The 5 most popular CEOs in the US right now, as voted by employees — and the 5 least popular – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

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DAVID RAUDALES UK

The 5 most popular CEOs in the US right now, as voted by employees — and the 5 least popular

Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang received the highest approval rating of 96%, while Western Digital CEO David Goeckeler was at the bottom of the list at 0%, per Blind’s survey.

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Anonymous employee social media platform Blind ranked 104 CEOs based on an employee survey.
Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang received the highest approval rating of 96%.
Western Digital CEO David Goeckeler was at the bottom of the list at 0%

Anonymous employee social media platform Blind just published a list of the best and worst corporate leaders — with the highest approval rating topping out at 96% while the lowest approval rating was a dismal 0%.

Blind put the list together after surveying 13,171 verified professionals in the US on its platform to assess the approval ratings of 104 CEOs.

Perceived job security was likely one of the most significant contributors to the CEO’s approval ratings, according to Blind’s October 4 announcement of the survey’s results. Nine out of 10 CEOs in Blind’s top 10 list did not lay off employees in the last year or more.

Meanwhile, some CEOs with the lowest approval ratings had cut jobs in 2023. 

Here’s the list of top five and bottom five CEOs in the survey, as ranked by Blind according to their approval ratings.

Representatives for all 10 CEOs did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

1. Jensen Huang, NvidiaNvidia CEO Jensen Huang

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Approval rating: 96%

Number of employees: 26,196 as of January 2023.

Jensen Huang, the cofounder CEO of California-based chipmaker Nvidia, is the corporate leader with the highest approval rating on the list.

Thanks to the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, or AI, Nvidia’s revenue and share price has surged to record highs this year — which likely boosted employee confidence in its leadership.

“He saw this AI mania coming 10+ years ago,” posted a verified Nvidia employee on a Blind discussion. “I trust him completely.”

Nvidia’s share price has surged 220% so far this year.

 

 

2. Doug McMillon, WalmartWalmart CEO Doug McMillon.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Approval rating: 88%

Number of employees: 2.1 million worldwide as of FY2023

Doug McMillon became Walmart’s CEO in 2014, but actually started at the company when he was just a teenager.

McMillon joined the company in 1990 while completing his MBA as a buyer trainee in the athletic department at a local Walmart in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Soon after, he moved to Walmart’s headquarters in Arkansas.

Since he became CEO, McMillion launched Walmart+, the company’s equivalent of Amazon Prime. He has also updated Walmart’s technology with new services such as drone delivery and the use of generative AI on its website.

3. Nikesh Arora, Palo Alto NetworksPalo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora.

Nrkbeta

Approval rating: 84%

Number of employees: 13,948 as of July 31, 2023.

Nikesh Arora became the CEO of cyber security company Palo Alto Networks in 2018.

Arora was the president and COO of SoftBank, a Tokyo-based investment company, from 2014 to 2016, before his appointment at Palo Alto Networks.

Despite uncertainty in the tech industry, Palo Alto Networks doesn’t appear to have been hit by the waves of layoffs that have swept the sector earlier this year.

In 2020, Arora pledged “no COVID-19 layoffs” when the pandemic struck and also committed to giving up his salary to avoid job losses. 

4. Tim Cook, AppleApple CEO Tim Cook.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Approval rating: 83%

Number of employees: 164,000 as of September 2022.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took on the tech giant’s top job in August 2011.

Since taking over from former CEO Steve Jobs, Cook has come into his own to lead the launches of new Apple products including AirPods, Apple Watch, and Apple Music.

Under his watch, Apple has become one of the world’s most valuable companies, with its current market cap of around $2.8 trillion.

5. Ali Ghodsi, DatabricksDatabricks CEO Ali Ghodsi.

Ali Ghodsi

Approval rating: 83%

Number of employees: 5,500 as of end-2022.

Ali Ghodsi is the cofounder and CEO of tech company Databricks.

A Swedish national, Ghodsi fled Iran at the age of 5 in 1984 amid a political crackdown that implicated his parents. The upper-middle-class family had to leave their savings behind and faced financial difficulties when they reached Sweden, Ghodsi told Forbes in a May 2021 interview. 

Still, Ghodsi eventually received a PhD in computer science from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, a top Swedish university. In 2009, he arrived in the US as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.

Ghodsi stayed on in the US and started data and AI company Databricks with six other academics in 2013.

On September 14, Databricks announced it raised over $500 million in its latest round of funding, taking the company’s valuation to $43 billion.

Here are the bottom five CEOs ranked by approval rating on Blind.

100. Evan Spiegel, SnapSnap CEO Evan Spiegel.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Approval rating: 3%

Number of employees: Snap: 5,286 as of June 30, 2023.

The fifth-to-last name on Blind’s list is Evan Spiegel, Snap’s cofounder and CEO, who is a high-profile entrepreneur.

He launched the platform in 2011 and became one of the world’s youngest billionaires four years later. The 33-year-old is now worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Snap is still one of the world’s most well-known social media platforms but faces intense competition from rivals — such as TikTok.

In the last year, Snap was hit with sweeping layoffs, leadership changes, and project shutdowns as revenues slowed.

101. Mark Anderson, AlteryxThe Alteryx logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Approval rating: 3%

Number of employees: 2,600 as of June 30, 2023.

Mark Anderson became Alteryx’s CEO in 2020. He was previously the president of Palo Alto Networks. 

Alteryx, a data analytics software maker, announced plans to lay off 11% of its workforce in April this year.

The company’s stock has fallen about 30% so far this year.

102. John Riccitiello, Unity TechnologiesUnity Technologies CEO John Riccitiello.

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Approval rating: 2%

Number of employees: 7,700  as of May 2023.

John Riccitiello was the CEO of gaming software company Unity from 2014 to October 9 this year.

Riccitiello’s retirement from the company followed changes in Unity’s pricing in September that prompted protests from a consortium of game developers.  

Roelof Botha, the lead independent director at Unity’s board, said in the announcement of Riccitiello’s retirement that the former CEO had helped Unity transition from a perpetual license to a subscription model during his tenure, which helped developers monetize and build other game services. 

Riccitiello also oversaw Unity’s IPO in 2020.

103. Erik Nordstrom, NordstromNordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Approval rating: 0%

Number of employees: 60,000 as of January 28, 2023.

Erik Nordstrom is one of the fourth generation of the family running the shopping empire.

The company was founded in 1901 by his great-grandfather John W. Nordstrom.

The company, like many of its legacy retail peers, faces stiff challenges in the business landscape, particularly from the rise of ecommerce.

In April, Nordstrom laid off an unknown number of employees in the department store chain’s tech department.

Earlier this year, the department store announced it would shut its Canadian operations by late June, impacting about 2,500 job cuts.

 

 

104. David Goeckeler, Western DigitalWestern Digital CEO David Goeckeler.

Western Digital

Approval rating: 0%

Number of employees: 53,000 as of June 30, 2023.

At the bottom of Blind’s list is David Goeckeler, who became the CEO of Western Digital, a data-storage company in 2020.

Western Digital laid off more than 200 Silicon Valley employees in June.

Goeckeler’s total compensation last year was $32.1 million — about 3,330 times the median salary at Western Digital.

 

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