Google CEO Larry Page leads the 2015 list of the most highly-rated large company chief executives, as chosen by the people who work for them. The ranking of 50 CEOs, compiled by career site Glassdoor, is heaviest on tech company leaders -- they comprise 30% of the list. That is not surprising given the typical industry practice of attracting talent with high pay and great perks to balance out demanding workloads.
Seven retail CEOs also made the list, a bit unexpected given the less competitive compensation and fewer perks for employees. Grocery CEOs Charles C. Butt of Texas-based H-E-B (No. 3 overall on the list) and Danny Wegman of New York-based Wegmans (No. 28) join CEOs from warehouse club Costco, cosmetics chain Sephora, GAP-owned clothing retailer J. Crew, Nordstrom department stores, and paint dealer Sherwin-Williams among the top 50 this year.
The issues that matter to employees
Employees do not base their opinions of their CEOs primarily on pay and perks. What reviewers across many industries rated most highly were open communication, clear expectations, and a plan for the company, said Glassdoor CEO and co-founder Robert Hohman. "These CEOs have a very clear vision of where their company is heading, they communicate their vision to employees, including how all employees will play an integral role in meeting company goals. In turn, employees rally behind their CEO because they know exactly what's expected of them and why."
When CEOs earn that level of employee approval, Hohman added, "There is a ripple effect that occurs across the company. It leads to better recruiting for the company, better employee retention, and increased employee engagement and productivity." All of that, in turn, can lead to more profitable products and projects, lower turnover and hiring costs, and a better-looking bottom line.
Along with Page and Butt, the other CEOs in the top five are Mark G. Parker of Nike, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Scott Scherr of Ultimate Software. To be considered for inclusion, each CEO had to receive at least 100 employee reviews between April 22, 2014, and April 21st of this year.
Top-ranked CEOs of small and medium-sized companies
Glassdoor also released a list of the 25 best-rated CEOs of small and midsized companies (those with fewer than 1,000 employees). At No. 1 on that list is Frank Williams of health care consulting and tech company Evolent, which recently went public on June 5th. This is Evolent's first appearance on the list, which only included CEOs with 35 or more employee ratings over the past year.
The complete methodology for the top CEO lists is available from Glassdoor.