The Best Startup CEOs To Work For, Ranked!

Drew Houston

If you’re going to join a startup, you might as well join a rocket ship. And lately, there are a lot of billion-dollar startups to choose from.

Which of these healthy startups have the strongest leadership?

We examined CEO ratings on the job ratings site Glassdoor for companies with a $US3 billion valuation or higher with multiple employee reviews.

Then we ranked the CEOs, from lowest employee approval rating to highest.

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[slide
permalink=”12-uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-has-a-58-approval-rating-1″
title=”12. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has a 58% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Travis Kalanick

CEO rating: 58%

Number of ratings: 254

What employees are saying: ‘TK (Travis Kalanick) might be our hardest worker. He’s smart and principled and very candid at our weekly company-wide TK Q&A. It’s great having a leader you really believe in.’

What it does: Founded in 2009, Uber is a mobile logistics company that connects its users with drivers of private vehicles under Uber’s contact. It offers different types of cars, from full-size luxury cars to smaller vehicles, and has a taxi-hailing service.

Valuation:$US18.2 billion; $US1.5 billion raised from Benchmark, Menlo Ventures, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, First Round Capital, and others.”
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[slide
permalink=”11-jawbones-ceo-hosain-rahman-has-a-64-approval-rating-2″
title=”11. Jawbone’s CEO Hosain Rahman has a 64% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Hosain Rahman

CEO rating: 64%

Number of ratings: 20

What employees are saying: ‘When things fail because of leadership, the teams get blamed, and the leaders get away with it. It’s a dysfunctional place. Hosain has no idea of much of this because he’s insulated by a level of people that are unable or refuse to give him the right information.’

What it does: Jawbone is a hardware and electronics maker that makes music and fitness gear. It was founded in 1999.

Valuation:$US3.3 billion.”
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[slide
permalink=”10-spacex-ceo-elon-musk-has-an-82-approval-rating-3″
title=”10. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has an 82% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Elon Musk

CEO rating: 82%

Number of ratings: 141

What employees are saying: ‘Elon changes his mind on what he wants on a regular basis.’ ‘Is it ‘cool’ to work for Elon? Sure it is. He has vision and courage to impact the future. There’s a price to pay for working for a ‘cool’ company.’

What it does: SpaceX makes, designs and launches rockets. It was founded in 2002.

Valuation:$US4.8 billion.”
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[slide
permalink=”9-airbnbs-ceo-brian-chesky-has-an-85-approval-rating-4″
title=”9. Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky has an 85% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Brian Chesky

CEO rating: 85%

Number of ratings: 74

What employees are saying: ‘Very smart people with huge egos and unfriendly, cliquey vibe. Young management cares a lot about PR and creating a glamorous company.’

What it does: Founded in 2008, Airbnb lets people rent homes from one another for short stays as an alternative to traditional hotels.

Valuation:$US10 billion; $US794.8 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners and others.”
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[slide
permalink=”8-palantir-ceo-alex-karp-has-a-91-approval-rating-5″
title=”8. Palantir CEO Alex Karp has a 91% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Alexander Karp

CEO rating: 91%

Number of ratings: 69

What employees are saying: ‘The people are top notch. There’s a lot of job satisfaction in working on hard problems where the solution actually makes a difference. Flat organisation — individuals are encouraged to take responsibility and act with minimal hand-holding from above.’

What it does: Founded in 2004, Palantir is a software and services company that specialises in data analysis. Its clients include government agencies like the CIA and the FBI.

Valuation: $US9 billion; $US950 million raised from Founders Fund, Tiger Global Management, Glynn Capital Management, and others.”
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[slide
permalink=”7-pinterest-ceo-ben-silbermann-has-a-92-approval-rating-6″
title=”7. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has a 92% approval rating”
content=”CEO: Ben Silbermann

CEO rating: 92%

Number of ratings: 26

What employees are saying: ‘Whenever I hear Ben speak, I am amazed at his ability to inspire me and have a great sense of satisfaction working at the company.’

What it does: Founded in 2008, Pinterest allows users to share and store photos, gifs, and videos online by ‘pinning’ content to personal pages.

