The Best Performing CEOs in the World Harvard Business Review 91, 1 (2013) 81-95
For years, people have bemoaned executives' zealous focus on short-term results, which often leads CEOs to make moves that undermine their firms' long-term prospects and, some say, act irresponsibly. But all the talk won't change anything if the business world doesn't adopt a new way of measuring performance. Three professors from France's Insead believe they have the answer: an innovative scorecard that evaluates CEOs on the basis of the results they delivered over their entire tenures in office. It incorporates three metrics: industry-adjusted shareholder returns, country-adjusted shareholder returns, and increase in market capitalization over that time frame. Using this scorecard, the authors have studied and objectively ranked the performance of thousands of CEOs of major corporations around the world. In this issue, we reveal who made it into the top 100. This is the second installment of the ranking, which we published for the first time three years ago. Since then, the authors have expanded the group of CEOs studied, making it even more global. And, recognizing the growing sentiment that great financial performance is no longer enough, they also looked at social and environmental ratings to see which of the top CEOs also did well on those metrics. Accompanying this year's list is an interview with Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, whose well-known focus on the long term has served his company extremely well-earning him the #2 spot in the ranking. INSETS: Jeffrey P. Bezos;The Legacy Litmus Test;How We Created the Scorecard.