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The Harvard Business Review recently published their article on the Top 100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World. It’s probably not a surprise to many that Steve Jobs is #1 on the list (Apple, Pixar) or that there is only one woman (#8 – Meg Whitman of eBay) on the top 100. I am however, surprised by which woman they picked. Meg Whitman practically ran eBay into the ground. Indra Nooyi of Pepsico would have been a much better choice.

After glancing at a few of their selections, I decided to crunch some of the numbers given to see if there are any interesting trends. First, we can clearly see that HBR has a bias towards western CEOs (specifically, the US and UK).

country.png

The industries are pretty much what one expects, with energy and financial services leading the way.

industries.png

Contrary to the prevalent white knight CEO myth, most good CEOs tend to be insiders, and do not hold MBA degrees. An MBA only seems to be important IF you want to be a white knight CEO.

MBAvsnoMBA.png

Though if you do want to try and be a white knight CEO, USA and UK are about the only countries that really has that type of culture.

outsidersvsinsiders.png

There’s a lot more analysis that you could run on the data if you want. I’m going to save you some effort in screen scraping and just give you the excel sheet that I used here.

So this concludes my first blog entry in the new decade! As some of you might have noticed, I’ve also completely revamped the website. If you have any comments, (constructive or hateful ones), please let me know! Happy New Year!

  • Ji

    Great analysis!