If you’re familiar with Glassdoor, you know that the rankings on the site are culled from anonymous employee reviews — and among the feedback you’ll find there is information on how staffers feel about their CEOs. Once a year, Glassdoor sifts through the CEO reviews and creates a ranking that lists the year’s top CEOs.
We’ve evaluated the 2019 results and listed the highest-ranked CEOs in both categories below, along with a bit of insight on how these leaders view their leadership styles.
Top CEOs: Large Companies
1. Pat Gelsinger of VMWare. Gelsinger has long discussed the importance of prioritizing responsibilities and ensuring that staff members are valued, writing in a LinkedIn piece that “Embracing different views is foundational for us. Diversity not only drives innovation and better business outcomes, but strengthens our global community.”
2. Charles C. Butt of H E B. The grocery chain was started by Butt’s grandmother, and he learned a variety of leadership lessons from his family as he grew up in the field, he told Supermarket News. Although the business has seen a variety of changes, certain tenets haven’t shifted, he said. “Some things have remained the same over the years. These include our fundamental dedication to employees and their welfare, and being part of the communities we serve.”
3. Lynsi Snyder of In-N-Out Burger. Snyder took over the family business in 2010 but has remained committed to the values that helped the burger chain succeed — and that includes ensuring the business stays in the family. “It’s not about the money for us,” she told Forbes. “Unless God sends a lightning bolt down and changes my heart miraculously, I would not ever sell.”
4. John Legere of T-Mobile. Legere, who recently announced he’ll be stepping down from the CEO role this year, has cultivated a following not only among his staff members but also on social media. “If you go back in my career, you'll find I've always been a lead-from-the-front people-manager guy,” he told Business Insider. “I've always been outspoken. I've always attempted to break the mold … The world doesn't need another cookie-cutter business-school leader. The world needs somebody to stick out and be loud and proud.”
5. Shantanu Narayen of Adobe. Narayen has stressed the importance of aspirational goals when it comes to leadership. “To create new businesses and drive growth, you need to have a leader who wakes up wanting to make an impact,” Narayen said. “My job is to set goals where people say they can’t quite connect the dots yet, because if you do it’s probably not aspirational enough,” he told the Financial Times.
Top CEOs: Small- and Medium-Sized Companies
1. Dan Burton of Health Catalyst. Burton has been CEO of the healthcare data and analytics firm since 2011 and has watched it grow exponentially during that time. “I feel like at Health Catalyst, we’ve tried to live up to certain operational principles, cultural attributes and values,” he told Healthcare IT News.
2. Jessica Catino of Digital Prospectors. The CEO of this high-tech recruitment firm takes job satisfaction very seriously. “We are a family here, and if we can be a great place to work, that means everything to us,” she told Seacoast Online. “It validates what we’ve worked toward over the years.”
3. Mario T. Schlosser of Oscar Health. Schlosser cofounded the health insurance firm in 2012, and learned ways to hone his natural leadership style. “You will have a certain style as a leader,” he told CNBC. And that may not be the best style for every imaginable situation, but it is your style. And over time, I do think you will learn that you might be better off making sure you use that style to the best of your ability to lead others, motivate others around you — as opposed to listening to all kinds of other people telling you how you maybe should be different.”
4. Brandon Rodman of Weave. “People have always been important to me,” Rodman told the Daily Herald of the early days of his firm, which makes patient communications software. “Early on, we would make (what were) poor business decisions, but were good decisions for people. And we will always lean that way.”
5. Scott Woods of South Carolina Federal Credit Union. Woods has held the credit union’s top role since 2004, but has been with the firm since 1999. “Culture is a main driver in our organization,” he said. “The ability to keep a pulse on our employee heartbeat via Glassdoor and share that passion with potential new team members is one of the most valuable tools in our overall talent approach.”