Valuation: $US5 billion; raised $US762.5 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Rakuten, and others.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5466055069bedde35cbdaeed”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinterest/8384130457/in/photolist-dLSRTp-bCRh4V-fuK5pr-aLoPCK-ebCCuz-bpRANJ-dunHeZ-94TxTk-bpSwrh-bmKbNQ-bDkR2M-btoCXJ-bqqWJJ-bDkRJn-bqqWVu-doRUJe-dx3NZi-bCKRNR-nYxKwU-6vUJ3k-6vYVDU-4AKuRk-dkC2FY-dkBZqJ-bAyM2N-dkBVaD-dkBVco-dXX4xe-g2rDVP-dkC1uJ-dkC1dJ-dkBYMF-dkC1jh-dkC1zw-dkBXPv-dkBYHc-dkBXSK-dkC1K1-dkC1N3-dkBZ3n-dkC2kU-dkC1p1-dkC26S-dkBZeH-dkBYWB-dkBYs6-dkBXXB-dkBYDF-dkC2AL-dkBLZz”
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[slide
permalink=”6-spotify-ceo-daniel-ek-has-a-93-approval-rating-7″
title=”6. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has a 93% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Daniel Ek

CEO rating: 93%

Number of ratings: 22

What employees are saying: ‘The upper management is, I think, truly trying to reach out and understand what’s happening behind the powerpoint slides. But I think they’re too busy to realise that they just need to mix more with the rest of us to get a better feel of what is happening.’

What it does: Music streaming service founded in 2006.

Valuation:$US4 billion.”
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[slide
permalink=”5-square-ceo-jack-dorsey-has-a-97-approval-rating-8″
title=”5. Square CEO Jack Dorsey has a 97% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Jack Dorsey

CEO rating: 97%

Number of ratings: 91

What employees are saying: ‘I feel both challenged and supported in my work. I genuinely trust Jack as a leader as well as the rest of our execs.’

What it does: Founded in 2009, Square helps small businesses accept credit cards as mobile payments. It also helps businesses with invoicing and mobile deposits.

Valuation: $US6 billion; raised $US590.5 million from KPCB, Khosla Ventures, Citi Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and others.”
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[slide
permalink=”4-dropbox-ceo-drew-houston-has-a-99-approval-rating-9″
title=”4. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has a 99% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Drew Houston

CEO rating: 99%

Number of ratings: 81

What employees are saying: ‘The founders (Houston and Arash Ferdowsi) are very accessible and highly engaged in the day to day operations of the company — as someone else pointed out (on Glassdoor), they definitely ‘walk the walk.”

What it does: Founded in 2007, Dropbox stores files securely in the cloud so they can be accessed from any device.

Valuation:$US10 billion; $US1.1 billion raised from Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Ventures, and others.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/54660ecd6bb3f7446b2a9af0″
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/drew-houston-chief-executive-officer-and-co-founder-of-news-photo/451943856″
]
[slide
permalink=”3-snapchat-ceo-evan-spiegel-has-a-perfect-100-approval-rating-10″
title=”3. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has a perfect 100% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Evan Spiegel

CEO rating: 100%

Number of ratings: 7

What employees are saying: ‘Amazing leadership team that inspires innovation and design thinking throughout the product and company culture.’

What it does: Founded in 2012, Snapchat is a photo messaging app allows users to send photos and videos that get deleted after a set period of time.

Valuation:$US10 billion; raised $US163 million from Benchmark, SV Angel, Coatue Management, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and others.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/544b99b3ecad0456646a0940″
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeQ0alGlsPg#t=57″
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[slide
permalink=”2-cloudera-ceo-tom-reilly-has-a-perfect-100-approval-rating-11″
title=”2. Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly has a perfect 100% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Tom Reilly

CEO rating: 100%

Number of ratings: 26

What employees are saying: ‘The day I fell in love with the company was a day that Tom Reilly came down to chat with my team over lunch. In that conversation, our CEO told us that he wants Cloudera to be a place where people ‘do what they think is best and ask for forgiveness later.”

What it does: Big data. Founded in 2008.

Valuation:$US4.1 billion.”
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caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhttnIOmDp8″
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[slide
permalink=”1-lending-clubs-ceo-renaud-laplanche-has-a-perfect-100-approval-rating-12″
title=”1. Lending Club’s CEO Renaud Laplanche has a perfect 100% approval rating.”
content=”CEO: Renaud Laplanche

CEO rating: 100%

Number of ratings: 40

What employees are saying: ‘I’ve yet to meet one person here who doesn’t say it’s the best job they have ever had.’

What it does: A peer-to-peer loan company that was founded in 2006.

Valuation:$US3.8 billion.”
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[slide
permalink=”now-that-youve-seen-some-great-startup-leaders-check-out-13″
title=”Now that you’ve seen some great startup leaders, check out:”
content=”

Check out 10 tech companies on the cusp of an IPO >>


image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/544ac8f769bedd3f7046b155″
caption=”Box CEO Aaron Levie.”
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[/slideshow]