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Monday, January 2, 2012

Ranking the Most Beloved CEO’s Ever(Part 3)

 Here we are, the final installment of  “ranking the most beloved CEO’s ever”.  Without further ado, let’s see who rounds out the top of this list.  You can see part 1 here and part 2 here.

5) Lee Iacocca became an iconic figure during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by engineering a tremendous turnaround at the Chrysler corporation. In doing so, Iacocca became the standard by which all other CEO’s were measured. When Iacocca arrived at Chrysler, during a time of record losses at the company, he cut inventories by $1 billion, reduced the white-collar staff by 50 percent, and turned Chrysler around—not with government loans, but with $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. Iacocca repaid the loans ahead of time and the Treasury made a profit of $300 million.

4) Warren Edward Buffett is arguably America’s best known, best respected investor, businessman, and philanthropist. He is one of the most successful investors in history, the primary shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

In 1999, Buffett was named the top money manager of the 20th century by the Carson Group and was also listed among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the world.  In 2011 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Known as the "Oracle of Omaha" or the "Sage of Omaha" Buffett is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest individuals with an estimated net worth of approximately $50 billion. Buffett is also known for his pledge to give away 85 percent of his fortune to the Gates Foundation.

3) Henry Ford was the American founder of the Ford Motor Company and father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. A prolific inventor, Ford was awarded 161 U.S. patents. One key Ford component that more CEO’s should apply today is that he insisted on paying his workers a living wage…so that they could afford to purchase his automobiles. Logical, don’t you think?

2) Sam Walton - Legendary founder of the Wal-Mart empire.  Walton is said to have become the youngest Eagle Scout in the history of  the state of Missouri.  Walton worked at JC Penney as a management trainee, served in the U.S. military and graduated from college with a B.A. in Business Administration.  In 1945 he purchased a Ben Franklin variety store where he pioneered many of concepts that made him such a huge success.

Although he died in 1992, Time included him on a list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Before his death, Walton received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H.W. Bush. Sam Walton was ranked by Forbes as the richest man in the United States from 1982 to 1988.  Wal-Mart Stores (including Sam’s Clubs) make up the world’s largest company. Not bad for a “plainspoken hayseed”.

1) Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. and former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios. In the late 1970s, Jobs, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, created one of the first commercially successful personal computers.

Jobs was a true visionary, in the early 1980s he was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface.  Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985 and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. In1997 NeXT computer was bought out by Apple Computer Inc. bringing Jobs back to the company he co-founded.  Steve Jobs was listed as Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Businessman of 2007. His work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a devoted following. 

Do you agree with most (or any) individuals that I've listed? Would you have included others? Perhaps changed the order? Let me know your thoughts.

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