Apple's Cook leads list of 50 CEOs who have the biggest growth impact

Tim Cook, Apple CEO
Apple's Tim Cook ranks No. 1 on a list of CEOs with the greatest impact on growth. (Apple)

The CEO with the greatest impact on growth is Apple’s Tim Cook, according to a new report, which suggests that time in the job might be related to development.

The report by Kittleman, an executive recruitment firm serving nonprofits, looked at how long CEOs have held their positions and how much revenue their companies earned in that period to determine its list of the 50 executives with the biggest effect on growth. Cook leads a list of CEOs at the helm of businesses that touch some of the “most powerful, popular, helpful and necessary facets of modern life,” the organization said in an April 26 blog post.

Cook has been CEO for 77 months and had an average monthly growth of nearly $1.6 billion in that time, the report showed. “While much of his success stems from constant innovation, breakthrough technology, and attention to branding and customer needs, we also know that that Cook’s No. 1 spot can be attributed to the ubiquity of Apple products and services, as well as owning the lion’s share of the market when he stepped in,” it said.

Behind him is Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health. He’s had the job for 82 months and has an average monthly growth of about $860 million. Lowell McAdam of Verizon rounds out the top three. Like Cook, he’s been CEO for 77 months, and the telecommunications firm has seen about $724 million average monthly growth in that time.

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The report highlights Alphabet CEO Sundar Pinchai’s “impressive trajectory.” Since the company reorganized in October 2015, breaking into several subsidiaries with Alphabet overseeing them all, Pinchai has grown the company by an average of $546 million per month.

Several trends emerged from the rankings. One is that revenue of 24 of the 50 companies was impacted most when the CEO was four to eight years into the job. “This tells us that once a CEO settled into the job, assessed what was working and what areas needed improvement, and put plans in place for growth, the company saw noteworthy revenue impact,” the report said.

Other successful CEOs have been around for many years, such as Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett. In his 53 years as CEO, the company has grown steadily. He holds the 10th spot with about $350 million in average monthly growth. “By diversifying the companies and subsidiaries that Berkshire Hathaway owns and operates, Buffet proves that slow and steady can continue to reap profits for his massive company,” according to the report.