10 Most Notable Executives of 2016

First, a toast. Let us raise our Venti non-fat chai latte whatevers to Howard Schultz, who’s leaving Starbucks for the second time. His departure kicks off our list of notable and noteworthy CEOs for 2016, which includes leaders from consulting, tech and Anthony Bourdain’s favorite burger joint, while a familiar name assumes the top spot again out of Boston, where the Bainies are batty for Bechek.

And now, a countdown of the 10 most notable CEOs of 2016.

10. Howard Schultz, Starbucks

How much will Howard Schultz be missed? The last time the chain’s founder left, from 2000 to 2008, the company’s stock plunged and sales growth dipped, and his announcement immediately gave Wall Street the jitters. He’s handing off next year to his handpicked successor, Kevin Johnson, the current president and a longtime member of the Starbucks board.

9. Dominic Barton, McKinsey & Company

“Unrivaled development, great compensation/benefits, great people,” reports one employee to Glassdoor. “Great place to learn and grow,” says another. These are the types of reviews happy employees at McKinsey and Co. give under the leadership of  Managing Director Dominic Barton, who consistently ranks high atop Glassdoor’s top CEO list.

8. Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric

Jeffrey Immelt, the head of the General Electric conglomerate, is no stranger to challenges or obstacles. Since taking over for Jack Welch in 2001, Immelt has navigated a number of crises while earning a reputation for grooming top talent. Two years in a row GE was named as best publicly held company for leadership development by Chief Executive magazine. “Many companies these days say they are changing to be more modern… GE is doing it!!! Of course there are pockets moving slower than others but for the most part they are well into this journey… An exciting time to be at GE,” says one employee.

7. Steve Edwards, Black & Veatch

The same leadership-development for a private company goes to Black & Veatch under Steven Edwards. An employee-owned consulting, engineering and construction firm in Overland Park, Kansas, Black & Veatch gets high marks as employee friendly. “Relaxed work environment” is a common refrain on Glassdoor, while another worker notes, “Great workplace culture. Work/life balance is wonderful (in the office, out in the field is a different story). Competitive wages. Great place for a recent college graduate to gain a wide variety of experience in a relatively short amount of time.”

6. Lynsi Snyder, In-and-Out Burger

Here’s the title we want: owner and heiress. As the only grandchild of Harry and Esther Snyder, who founded In-and-Out Burger in 1948, Snyder has both distinctions. She also enjoys the kind of employee respect rare in the fast-food biz. “Good paying,” “extremely flexible,” “great environment,” “good learning experience” are common refrains heard around this Best Place to Work. Plus, our favorite, “free burgers.” What’s the downside? “Smell like a cow when I come home.”

5. Brian Chesky, Airbnb

Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky has changed the way the world travels, making Time magazine’s list of most influential people, among other honors, and he’s only 35 years old. Glassdoor employees ranked Airbnb as the best place to work in 2016. “It’s all about love, love guests, hosts, employees, the societies, the communities, THE WORLD,” gushes one worker, though there’s a common complaint: middle managers masking their inexperience with power plays.

4. Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia

Out of the Harvard Business Review’s best-performing CEOs in the world of 2016, only one in the Top 10 came from a United States company. He’s Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO Nvidia of Santa Clara, California. Appropriately enough for a company whose technology goes into gaming units, Nvidia, one employee reports on Glassdoor, “never gets boring.”

3. Scott Scherr, Ultimate Software

Holding the titles of founder, chairman, chief executive officer, president and chairman of the executive committee, it’s safe to say Scott Scherr IS Ultimate Software. The Weston, Florida, firm has been named by Fortune magazine as the best company for women, the best company for millennials and the best company to work for, period. Glassdoor’s users agree. “Awesome work environment, great leadership and plenty of opportunities,” says one employee. If anything, says another, the opportunities overwhelm. “The pace of growth is hard to keep up with.”

2. Sundar Pichai, Google

How do we know Google is a great place to work? We Googled it. Up popped Business Insider’s list of “best companies to work for in America” in 2016, and there was the Mountain View digital powerhouse at Number One. Google under Sundar Pichai since the Alphabet Inc. reorg enjoys 86 percent employee job satisfaction and 97% of employees approve of the CEO, much of that no doubt due to the media salary: a whopping $140,000.

1. Bob Bechek, Bain and Co.

Piling up business honors the way Meryl Streep collects Oscar nominations, Bain & Co. Worldwide Managing Director Bob Bechek presides over his contented collection of “Bainies,” as employees at the Boston-based consulting firm call themselves. Earning the top spot on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work honor for 2017, Bain under Bechek receives rave employee reviews. “The best people to work with and an amazing culture,” one tells Glassdoor. “Strong company culture that is fun, friendly, and productive,” says another. The only downside: a little too much of a good thing. “Many, many hours per week.”

 

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December 29, 2016 at 09:49AM
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