Top 10 U.S. CEOs of 2021, According to Glassdoor Reviews


In a year hit by the coronavirus pandemic, CEOs across the country faced unprecedented challenges, and despite the uncertainty, some seized the opportunity, pivoting their work environments to better serve the employees.

Glassdoor has created its list of the 100 highest rated CEOs employee reviews between May 2, 2020 and May 1, 2021. Based on reviews, employees felt that top-ranked CEOs were adapting to change, redefining visions and leading with transparency, while being dedicated to health and employee safety.

These factors prompted CEO Rich Lesser to Boston Focus Group, a global management consulting firm, to claim the top spot for the first time, achieving a 99% approval rating. Employee reviews share that constructive feedback, a collaborative work environment, and the benefits of mobility were factors that affected how employees viewed the company.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen took second place with a 98% approval rating. After a year in which thousands of Adobe employees switched to digital workspaces, the software company not only made superior revenue estimates, but also found a strong resonance with employees. Platform employees felt that there was a good work-life balance and health care benefits.

In several industries, leaders in technology, finance and manufacturing lead the list with the most winners. Check out the top 10 CEOs in 2021, according to Glassdoor reviews:

10. Horacio D. Rozanski, Booz Allen Hamilton

9. Paul Cormier, red hat

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines Inc., speaks during a speech at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the United States, Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

Bridget Bennett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

8. Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines

7. Charles C. Butt, HEB

6. Satya Nadella, Microsoft

5. Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Visa Inc.

4. Gary C. Kelly, Southwest Airlines

3. Peter Pisters, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe Systems

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

2. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe

1. Rich Lesser, Boston Consulting Group

Employee reviews on the job search site take into account different types of employment status, including full-time, part-time, contract and freelance positions. Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm takes into account the quantity, quality, and consistency of company reviews approved by Glassdoor so CEOs of small, medium, and large companies can make the list.

This means that in order For an executive of a large corporation with more than 1,000 employees to be considered, that CEO must receive at least 100 corporate ratings among the CEO approval ratings and senior management ratings. For CEOs of small and medium-sized businesses, those with fewer than 1,000 employees, making the list requires at least 35 company ratings among CEO approval ratings and senior management ratings during the year .

Intentionality, consistency, empathetic leadership while respecting a company’s mission and culture are some of the additional qualities and themes that have led to better employee reviews on CEOs.

Of the newly released 100-person list, 56 newcomers have joined the ranks. Lululemon’s Calvin McDonald took 19th place, with a 96% rating, while Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield reached 82nd, with a 92% approval rating.

While some industries have exceeded expectations and others have made their first appearance, some top CEOs have failed to carve out a niche for themselves. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was not on the list at all for the first time since 2013.

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