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As part of its January 2010 issue, the Harvard Business Review released its list of the top-performing CEOs in the world, placing Apple CEO Steve Jobs first among CEOs ranked by performance throughout their tenures.
The #1 CEO on the list, Steve Jobs, delivered a whopping 3,188% industry-adjusted return (34% compounded annually) after he rejoined Apple as CEO in 1997, when the company was in dire shape. From that time until the end of September 2009, Apple’s market value increased by $150 billion.

The study included 1,999 CEOs who assumed their positions no earlier than 1995 and measured shareholder return as the key metric, with corrections included for general country-specific and/or industry-wide performance gains. A number of prominent CEOs, such as Microsoft's Bill Gates and Oracle's Larry Ellison, were not included in the study because they took office prior to the 1995 cutoff.
Our ranking combines three measures: country-adjusted return, industry-adjusted return, and change in market capitalization during tenure. Of course, shareholder return is not the only measure of performance, and it omits contributions companies make to a wide group of stakeholders. But it is the fundamental scorecard for CEOs of public companies. And it's the same scorecard for everyone.
In analyzing the data to attempt to discern qualities common to the most successful leaders, the report found that while country and industry affiliations had little affect on performance, the most successful CEOs tended to be company insiders, hold MBAs, and have taken over struggling companies.

Jobs was followed in the rankings by Yun Jong-Yong of Samsung, Alexey Miller of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, John Chambers of Cisco, and Mukesh Ambani of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Article Link: Steve Jobs Named World's Best-Performing CEO by Harvard Business Review
 

iParis

macrumors 68040
Jul 29, 2008
3,670
31
New Mexico
Ah how I love Jobs. I'm scared to know where Apple would be at if he hadn't returned in '97. I'm pretty sure he still would have been first even if Gates was put into the list of possible CEOs.
 
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dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,033
50
Up, up in my studio, studio
Ah how I love Jobs. I'm scared to know where Apple would be at if he hadn't returned in '97. I'm pretty sure he still would have been first even if Gates was put into the list of possible CEOs.

I'd venture to guess that the question many shareholders would have had wouldn't be "where Apple would be" if he hadn't returned, but rather "whether Apple would still be."
 
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Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,433
12,251
UK
I'm surprised that the CEO of Air Asia isn't in the list, as they've expanded hugely since I first flew with them, they are one of the only long-distance budget airlines still in business (and they even kept expanding through the recession), and they are ridiculously cheap and they make a profit too (which for the airline industry is a nice change).

They probably aren't big enough (yet) to qualify though as they only made $40 million last quarter.

EDIT: And the CEO only started the company in 2001.
 
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HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,383
0
Steve Jobs brought sexy back in multimedia!:D Before Apple, buying electronics was just like buying another appliance. Apple's products make electronics actually FUN to use.
 
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allpar

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2002
336
91
"...tended to have MBAs..."

Like 90% of all CEOs... the real question is, are there differentiating factors?

Still, kudos to Steve, not just for his performance but for having it recognized. Many excellent high-performing CEOs aren't in "sexy" industries...

Taking over struggling companies is another "non-result" when you think about it - how else would you be able to make such strong improvements? In some ways it's more challenging to take an excellent company and make it better - as Apple's own story shows (through LACK of ability during its Apple II and between-Jobs Mac years) - Home Depot would be another example, an excellent CEO (I'm not talking "China Bob" Nardelli) would have kept the growth and quality up without this kind of survey being able to pick up on it.
 
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Pachang

macrumors regular
Dec 17, 2009
236
0
I'd venture to guess that the question many shareholders would have had wouldn't be "where Apple would be" if he hadn't returned, but rather "whether Apple would still be."

True. But there is no question that if he hadn't been kicked out apple in 85 he would have continued to run apple into the ground.....and then there would definitely be no apple.
 
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Duendito

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2009
6
0
re "sexy" industries

The computer industry was not sexy at all before Jobs came along and made Apple sexy... :)

"...tended to have MBAs..."

Like 90% of all CEOs... the real question is, are there differentiating factors?

Still, kudos to Steve, not just for his performance but for having it recognized. Many excellent high-performing CEOs aren't in "sexy" industries...

Taking over struggling companies is another "non-result" when you think about it - how else would you be able to make such strong improvements? In some ways it's more challenging to take an excellent company and make it better - as Apple's own story shows (through LACK of ability during its Apple II and between-Jobs Mac years) - Home Depot would be another example, an excellent CEO (I'm not talking "China Bob" Nardelli) would have kept the growth and quality up without this kind of survey being able to pick up on it.
 
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Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,313
33
True. But there is no question that if he hadn't been kicked out apple in 85 he would have continued to run apple into the ground.....and then there would definitely be no apple.

WRONG.

Steve Job was kicked out because wanted to invest money into what's is now known as OS X. Those with low IQ don't see any value in investing into usability, so they kicked Jobs out.

It might have advanced computer technology by a decade if Steve Jobs stayed at Apple. However his experience with owning Pixar and NeXT are also crucial to what is Apple today.
 
