CEOs of Nvidia, Facebook, Salesforce and Microsoft are 'favorite' executives, surveys reveal

Satya Nadella at LeWeb 2013 (Image: LeWeb via Flickr/Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media/CC BY 2.0)

Comparably placed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella among the top five CEOs in the U.S. (Image: LeWeb via Flickr/Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media/CC BY 2.0)

A number of publications are out with their “favorite” CEOs and one thing is sure, respondents to polls and surveys didn’t take a cookie-cutter approach. While there is some overlap, in many cases, the chosen CEO stands alone--regardless of how the poll was taken, by whom and with what parameters.

Harvard Business Review named Jensen Huang of Nvidia as its top CEO in the United States. “Unlike rankings that are based on subjective evaluations or short-term metrics, our list relies on objective performance measures over a chief executive’s entire tenure—numbers that often hold steady,” the publication said.

“We continue to view the ranking as a work in progress and to look for ways to improve the methodology—but this year we made no changes to our measurement system.”

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Prior to 2015, HBR made its judgments "solely on the basis of financial performance," a criteria that would have seen very different results to its rankings this year. "The top-ranked leader would be Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, who topped the list in 2014 and has been the best financial performer in every subsequent year. Since 2015, Bezos has climbed from 87 to 76 to 71,” HBR said.

To be sure, Amazon’s energy ratings remain low, but they are improving. The company’s massive Amazon Web Services (AWS) division generates its own solar and wind energy. And in the past two years AWS has hired several seasoned sustainability executives, creating optimism about changes likely to come, HBR said.

Mark Parker of Nike was HBR’s second highest ranked CEO in the U.S., followed by Marc Benioff of, in third.

Fourth-ranked was Wes Bush of Northrop Grumman and fifth, Michael Mussallem of Edwards Lifesciences., a website where employees post information and reviews of their companies and bosses, released its latest ratings of America's top chief executive officers, which was published by Forbes.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is among the America’s top bosses, with a 99% approval rating, given by Forbes. Bill McDermott and Jim Hagermann Snabe of SAP, also rate 99%.

Dominic Barton of McKinsey & Company is the next up, with a 97% approval, while Jim Turley of Ernst & Young gets a 96%, and John Schlifske of Northwestern Mutual also receives 96%.

Career research and job listing site Comparably released a list of the top chief executive officers based on data gathered from over three million employee ratings by half a million workers. The noted company executives include those from major Fortune 500 companies and other large organizations with 500 employees or more.

The results were based on anonymous and voluntary employee ratings collected across over 30,000 U.S. companies from the beginning of this year to November 17, according to Comparably. The response to each survey question was given a numerical score and then compared to companies of similar size.

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The top five are Marc Benioff of, Brian Halligan of Hubspot, Brad Smith of Intuit, Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.

"The intent of highlighting our annual list of best CEOs is to showcase those CEOs that are excelling not only around business performance but also as leaders of team and culture," Comparably founder and CEO Jason Nazar said in a statement.

"By showcasing the best CEOs, as rated by their own employees, Comparably is able to help make workplaces more transparent and rewarding by providing a framework of excellence for others to model," Nazar said. "These are the business leaders we should all aspire to emulate, as they focus just as much on people, culture and values as they do business performance."