Top 5 best CEOs in the world in 2023

Nvidia chip company owner Jensen Huang and Mark Zuckerberg are in the top 5 best CEOs in the world 2023 - excluding China and India - by the Economist.

2023 is not an easy year to navigate for business captains. Slow growth in many markets has CEOs scrambling to rein in costs, while inflation is pushing workers to demand pay increases. Not to mention the geopolitical impact, waves of corporate culture and artificial intelligence (AI) fever, making the "hot seats" really difficult to sit in.

To identify the best CEOs of the past year, the Economist examined listed companies in most major economies, excluding China and India. They excluded CEOs who have been in office for less than 3 years to avoid the results or consequences of their predecessors affecting performance.

Performance scores are based on returns to shareholders and employee approval and satisfaction with the CEO - based on data from employee review platform Glassdoor. Here are the 5 CEOs honored this year.

Jensen Huang, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Nvidia

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang in Singapore on December 6, 2023. Photo: Reuters


- Profit for shareholders (period December 15, 2022 - December 15, 2023): 172.9%

- Trust rate: 98%

- Satisfaction score: 4.6/5

Jensen Huang (60 years old), was born in Taiwan and moved to Thailand as a child before settling in the US. He co-founded graphics chip maker Nvidia in 1993 and has served as Chairman and CEO since its founding. Huang holds about 3% of Nvidia, which went public in 1999.

Few bosses have the foresight to bet on AI like Huang, according to the Economist . Under his leadership, Nvidia became the dominant force in computer gaming chips and expanded into chips for data centers and self-driving cars.

More than a decade ago, Huang realized his company's graphics processors were useful in training AI models, so he continuously invested in their development. By 2023, Nvidia will reap the rewards when it officially enters the top 5 US companies with a capitalization of over 1,000 billion USD. By December 29, the chip company's capitalization had reached 1,220 billion USD, helping Huang own a fortune of 44.1 billion USD.

To date, Nvidia controls more than 80% of the specialized AI chip market. In the company, employees' trust rate with Huang is very high, up to 98%. By all accounts, this CEO had the best 2023, according to the Economist .

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO Meta

CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Menlo Park, California, USA on September 27, 2023. Photo: Reuters


- Profit for shareholders (period December 15, 2022 - December 15, 2023): 172.7%

- Trust rate: 62%

- Satisfaction score: 3.9/5

Mark Zuckerberg (39 years old) founded Facebook at Harvard in 2004 when he was only 19 years old. He brought Facebook public in May 2012. Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms in November 2021 to show the company shifting its focus to the virtual universe (metaverse).

However, Mark Zuckerberg's investment in the virtual universe has not been successful, even "terrifying" investors last year. By 2023, Mark had returned to reorganize the company's operations and made breakthroughs in the field of AI. As of December 29, the company reached a capitalization of 920.83 billion USD. Mark currently owns about 13% of Meta's shares, with total assets of 126.8 billion USD.

However, Mark is an exception in the top 5 with an employee trust rate of only 62%. Although it was considered a productive year, it was still "terrible" for Meta employees, according to the Economist .

Kazuma Sekiya, President and CEO Disco

Disco President and CEO Kazuma Sekiya. Photo: Toshiharu Takei


- Profit for shareholders (period December 15, 2022 - December 15, 2023): 150.1%

- Trust rate: 81%

- Satisfaction score: 3.5/5

Kazuma Sekiya (57 years old) is the grandson of Mitsuo Sekiya - founder of Disco. This company was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1937. In addition to being the company's CEO since 2017, he is also COO (chief operating officer) and CIO (chief information technology officer). Mr. Kazuma became Chairman of Disco in June 2019.

Disco makes equipment that cuts semiconductors into small squares and rectangles for use in products such as cell phones. They started making these lines of equipment themselves in 1970.

Mr. Kazuma also ran Disco's research and development department, keeping the company at the forefront of semiconductor grinding and cutting for many years. As of December 29, the company's capitalization reached 3,790 billion yen, equivalent to 26.8 billion USD. The Sekiya family currently has total assets of about 3 billion USD.

According to the Economist's assessment , worker satisfaction at Disco is also not high. One explanation may be the strange mechanism the company uses to coordinate work. Departments here use a virtual currency called Will to pay each other when providing services. Management then distributes this currency to employees for performing tasks, thereby determining bonuses.

David Vélez Osorno, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Nubank

Nubank CEO David Vélez Osorno. Ảnh: Julio Bittencourt


- Profit for shareholders (period December 15, 2022 - December 15, 2023): 122.3%

- Trust rate: 93%

- Satisfaction score: 4.2/5

As a bachelor of management and engineering at Stanford University, David Vélez Osorno along with Cristina Junqueira and Edward Wible founded digital bank Nubank in 2013. The company is headquartered in Sao Paulo (Brazil), providing cards credit, digital bank accounts and life insurance.

Few neobanks (digital banks) can compete with Nubank in Latin America. They operate in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia and have approximately 90 million users, making them the fifth largest financial institution in Latin America by number of customers.

According to Bloomberg News , this is the most valuable startup in Latin America in 2021. Investors investing capital include Berkshire Hathaway, Sequoia Capital and SoftBank's Latin America funds. As of December 29, the company reached a capitalization of 39.7 billion USD.

Mr. Velez owns 21% of the shares in Nubank but holds 76% of the voting rights. Although he is among the top CEOs, not all of his strategies bring good results. Nubank is generally profitable but is losing money in Mexico, where targeting people without traditional bank accounts is burning through a lot of money. If he successfully escapes losses in this market next year, he can continue to be named a good CEO in 2024, according to the Economist .

David Ricks, CEO Eli Lilly

David Ricks, CEO Eli Lilly. Photo: Eli Lilly


- Profit for shareholders (period December 15, 2022 - December 15, 2023): 59.9%

- Trust rate: 90%

- Satisfaction score: 4.1/5

David Ricks holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University. He joined Eli Lilly in 1996 as a business development associate and held several management roles in marketing and sales in the US before moving into international leadership positions.

In 2012, Dave was promoted to President of Lilly Bio-Medicines, then the company's largest business unit, overseeing drug development and commercial activities in the areas of neuroscience, pain relief and immunity. translation studies.

He is currently Chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly, specializing in developing, manufacturing and selling pharmaceuticals for humans and animals. Their products focus on neuroscience, endocrinology, anti-infectives, cardiology, oncology and veterinary medicine.

Eli Lilly is the most valuable pharmaceutical company in the world with a capitalization of 551.4 billion USD, as of December 29. This year, Ricks has put Eli Lilly behind Danish rival Novo Nordisk in the anti-obesity drug market.

However, the company also encountered trouble when several US states, including California, sued for allegedly overcharging for insulin - an essential medicine for diabetics. The company has denied what it described as "false allegations" in the California lawsuit. In March, they decided to reduce insulin prices by 70% but that did not quell the discontent.

This year 131 international organizations, from 73 countries, partnered with the PRA in Washington, D.C., and its Hernando De Soto Fellow Prof. Sary Levy-Carciente to produce the 17th edition of the IPRI..
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