Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Chief Executive Magazine Announces its 2016 Best Companies for Leaders

The top 5 public companies that excel at nurturing leaders are GE, EMC Insurance, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM and Johnson Controls; Black & Veatch leads the private-company list

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – GREENWICH, Conn., Jan. 25, 2016 – For the second year in a row, GE tops the list as the Best Company for Leaders, followed by EMC Insurance, which moved up from 4th last year. Hitachi Data Systems leapt to 3rd, up from 23rd in 2015. Among the remaining top 10, Johnson Controls (No. 5) is new to the list this year, while 3M came in 8th, up from 11th in 2015.

Companies ranked for the first time in the top 40 include: HNI, Inter RAO, ArcBeat, and Synovus.

Best Companies for Leaders are evaluated on 5 criteria:

  1. Having a formal leadership process in place
  2. CEO commitment to a measurable leadership development program
  3. The depth of the leadership funnel as measured by a percentage of senior and middle-management positions filled internally
  4. The number of other companies that report recruiting from the company being evaluated
  5. A shareholder value performance metric based on 10-year growth or decline in market capitalization

Chief Executive magazine publishes the rankings annually in partnership with GrowthPlay, a Chicago-based sales and leadership consulting firm.  The list recognizes the top 40 public companies (over $1 billion in revenue) and 10 private companies that excel at leadership development.

The 2016 10 Best Public Companies for Leaders are:

  1. General Electric, CEO Jeffrey Immelt
  2. EMC Insurance, CEO Bruce Kelley
  3. Hitachi Data Systems, CEO Jack Domme
  4. IBM, CEO Virginia Rometty
  5. Johnson Controls, CEO Alex Molinaroli
  6. VF Corporation, CEO Eric Wiseman
  7. Verizon Communications, CEO Lowell McAdam
  8. 3M, CEO Inge Thulin
  9. P&G, CEO David Taylor
  10. Dow Chemical, CEO Andrew Liveris

The full list of 40 public company winners and 10 private company winners can be accessed here:

The 2016 10 Best Private Companies for Leaders are:

  1. Black & Veach, CEO Steven Edwards
  2. AlliedBarton Security Services, CEO William Whitmore
  3. HAVI Group, CEO Theodore Pearlman
  4. Hilti, CEO Christoph, Loos
  5. Deloitte, CEO Cathy Engelbert
  6. Transplace, CEO Thomas Sanderson
  7. Day & Zimmerman, CEO Hal Yoh
  8. Dell, CEO Michael Dell
  9. Westfield Group, CEO Edward Largent
  10. CRST International, CEO David Rusch

Of the companies surveyed, 83 percent have headquarters in North America; 71 percent have international operations. The majority of the industries represented include manufacturing, professional/scientific/technical services, information/media/telecommunication, and finance/insurance/real estate.

“At a time when CEO tenure is getting shorter and turnover is becoming more frequent, companies with strong leadership development programs will benefit in the long run by having continuity and predictable depth of talent,” said J.P. Donlon, editor in chief of Chief Executive magazine. “That preparedness will also be transparent in ways they are measured, such as their shareholder value and analyst ratings.”

For previous rankings, judging criteria and more, click here.

About Chief Executive Group
Chief Executive Group produces Chief Executive magazine (published since 1977), and, including e-newsletters and online content, as well as conferences and roundtables that enable top corporate officers to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of peers. The Group also facilitates the annual “CEO of the Year,” a prestigious honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of peers. Visit for more information.

About GrowthPlay
GrowthPlay addresses a pressing market need for helping businesses achieve better results by improving the sales capabilities and performance of front-line and customer-facing staff. The company helps clients improve their ability to drive profitable revenue growth by assessing and improving the capability, potential, and execution of client-facing individuals and teams. GrowthPlay’s holistic approach brings together best-of-breed services and technologies in sales effectiveness, including the use of predictive assessment technology, as well as a broad array of proven sales consulting, training, development, and coaching interventions. For more information about GrowthPlay, go to


J.P. Donlon
[email protected]


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.