If happy employees perform better, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) should be crushing the market right now.
More than 99% approve of CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the latest Glassdoor survey, yet the stock has lagged since the IPO and remains down nearly 3% year to date despite a 9% rally in the S&P 500. Glassdoor also rates the social network as the best place to work, a ranking current and former employees corroborated in comments left at the site.
"It is good to work here with the smartest people in San Francisco Bay Area. The company is always moving fast," wrote one software engineer.
Another current employee said Facebook is an "amazing" place to work and cited autonomy and discretion to achieve results as reasons why. Precisely the sorts of comments you want to see when success depends on winning the war for technical talent.
Zuck beat out several notable names in taking the top spot among CEOs:
Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Larry Page ranked 11th.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos ranked 16th.
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) Tim Cook came in at 18th.
To be fair, all four CEOs netted better than 90% approval from their respective workforces. But only Zuck achieved the elusive 99% percentile. Well done, sir.
How loudly should investors cheer? That's less certain. Judging from history, direction matters more than score. Consider Cook's performance. He's down 4 percentage points -- from 97% to 93% -- in a terrible year for Apple shareholders.
By contrast, the late Steve Jobs left the top post with a 95% approval rating among workers. Investors had to be equally pleased, given the multibagger returns he and his team produced over an epic 14-year comeback.
Which path will Zuckerberg take? I think it's too early to tell, but I also believe talent -- especially engaged, excited, happy talent -- is always more likely to produce for investors. Right now, Facebook has that in spades.
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