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DMann

macrumors 601
Jan 13, 2002
4,001
0
10023
Strange... the report didn't even explain why they arbitrarily picked 1995 as the cut-off year.

Was it so their favorite CEOs could float to the top?

Or would it have all turned out the same way? If so, why not include the older guys?

Perhaps because BG might have been offended for not winning? :)
 
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!¡ V ¡!

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
850
0
WRONG.

Steve Job was kicked out because wanted to invest money into what's is now known as OS X. Those with low IQ don't see any value in investing into usability, so they kicked Jobs out.

It might have advanced computer technology by a decade if Steve Jobs stayed at Apple. However his experience with owning Pixar and NeXT are also crucial to what is Apple today.

One cannot conclude the outcome of any of the actions you describe. Factors could have been right when the initial iMac was released, USB inception, manufacturing process (clear or translucent plastic) that lead to following products. Saying if :apple: back in the days invested in OS X holds no truth as even if they did it was the various other factors that led to its success. Lets not forget PPC and migration to intel. I hear that Steve Jobs has calmed down quite a bit from his prime days at :apple:.

Who knows if Steve Jobs stayed at :apple: and still produced Mac OS X then it could have been a flop, just saying anything is possible. Do not make it sound that the factors now would have favoured factors a decade or so ago.

Perhaps because BG might have been offended for not winning? :)

In the personal computer field only:

Steve Jobs = vision

Bill Gates = copycat


Well to some extent the who copycat can be placed on a visa-versa scenario, so that should not make Bill Gates feel too bad.

Ballmer on the other hand, that guy creeps me out. :p
 
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MattJessop

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
215
43
Manchester, UK
WRONG.

Steve Job was kicked out because wanted to invest money into what's is now known as OS X. Those with low IQ don't see any value in investing into usability, so they kicked Jobs out.

It might have advanced computer technology by a decade if Steve Jobs stayed at Apple. However his experience with owning Pixar and NeXT are also crucial to what is Apple today.

His departure from Apple was more to do with personal disagreements with the board of directors rather than any creative differences, so I've been led to believe. Apple was performing fairly badly at the time they fired him, and Job's certainly didn't make a fortune out of NeXT, (they lost a lot of money on the hardware) in fact I'd say it was only Apple's purchase of NeXT that made it a success. Of course this paid off in the long run, and led to the creation of OS X.

I think there's always a danger into speculating 'what if', because we never will know what did happen. I do believe Apple would have suffered very poorly if Jobs had not been brought back, but I think Apple would have suffered with or without Jobs during the 90s, when the computer market practically exploded.
 
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DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,190
691
most successful CEOs tended to be company insiders, hold MBAs, and have taken over struggling companies.

I guess you could call Jobs an Apple insider even though he worked for NeXT

Does Jobs even have an MBA???

Apple was struggling, that is a fact.
 
Comment

kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
Hehe... I was going to say the same thing!

How many CEO's of big companies really *don't* possess an MBA? I bet you could list the "25 worst CEOs" and find that they, too, "tended to have MBAs".

Truthfully, the big "key" to success seems to be surrounding yourself with quality employees, and giving them freedom to be creative. Companies like 3M or the old Bell Labs did this with research labs full of people getting paid to come in and invent things. They weren't ordered to "do this" or "do that". Rather, it was made clear they were hired because they seemed to be intelligent, creative, and capable -- and the company gave them a "playground" to make their ideas into reality. Once you have that going on though, you need someone at the top to pick and choose through the results. He or she needs "vision" too, to wisely select what will work and what won't. For Apple, that's where I think Jobs shines. The man has quite a few strong opinions of how their products should look and work, yet he refrains from dictating the whole product. Rather, he challenges people to bring forth cool concepts, and proceeds to pick them apart and send them back over and over again, until he's personally satisfied. While that might work negatively for Apple at times (EG. Jobs' insistence that a mouse with 1 button was a better idea), it's a plus overall. I think when you just let your employees "design a product by committee" - you risk a "too many cooks spoil the soup" situation. You get a product with too much complexity, because everyone had to have their "pet idea" tacked onto it, or a mediocre product because people fought amongst themselves over features until they settled by leaving them out.


"...tended to have MBAs..."

Like 90% of all CEOs... the real question is, are there differentiating factors?

Still, kudos to Steve, not just for his performance but for having it recognized. Many excellent high-performing CEOs aren't in "sexy" industries...

Taking over struggling companies is another "non-result" when you think about it - how else would you be able to make such strong improvements? In some ways it's more challenging to take an excellent company and make it better - as Apple's own story shows (through LACK of ability during its Apple II and between-Jobs Mac years) - Home Depot would be another example, an excellent CEO (I'm not talking "China Bob" Nardelli) would have kept the growth and quality up without this kind of survey being able to pick up on it.
 
Comment

NeuralControl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2009
920
38
It is a graduate (Masters) degree in business. Masters of Business Administration, to be specific.
Congratulations Steve.
 
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