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8 Most Valuable Characteristics of a Great CEO


What Makes a Great CEO?

Irrespective of whether you are self made or promoted, college drop out or Ivy League or how big their pay package is. This article seeks to analyze 20 of the top performing CEOs, their common themes to their success.

Top 20 CEOs

1. Tim Cook, age 52, CEO of Apple Inc, exploited the technological.
2. Michael Dell, age 48, CEO of Dell Inc, exploited the technological.
3. Ralph Lauren, age 73, CEO of Ralph Lauren Company, exploited the apparel sector.
4. Donnie Smith, age 52, CEO of Tyson Foods, exploited the food processing sector.
5. Tony Hsien, age 39, CEO of Zappos Inc, a retail outlet.
6. Richard Branson, age 62, CEO of Virgin Co., exploited media, travel, and communications.
7. Robert Herjavec, age 49, CEO of Harjavec Group, deals with security.
8. Jeff Weiner, age 42, CEO of LinkedIn, is a technology driven based company.
9. Marc Benioff, age 48, CEO of SalesForce, is an enterprise software company.
10. Daniel Ek, age 40, CEO of Spotify, focused in the music industry.
11. Marissa Mayer, age 37, CEO of Yahoo Inc, a technology and internet based company.
12. Micky Arison, age 63, CEO of Carnical Corporation, is a hospital based organization.
13. Dave Morin, age 32, CEO of Path, a technology based company.
14. Rosalind Brewer, age 50, CEO at Sam’s Club a retail company.
15. Aaron Levie, age 27, CEO at Box a technology based company.
16. Mark Cuban, age 54, CEO at HDTV Cable Network, a TV and media entertainment company.
17. Indra Nooyl, age 57, CEO at PepsiCo, a beverage company.
18. Ursla Burns, age 54, CEO at Xerox, a company providing document services and digital imaging.
19. Reed Hastings, age 52, CEO at Netflix, a media and entertainment company.
20. Sara Blakely, age 42, CEO at Spanx, an apparel company.

Wealth of CEOs

Yes, CEOs are just as wealthy as people perceive. The highest in net worth on the list is Michael Dell, estimated to be worth $14.6 billion and the least is Robert Herjavec, estimated to be worth $100 million. The compensation of CEOs are usually a controversial topic. This list includes earners with varying salaries.

Rosalind Brewer – $14.6 Million.
Indra Nooyi – $13.2 Million.
Ursla Burns – $4.02 Million.
Donnie Smith – $4.3 Million.
Jeff Weiner – $450,000.


Despite the fact that most of the CEOs went to top schools, it is not a criteria for success. Some successful CEOs dropped from college.

1. Micky Arison.
2. Michael Dell.
3. Aaron Levie.
4. Ralph Lauren.
5. Richard Branson.
6. Daniel Ek.

What About Klout

The activities of CEO on social media varies. The list of those most active are ranked by their Klout scores.

1. Richard Branson – 91
2. Mark Cuban – 87
3. Marisa Mayer – 85
4. Macheal Dell – 84
5. Mark Menioff – 83
6. Dave Morin – 83
7. Tony Hsieh – 82

How Did They Get There

Whether they are self made or being promoted on the job, there are lots of them from both sides of the list.

Some notable self made CEOs were Michael Dell, Dave Morin, Sara Blakely, Mark Cuban, and Daniel Ek. Some that were promoted to CEOs were Marissa Mayer, Tony Hsieh, Indra Nooyo, and Ursla Burns.

What Matter Mosts

Even CEO’s have hobbies and interests. For example Tim Cook is into philanthropy. Donnie Smith is a humanitarian and Mark Cuban is a sports team owner. Robert Herjavec likes to marathon run and motor race while Rosalind Brewer spends her free time in empowering women.

The main traits to these CEOs when it comes to sitting in the chair of the highest company position is the ability to remain resilient, focused, passionate, adaptable, and a customer advocate with the ability to be effective in communication.

About The Author
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