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The Best Performing CEOs in the World

The Harvard Business Review identified the CEOs across the globe that delivered solid results over long periods of time, rather than seeking short-term gains in order to simply lift their compensation.

“The top CEOs have undeniably been effective. The top 50, on average, have delivered total shareholder returns of 1,350% (adjusted for exchange-rate movements) during their time on the job. That translates into an annual return of 26.2%. Adjusting for industry effects, average total shareholder returns for the top 50 are 1,161%, and for country effects, 1,087%.”

“We acknowledge, of course, that being a good CEO is about far more than just investment performance. Leading a company and creating value depend on many skills that are hard to measure—strategic vision, authenticity, long-term planning. And investors certainly aren’t the only stakeholders that need tending to; the best-run companies connect effectively with customers, employees, and the communities where they operate But we want this ranking to be as objective as possible, so we’ve put a premium on what we can measure precisely.”

Here are the top 10, but see the full article for a sortable list of the top 100:

  1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon
  2. John Martin, Gilead Sciences
  3. John Chambers, CISCO Systems
  4. David Pyott, Allergen
  5. David Simon, Simon Property Group
  6. Lars Rebien Serensen, Novo Nordisk
  7. Hugh Grant, Monsanto
  8. J. Michael Pearson, Valeant Pharmaceuticals
  9. Mark Donegan, Precision Castparts
  10. William Doyle, PotashCorp

Key takeaway from this ranking: “In many ways, Bezos’s place atop the list says it all. Here’s a CEO who has frequently underperformed in the short term while continuing to make big bets on the future. Amazon often reports quarterly losses, even as sales continue to rise. And though the company is subject, like many firms, to dramatic share-price swings, Amazon and Bezos have a long-term track record of delivering shareholder value that is second to none.