Steve Jobs is still the best CEO in the cosmos

A daft review of the world’s top CEOs claims that the best one is still Steve Jobs, despite the fact that his company is not doing so well and he is er dead.

The global list, compiled by French business school Insead for the Harvard Business Review over looked the fact that Apple’s share price has been tanking and that Jobs can’t be bothered showing up at work anymore. 

While Jobs has a good excuse for the latter, it does seem to us that having a CEO who is alive is normally better than one who is pushing up the daisies.

Of course the legendary control freak did leave a list of five years’ worth of work for his company to do after he snuffed it, but that assumed that it could get things like Apple Maps to work.  But he has not been an overwhelming influence at Apple for some time now.

Jobs was able to be last year’s top CEO because the list apparently looks at CEO performance between 1995 and August 2012.   This perfectly arbitrary cut-off date has nothing to do with the morbid desire by Apple fanboys at the Harvard Business Review to make the CEO into a God after his death by fiddling the criteria.  It does make the review about as useful as a chocolate teapot.  You can’t invest in three year old information – all you can do is sit back and think how the business world lost an evil genus a few years back, which is a subject that is too often rehearsed, and pointless.    

The survey takes in how much total shareholder returns changed during the chief executive’s time in charge, and the increase in the company’s market capitalisation.

It was decided by a survey of 3143 CEOs, and credits Jobs with significantly increasing Apple’s long-term value.  They point out that Jobs’ posthumous results were even more impressive than when he first topped the list three years ago.

Morten Hansen, a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at Insead said that it comes as no surprise that the best-performing CEO over the past 17 years was Steve Jobs of Apple, who was number one on his 2010 list.

The journal said it chose to focus on the chief executives’ ability to created long-term value for their companies, rather than short-term financial results.  This would have prevented Jobs from getting another round of sycophantic praising which is totally irrelevant to modern day business issues.

The highest-ranked woman was Meg Whitman, who came in at ninth for her time at eBay. The survey is so topical it ignores the fact that she is in charge of Hewlett Packard.

Only 1.9 per cent of the chief executives that were studied were women, the journal said.

The top ten, most of whom are still working and alive,  were ranked as follows:

1. Steve Jobs, Apple 
2. Jeff Bezos, Amazon
3. Yun Jong-Yong, Samsung Electronics
4. Roger Agnelli, Vale
5. John Martin, Gilead Sciences
6. Chung Mong-Koo, Hyundai Motor
7. YC Deveshwar, ITC
8. David Simon, Simon Property Group
9. Meg Whitman, eBay
10. John Chambers, Cisco Systems