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The 34 best CEOs in the world, according to the Harvard Business Review

By January 5, 2019 No Comments

While companies are defined by the work of their staff, they all need a figurehead and a leader to act as the face of the business and to shape their corporate strategy. That’s where the CEO comes in.

The Harvard Business Review this week revealed its 2018 list of the best performing CEOs on the planet. For the second consecutive year, Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex, the fashion giant behind brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Pull and Bear took home the top spot.

The ranking is created by looking at three key financial variables: The change in market capitalization a CEO has overseen, the country-adjusted total shareholder return, and the industry-adjusted total shareholder return.

HBR also measured what it calls ESG, or the environmental, social, and governance score. Some examples factored into ESG include how much hazardous waste a company produces (environmental) and company diversity (social).

These four variables are then combined to give a score that helps identify how well a company is performing and as a result of how the CEO is doing.

Men dominate the list, reflecting the pool from which it is taken — the S&P 1200 index of global companies. In 2018, three female CEOs made the top 100, up from two last year. One woman — aerospace giant Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson — fits in the top 34.

Check out the top third of the Harvard Business Review’s list below. The full ranking can be found on HBR’s website.

34. Laurence Fink, BlackRock

34. Laurence Fink, BlackRock best ceo

Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images

Sector: Asset management

CEO since: 1988

Country of the company: USA

33. Carlos Brito, AB InBev

33. Carlos Brito, AB InBev best ceo

Eric Vidal/Reuters

Sector: Beverages

CEO since: 2005

Country of the company: Belgium

 

32. Robert Iger, Disney

32. Robert Iger, Disney best ceo

VCG/Getty Images

Sector: Entertainment

CEO since: 2005

Country of the company: USA

 

31. Mike Lawrie, DXC Technology

31. Mike Lawrie, DXC Technology best ceo

CSC

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2012

Country of the company: USA

30. Shigenobu Nagamori, Nidec

30. Shigenobu Nagamori, Nidec best ceo

Reuters

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 1973

Country of the company: Japan

 

29. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin

29. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin best ceo

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sector: Aerospace

CEO since: 2013

Country of the company: USA

28. Frederick Smith, FedEx

28. Frederick Smith, FedEx best ceo

YouTube

Sector: Transportation and logistics

CEO since: 1971

Country of the company: USA

 

27. Richard Fairbank, Capital One

27. Richard Fairbank, Capital One best ceo

Shaun Heasley/Getty

Sector: Financial services

CEO since: 1994

Country of the company: USA

26. Ajay Banga, Mastercard

26. Ajay Banga, Mastercard best ceo

Taylor Hill / Stringer / Getty Images

Sector: Payments

CEO since: 2010

Country of the company: USA

 

=24. Florentino Perez Rodriguez, ACS

=24. Florentino Perez Rodriguez, ACS best ceo

Denis Doyle / Getty

Sector: Healthcare

CEO since: 2008

Country of the company: Denmark

=24. Lars Rasmussen, Coloplast

=24. Lars Rasmussen, Coloplast best ceo

www.pol.dk

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 1993

Country of the company: Spain

 

23. Paolo Rocca, Tenaris

23. Paolo Rocca, Tenaris best ceo 2018

YouTube Screenshot

Sector: Energy

CEO since: 2002

Country of the company: Argentina

22. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

22. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase best ceo 2018

Brian Snyder/Reuters

Sector: Banking

CEO since: 2005

Country of the company: USA

 

21. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler

21. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler best ceo 2018

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Sector: Automotive

CEO since: 2004

Country of the company: Italy

Marchionne was included in the Harvard Business Review’s ranking despite his death in July.

20. Benoit Poitier, Air Liquide

20. Benoit Poitier, Air Liquide best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Materials

CEO since: 1997

Country of the company: France

 

19. Fabrizio Freda, Estee Lauder

19. Fabrizio Freda, Estee Lauder best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Cosmetics

CEO since: 2009

Country of the company: USA

18. Terry Gou, Foxconn

18. Terry Gou, Foxconn best ceo 2018

Getty Images News

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 1974

Country of the company: Taiwan

 

17. Hamid Moghadam, Prologis

17. Hamid Moghadam, Prologis best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Real estate

CEO since: 1997

Country of the company: USA

 

16. Brad Smith, Intuit

16. Brad Smith, Intuit best ceo 2018

Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2008

Country of the company: USA

Smith stepped down as CEO at the end of 2018.

 

15. Michael Mussallem, Edwards Lifesciences

15. Michael Mussallem, Edwards Lifesciences best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Healthcare

CEO since: 2000

Country of the company: USA

14. Mark Parker, Nike

14. Mark Parker, Nike best ceo 2018

AP/Rick Bowmer

Sector: Sporting goods

CEO since: 2006

Country of the company: USA

13. Bernard Charles, Dassault Systems

13. Bernard Charles, Dassault Systems best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 1995

Country of the company: France

12. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems

12. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems best ceo 2018

Rick Wilking/Reuters

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2007

Country of the company: USA

 

11. Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman

11. Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman best ceo 2018

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 2010

Country of the company: USA

10. Martin Bouygues, Bouygues

10. Martin Bouygues, Bouygues best ceo 2018

Thomson / Reuters

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 1989

Country of the company: France

 

9. Hisashi Ietsugu, Sysmex

9. Hisashi Ietsugu, Sysmex best ceo 2018

Sysmex

Sector: Healthcare

CEO since: 1996

Country of the company: Japan

8. Johan Thijs, KBC

8. Johan Thijs, KBC best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Banking

CEO since: 2012

Country of the company: Belgium

 

7. Jacques Aschenbroch, Valeo

7. Jacques Aschenbroch, Valeo best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Automotive

CEO since: 2009

Country of the company: France

6. Marc Benioff, Salesforce

6. Marc Benioff, Salesforce best ceo 2018

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2001

Country of the company: USA

 

5. Elmar Degenhart, Continental

5. Elmar Degenhart, Continental best ceo 2018

Thomson Reuters

Sector: Automotive parts

CEO since: 2009

Country of the company: Germany

4. Francois-Henri Pinault, Kering

4. Francois-Henri Pinault, Kering
Pinault and his wife, actress Salma Hayek.
 Jordan Strauss/AP

Sector: Luxury consumer goods

CEO since: 2005

Country of the company: France

 

3. Bernard Arnault, LVMH

3. Bernard Arnault, LVMH best ceo 2018

AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool

Sector: Luxury consumer goods

CEO since: 1989

Country of the company: France

2. Jensen Huang, Nvidia

2. Jensen Huang, Nvidia best ceo 2018

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 1993

Country of the company: USA

 

1. Pablo Isla, Inditex

1. Pablo Isla, Inditex best ceo 2018

Reuters

Sector: Retail

CEO since: 2005

Country of the company: Spain

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