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The Expert Who Predicted Financial Crisis | Economic Crisis | Recession  | Med Jones, The Expert Who Predicted Financial Crisis | Economic Crisis | Recession
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CEO Magazine - CEO Awards


After the great depression, CEOs had the most difficult year in 2009. The financial and economic crises caused a great deal of damage to the confidence of investors, consumers and employees. CEOs had to make difficult decisions to deal with declining revenues and layoffs, while at the same time finding innovative ways to re-energize growth. Several industries were hit the hardest Including financial, auto, housing, retail, media and advertising industries. In the U.S. alone, more than 100 banks closed and more than 100 media outlets went bankrupt or sold. Industry survivors were especially considered for their abilities to lead in difficult times. The CEOs real test is not how well they do during good economic times and bull markets, but also how they manage stakeholders’ interests and mitigate risks during an economic downturn.

What is the CEO Awards selection criteria?

According to Med Jones, the president of International Institute of Management, "At the institute, we wanted to identify the most respected CEOs, not the most famous. The key criterion for inclusion is the respectability of the CEO by his stakeholders, namely the company's clients, employees and investors.

IIM team researched each CEO by asking the stakeholders what they thought of the CEO and his/her performance. While this was a subjective measure, we also looked at objective measures such as the CEO achievements relative to his/her peers in the industry. Since 2009 was an exceptionally difficult year, the CEO achievements were judged less by the latest financial performance and more by the long-term performance of the company under the CEO's leadership. Achievements can be growth in revenues and profits, turnaround, strategic expansion into new markets, Increasing market share relative to competition, successful mergers or acquisitions, introducing new breakthrough products/services, pioneering new business models, and so on.

Unlike other CEO ranking lists, the CEO is not judged in absolute terms of the revenue or asset size of his company. The CEO of a smaller, but well-managed company that provides higher growth and better returns for investors is more likely to be considered for inclusion than the CEO of a much bigger company that has been losing money and stock value for several quarters. While the size of the company is an indicator of the company's position in its market and the CEO abilities, it was not the main criteria for inclusion. The track performance of the individual CEO is considered more important.

The company's performance is judged relative to its competition and industry conditions. For example, banks that overcame the financial crisis gain higher levels of respectability for surviving the industry collapse, so the relative performance expectation is different for each industry. CEOs who survived the financial crisis received higher respectability scores from their investors, clients and employees, even when their revenues or profits were down in 2009.

This year, we selected 18 CEOs from 17 publicly traded companies and 1 nonprofit organization.

Four special CEO honors went to:

  •  Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co.,  for the successful turnaround of a global giant, and for making a profit in 2009 during the worst global financial crisis to hit the auto industry;

  • Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc. for transforming the way we use phones and making Apple one of the most valuable global brands and companies in the world;

  •  Muhammad Yunus, CEO of Garmeen Bank for pioneering a new model of successful multi-billion dollar social banking and leveraging capitalism principles that helped approximately 3 million families fighting poverty conditions; and

  • David Blair, CEO of Catalyst Health Inc.., the youngest CEO on the list (less than 40 years old), who manages a company of less than 1,000 employees and generates more than 3.2 billion in revenues.

The research of the “Most Respected CEOs” has taught us new and important lessons that challenged the many common misconceptions about the ideal CEO’s personal and professional profiles. To learn more you can visit Lessons from the Most Respected CEOs

Research Notes:

  • It is worth noting that no list is all inclusive. There are many CEOs who are highly respected by their stakeholders that were not included in this year's list.

  • The dominance of American CEOs on the list is not an indication of a higher global respectability; it is the result of this year's focus on U.S. companies. In the following year we plan to expand our listing to cover more CEOs from all over the world, and to give our readers the chance to learn from their experiences, successes and insights.

To nominate a CEO for future awards, please visit CEO Awards Nomination

CEO Q - The CEO Magazine - Most Respected CEOs Edition

The 2010 Most Respected CEOs
(in the alphabetical order)

CEO / Company

Company Profile

Carlos Ghosn - CEO of Nissan - Renault
Industry: Auto Manufacturing
Employees: 150,000
Revenues: $83B
Market Cap: $36B
Christopher Connor - CEO of Sherwin-Williams
Industry: Specialty Retail (Paints)
Employees: 29,200
Revenues: $7.3B
Market Cap: $7.87
David Blair - CEO of Catalyst Health Solutions
Industry: Insurance Brokers
Employees: 995
Revenues: $3.2B
Market Cap: $1.93B
David Simon - CEO of Simon Property Group
Industry: REIT -Retail
Employees: 3,300
Revenues: $2.81B
Market Cap: $28.3B
Eric Schmidt - CEO of Google Inc.
Industry: Internet Information and Advertising
Employees: 21,800
Revenues: $26.21B
Market Cap: $150B
Jeff Joerres CEO of Manpower Inc.
Industry: Staffing and Outsourcing
Employees: 28,000
Revenues: $12.3B
Market Cap: $4B
John Wren - CEO of Omnicom Group
Industry: Advertising  Services
Employees: 63,000
Revenues: $12 B
Market Cap: $11.8 B
John Stumpf - CEO Wells Fargo & Company
Industry: Financial Services & Banking
Employees: 267,600
Revenues: $69.3B
Market Cap: $135B
Joseph Saunders - CEO of Visa Inc.
Industry: Payment Processing Network
Employees: 5,700
Revenues: $7B
Market Cap: $64B
Matt Rubel - CEO of Collective Brands Inc.
Industry: Apparel Stores
Employees: 13,500
Revenues: $3.32B
Market Cap: $0.85B
Michael Dan - CEO of Brinks Inc.
Industry: Security Services
Employees: 50,000
Revenues: $3B
Market Cap: $1B
Mike Morris - CEO of American Electric Power
Industry: Electric Power Generation
Employees: 21,670
Revenues: $13.6B
Market Cap: $17B
Muhammad Yunus - CEO of Grameen Bank
Industry: Financial Services
Employees: 24,700
Revenues: $9.8B
Market Cap: $6.7B
Paul Diaz - CEO of Kindred Healthcare
Industry: long-term care facilities
Employees: 39,500
Revenues: $4B
Market Cap:  $0.5B
Robert Dutkowsky
Industry: Computers Wholesale
Employees: 7,600
Revenues: $23B
Market Cap: $1.84B
Steve Jobs CEO of Apple Inc.
Industry: IT & Computers
Employees: 34,300
Revenues: $57B
Market Cap: $236.4B
Timothy M. Manganello - CEO of BorgWarner Inc.
Industry: Auto Parts Manufacturing
Employees: 12,500
Revenues: $4.4B
Market Cap: $5.0B
Tony Earley - CEO of DTE Energy
Industry: Electric Utilities
Employees: 10,244
Revenues: $8.3B
Market Cap: $8B


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