Brian Jellison, Roper Industries

100. Willard Oberton, Fastenal




To create the list of the best-performing CEOs in the world, HBR began with the companies that, at the end of 2013, were in the S&P Global 1200, an index covering 70% of the world’s stock market capitalization and comprising firms in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. We identified each company’s current CEO. To make sure that we had reliable data and focused on long-term performance, we excluded CEOs who had assumed their role before 1995 or after April 30, 2012. We also excluded any executive who had been convicted or arrested. All told, we ended up with 832 current CEOs from 827 companies. (Several companies had co-CEOs.) Those executives represented 43 nationalities and ran enterprises based in 30 countries.


Our research team, headed by Nana von Bernuth and assisted by statistician Hyunwoo Park and coders Peggy Lam, Michelle Kossack, and Phachareeya Ratchada, pulled financial data from Datastream and Worldscope and calculated daily company returns (including reinvested dividends) for each CEO from the first day that he or she took office until April 30, 2014. From this data we calculated three sets of numbers: country-adjusted returns (which exclude any increases in returns that are attributable merely to an improvement in the local stock market), industry-adjusted returns (which exclude increases that result from rising fortunes for the overall industry), and change in market capitalization (measured in inflation-adjusted U.S. dollars, using 2012 exchange rates).


We then ranked all CEOs for each metric—from 1 (best) to 832 (worst)—and calculated the average of the three rankings for every CEO to create the final overall ranking. Using three metrics is a balanced and robust approach: While the first two risk being skewed toward smaller companies (it’s easier to get large returns if you start from a small base), the third is skewed toward larger companies.


We also collected biographical data on each CEO and performed regression analysis on the data set. This allowed us to “control” for some factors and isolate the effect that one factor (such as having an MBA or an engineering degree, or being a company founder) had on a CEO’s standing in the ranking.


HBR’s list of the world’s best-performing CEOs was conceived by Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer. Previous rankings were published in HBR’s January–February 2010 and January–February 2013 issues, but the methodology has been updated for the 2014 list.


By: Adi Ignatius, Editor in Chief of Harvard Business Review (Twitter: @adiman @harvardbiz)

Source: https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-best-performing-ceos-in-the-world

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