Here are America’s Most “Loved” CEOs

Costco's financial performance, plus its reputation for treating staff well, have held Craig Jelinek in good stead.

Take a bow Craig Jelinek. According to a new gauge, the Costco chief is America’s most likable CEO.

The conclusion was drawn by Owler, a site similar to company-rating platform Glassdoor, but different in that just about anyone can submit ratings, not just company employees.

Owler said its league tables were based on over a quarter of a million CEO ratings in the past year. They need to be taken with a pinch of salt: likability wasn’t clearly defined, and, of course, likable doesn’t always necessarily mean better.

The ranking system was also pretty cursory: users were asked to click on one of three emoji for each CEO: a happy face for good, a nondescript face for neutral and a sad face for bad.

“a CEO who isn’t liked should certainly ask: “Is there something about the way I am conducting myself that is making people not like me? AND What needs to change to turn that around?”

A favorability algorithm them evaluated the weighting of a review based on the specific characteristics of the reviewer, such as whether they were an employee, competitor or simply a “follower”.

Jelinek’s leading score of 94.9 out of 100 wasn’t a complete surprise, given that warehouse club retailer Costco is renowned for paying its workers relatively high wages. while keeping its profits and share price remarkably buoyant.

Rounding out the top five among U.S. public companies, in descending order, where Marriott’s Arne Sorenson, Capital One’s Richard Fairbank, First American’s Dennis Gilmore and Delta’s Ed Bastion.

Number 8 on the list, Henry Schein’s Stanley Bergman, is Chief Executive’s 2017 CEO of the Year. Chosen by a group of his peers, Bergman will be honored at an invitation-only event in July.

Coming all the way down at the bottom of the list, with a measly score of 21.5, was United CEO Oscar Munoz. Again, not a big surprise after the violent forced removal of a passenger to make way for the airline’s staff members sparked headlines around the world.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer came second last, with Sprint’s Marcelo Claure, T-Mobile’s John Legere and Office Depot’s Roland Smith rounding out the bottom five.

“The intent of our Owler search is not to define what make a CEO likable—there are plenty of academic researchers and executive search firms that can weigh in on that topic,” Owler head of marketing Nicole Lopuch said.

“But a CEO who isn’t liked should certainly ask the question: “Is there something about the way I am conducting myself as CEO of this company that is needlessly making people not like me? What needs to change to turn that around?”

Click here for the full rankings.


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