The 2015 Best Companies for Leaders

2015 Top 40 Public Companies

2015 Rank2014 Rank
1General Electric/Jeffrey Immelt-3P&G/A.G. Lafley
2IBM/Virginia Rometty-2IBM/Virginia Rometty
3P&G/A.G. Lafley-1General Electric/Jeffrey Immelt
4EMC/Joseph Tucci-26Accenture/Pierre Nanterme
5Verizon Communications/Lowell McAdam-14Unilever/Paul Polman
6VF Corporation/Eric Wiseman-11Dow Chemical/Andrew Liveris
7Southwest Airlines/Gary Kelly-18McDonald’s/Donald Thompson
8Wipro Ltd./T.K. KurienMonsanto/Hugh Grant
9The Cooper Companies/Robert Weiss-36Hormel Foods/Jeffrey Ettinger
10Dow Chemical/Andrew Liveris-6General Mills/Kendall Powell
113M/Inge Thulin-23VF Corporation/Eric Wiseman
12Xerox/Ursula BurnsW.W. Grainger/James Ryan
13Ingersoll Rand/Michael Lamach-10Caterpillar/Douglas Oberhelman
14General Mills/Ken Powell-9Verizon Communications/Lowell McAdam
15Hormel Foods/Jeffrey EttingerTJX Companies/Carol Meyrowitz
16Esterline/Curtis Reusser-40Sprint/Daniel Hesse
17Arthur J. Gallagher/J. Patrick GallagherMaxim Integrated/Tunc Doluca
18Sprint/Marcelo Claure-16Southwest Airlines/Gary Kelly
19Maxim Integrated/Tunc Doluca-17Dentsply International/Bret Wise
20Accenture/Pierre Nanterme-4ADP/Carlos Rodriguez
21Caterpillar/Doug Oberhelman-13HNI/Stan Askren
22Nielsen/Mitch BarnsMcKesson/John Hammerman
23Hitachi Data Systems/Jack Domme3M/Inge Thulin
24Ball Corporation/John HayesKonecranes/Pekka Lundmark
25Cardinal Health/George Barrett-27Ecolab/Douglas Baker
26Coca-Cola Enterprises/John BrockEMC Insurance/Bruce Kelley
27Huntington Bancshares/Stephen Steinour-37Cardinal Health/George Barrett
28Dentsply International/Bret Wise-19Green Mountain Coffee Roasters/Brian Kelley
29Royal Caribbean Cruises/Adam GoldsteinRPM International/Frank Sullivan
30Salesforce/Marco BenioffEmerson Electric/David Farr
31Bristow Group/Jonathan BaliffComcast/Brian Roberts
32HCL Technologies, Ltd./Anant GuptaShoppers Drug Mart/Dominic Pilla
33Tata Group/Cyrus MistryBarnes Group/Patrick Dempsey
34Shoppers Drug Mart/Dominic Pilla-32Cash America International/Daniel Feehan
35Hyatt Hotels/Mark HoplamazianDangote Cement/Aliko Dangote
36Ecolab/Douglas Baker-25The Cooper Companies/Robert Weiss
37Paychex/Martin Mucci-39Huntington Bancshares/Stephen Steinour
38Hewlett-Packard/Meg WhitmanCitigroup/Michael Corbat
39Harman International/Dinesh PaliwalPaychex/Martin Mucci
40Monsanto/Hugh Grant-8Esterline/Curtis Reusser

2015 Top 10 Private Companies

2015 Rank2014 Rank
1Deloitte, Frank Friedman-1Deloitte, Barry Salzberg
2Hilti, Christoph LoosPwC , Bob Moritz
3Dell, Michael Dell-6Transplace, Thomas Sanderson
4Transplace, Thomas Sanderson-3American Infrastructure, A. Ross Myers
5MWH Global, Alan Krause-9Clark Construction Group, Robert Moser
6Black & Veatch, Steven Edwards-10Dell, Michael Dell
7AlliedBarton Security Services, William Whitmore-7AlliedBarton Security Services, William Whitmore
8Belron, Gary LubnerDay & Zimmermann, Michael Yoh
9Day & Zimmermann, Hal Yoh-8MWH Global, Alan Krause
10NACCO Industries, Al RankinBlack & Veatch, Len Rodman

In the leadership pipeline, management advisors Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and Jim Noel deplore “the lack of effective talent development within organizations.” Today’s companies need effective leaders at every level and in every location. To deliver on results, CEOs can’t do it on their own. They need more fully performing leaders than ever before.

Each year since 2005, Chief Executive has sought to identify those companies that excel in leadership development. In partnership with Chally Group Worldwide (, a sales and leadership research and consulting firm headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, we canvas world-class companies through a questionnaire and interviews to learn what they are doing to identify and nurture people three or more levels down the chain from the CEO.

“To deliver on results, CEOs can’t do it on their own. They need more fully performing leaders than ever before.”

The final, top-40 ranking consists of public companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, and the top 10 on the list scored within several points of one another. Rankings are affected by a company’s reputation among its peers as a source for well-rounded talent. The percent of senior management recruited from internal talent pools is another criterion. Similar to 2014, some attrition among last year’s winners accounts for why previous winners did not appear on the 2015 listing. Because it would be inappropriate to compare private companies with larger, public companies that enjoy greater resources, we list separately the ranking of large, private organizations with in-depth, leadership-development programs.