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4 CEOs Make List of Top Leaders of 2011

The Washington Post just released its list of the top leaders of the past 12 months. The 12 best leaders include diplomats, athletes, politicians and four CEOs. The chief executive winners are Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Warren Buffett and Sam Palmisano.

The Washington Post posted its dozen of the best leaders of this year.  Among those highlighted are diplomats, a general,  a football player and screenwriters.  Of those 12, four were CEOs:

  • Tim Cook
  • Warren Buffett
  • Steve Jobs
  • Sam Palmisano

None of these were surprising names.  Losing Steve Jobs was one of the biggest stories of 2011. The late CEO of Apple was one of the most revered CEOs in history, and his innovations very much changed the way the world communicates.  Tim Cook, his successor, has only been at the helm for a few months, yet he too made the list.

Warren Buffett was listed not only because of his success, but for how outspoken he was in 2011. The author of Closing the Leadership Gap, Marie Wilson, told The Washington Post, “He’s dealt with class and gender in interesting ways: His appeal for taxes on him and his wealthy colleagues was a statement about democracy that we needed. He has also been a great advocate for women’s leadership.”

And finally, retiring IBM CEO Sam Palmisano made the cut. Harvard Professor Bill George told the Post that Palmisano is, “the best CEO in the world. He retired this year after nine years at the helm. He has completely transformed IBM around an integrated global enterprise and leading by values.”

These CEOs made the list along with Hillary Clinton, Tim Tebow, Angela Merkel and others.

Each year, Chief Executive also looks to find the most outstanding leader in the business world. Each CEO of the Year winner is chosen by his or her peers and voted upon by a select committee of CEOs.  Previous award winners have included Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Jack Welch. The 2011 winner was Ford Motor Company’s Alan Mulally. Who should succeed Mulally, Monsanto’s Hugh Grant, McDonald’s Jim Skinner, and Xerox’s Ann Mulcahy? Who deserves to be recognized as a beacon of excellence for business leadership? Give us your choice here.

Read: The best leaders of 2011

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