Survey says: Zuckerberg the most popular CEO

Steven Loeb · March 15, 2013 · Short URL:

Glassdoor rankings put Zuck on top, former champ Tim Cook falls to number 18

It seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? If you want to know what it is really like to work at a company, or how much a boss is well liked, then ask the employees who work there. That is the tactic jobs and career community website Glassdoor has taken for its list of the top 50 highest rated CEOs; it based its rankings on employee feedback shared during the past year.

Coming out on top, with an approval rating soaring up 14% in one year, is Facebook CEO MarK Zuckerberg, unseating last year's champion Tim Cook, who fell 4% all the way down to 18th place.

As one Facebook employee told Glassdoor, “An open community from Zuck on down. Mutual trust companywide and sense of community and drive, instilled by our CEO, who we all truly respect.”

Here are some interesting stats from the list:

Only 17 of the CEOs that appeared on Glassdoor’s 2012 report also made this year’s report, including Google CEO Larry Page, who saw his approval rate stay exactly the same, at number 11;  Starbucks CEO Howard D. Schultz, who went up 4% from last year to 19th place; Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, who lost 4% and wound up in 36th place; and Nordstrom CEO Blake W. Nordstrom, who went up 1%, and is resting at number 29 this year.

Besides Zuckerberg, only five other CEOs had double digit increases: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shot up 13% to number 16; Natarajan Chandrasekaran of Tata Consultansy Services went up 11% to number 25; Krishnakumar Natarajan of MIndtree shot up a staggering 21% to 28th place; the Gap's Glenn K. Murphy increased by 13% to hit number 39; and T. K. Kurien of Wipro is at 44th place, up 19%.

Two CEOs saw themselves fall by double digits, yet still make the list: Richard D. Fairbank of Capital One and John B. Veihmeyer of KPMG each fell 10% to land at 38 and 47 respectively. 

There are three CEOs that are new to this list this year: Chick-fil-A CEO S. Truett Cathy in 26th place; Victoria’s Secret CEO Sharen Turney, ranking at number 42; and Dell CEO Michael S. Dell who ranks 49th.

Turney is the only woman to make the list in 2013, beating out HP CEO Meg Whitman, who made the list last year, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. (Could it be that employees really don't like her policy on remote workers?)

Glassdoor based its top CEO rankings on more than half a million company reviews that were submitted between February 25, 2012 and February 24, 2013. To be eligible for the 2013 report, CEOs must have received at 100 approval ratings during that time period.

A little about Glassdoor

Sausalito, California-based Glassdoor was founded in 2007. The company has data on over 220,000 companies in more than 190 countries, with 14 million plus registered users. The companies represented on the include all of those on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Fortune 500 and the S&P 500.

A big part of Glassdoor is the employee generated content, which includes information about what it is really like to work at a company. This includes anonymous salaries, company reviews and interview questions, which are posted by employees, job seekers, and the companies themselves.

The company has raised a total of $42.2 million, most recently securing a $20 million Series D round of financing in October. It is backed by Benchmark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, Battery Ventures and DAG Ventures.

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