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The Best-Performing CEOs in the World

Who would you rate as the best performing CEO in the world – now and over time?  This month’s Harvard Business Review includes of the best performing CEOs in the world.  Given a lot of people have blamed short-term thinking for causing our current economic troubles, debate has ensued about what time window should be used to assess a CEO’s performance. Today boards of directors, senior managers, and investors intensely want to know how CEOs handle the ups and downs of running businesses over an extended period. Many executive compensation plans define the “long term” as a three-year horizon, but the real test of a CEO’s leadership has to be how the company does over his or her full tenure.

This article contains the first ranking that shows which CEOs of large public companies performed best over their entire time in office—or, for those still in the job, up until September 30, 2009. The results were compiled by collecting data on close to 2,000 CEOs worldwide.  It may come as no surprise that Steve Jobs topped the list – but who else ranks in the Top 100 CEOs?  The article also asks the questions do we celebrate the wrong CEOs – and why are there so few women CEOs?  

In this study of the leadership of 2,000 of the world’s top performing companies, only 29 (1.5%) of those CEOs were women, an even smaller percentage than on the Fortune 500 Global list (2.6%). Only one woman, Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, made it to the top 100 rankings.

Although it’s quite US-centric, this is one of the best leadership reviews I’ve read – click here to access the article.


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