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

Picture: Getty Images

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 capitalisation 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 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

Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images

Sector: Asset management

CEO since: 1988

Country of company: USA


33. Carlos Brito, AB InBev

Sector: Beverages

CEO since: 2005

Country: Belgium


32. Robert Iger, Disney

VCG/Getty Images

Sector: Entertainment

CEO since: 2005

Country: USA


31. Mike Lawrie, DXC Technology

CSC

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2012

Country: USA


30. Shigenobu Nagamori, Nidec

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 1973

Country: Japan


29. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sector: Aerospace

CEO since: 2013

Country: USA


28. Frederick Smith, FedEx

Sector: Transportation and logistics

CEO since: 1971

Country: USA


27. Richard Fairbank, Capital One

Shaun Heasley/Getty

Sector: Financial services

CEO since: 1994

Country: USA


26. Ajay Banga, Mastercard

Taylor Hill / Stringer / Getty Images

Sector: Payments

CEO since: 2010

Country: USA


=24. Florentino Perez Rodriguez, ACS

Denis Doyle / Getty

Sector: Healthcare

CEO since: 2008

Country: Denmark


=24. Lars Rasmussen, Coloplast

www.pol.dk

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 1993

Country: Spain


23. Paolo Rocca, Tenaris

YouTube Screenshot

Sector: Energy

CEO since: 2002

Country: Argentina


22. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase

Picture: Getty Images

Sector: Banking

CEO since: 2005

Country: USA


21. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Sector: Automotive

CEO since: 2004

Country: Italy

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


20. Benoit Poitier, Air Liquide

Sector: Materials

CEO since: 1997

Country: France


19. Fabrizio Freda, Estee Lauder

Sector: Cosmetics

CEO since: 2009

Country: USA


18. Terry Gou, Foxconn

Getty Images News

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 1974

Country: Taiwan


17. Hamid Moghadam, Prologis

Sector: Real estate

CEO since: 1997

Country: USA


16. Brad Smith, Intuit

Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2008

Country: USA

Smith will step down as CEO at the end of 2018.


15. Michael Mussallem, Edwards Lifesciences

Sector: Healthcare

CEO since: 2000

Country: USA


14. Mark Parker, Nike

Sector: Sporting goods

CEO since: 2006

Country: USA


13. Bernard Charles, Dassault Systems

Sector: Information techology

CEO since: 1995

Country: France


12. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Systems

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2007

Country: USA


11. Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 2010

Country: USA


10. Martin Bouygues, Bouygues

Sector: Industrials

CEO since: 1989

Country: France


9. Hisashi Ietsugu, Sysmex

Sysmex

Sector: Healthcare

CEO since: 1996

Country: Japan


8. Johan Thijs, KBC

Sector: Banking

CEO since: 2012

Country: Belgium


7. Jacques Aschenbroch, Valeo

Sector: Automotive

CEO since: 2009

Country: France


6. Marc Benioff, Salesforce

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 2001

Country: USA


5. Elmar Degenhart, Continental

Sector: Automotive parts

CEO since: 2009

Country: Germany


4. Francois-Henri Pinault, Kering

Sector: Luxury consumer goods

CEO since: 2005

Country: France


3. Bernard Arnault, LVMH

Sector: Luxury consumer goods

CEO since: 1989

Country: France


2. Jensen Huang, Nvidia

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Sector: Information technology

CEO since: 1993

Country: USA


1. Pablo Isla, Inditex

Sector: Retail

CEO since: 2005

Country: Spain

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