Most-Respected CEO

Dec. 21, 2004
Once again, it's GE's Welch.

Each year IndustryWeek's CEO Survey asks, "Which CEO do you respect most and why?" And each year we get a list befitting a who's who of CEOs. The overwhelming choice this year, a result consistent through four of the last five surveys, is Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric Co., named as "most respected" by more than 50% of the CEOs who responded to the question. These comments supported his selection:

  • "The ability to see the future clearly."
  • "Vision and analytical power. A man who acts boldly."
  • "The magic to run an empire successfully and consistently."
  • "A CEO for nearly 20 years who still motivates and challenges as well as anyone. Has reinvented GE several times."
  • "The ability to constantly renew himself, remain fresh, creative, and productive."
  • "Decisive, energetic, incisive."
  • "Sets the vision and performance parameters. Rewards people." Other CEOs who received multiple mentions included:
  • Bob Eaton, Chrysler Corp. -- "Transformed company into one of the best in the world after starting as one of the weakest, while demonstrating willingness to change quickly."
  • Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp. -- "Created enormous shareholder value that seems sustainable, by driving market share at good margins through focus and new product innovation."
  • Larry Bossidy, AlliedSignal Inc. -- "Gets results. Straightforward. No nonsense."
  • Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. -- "Long-term orientation, straightforwardness, courage, communication skills, and charisma." Other most respected CEOs included:
  • Chuck Childers, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. -- "He is strategic in his thinking and very effective at building a company."
  • Michael Dell, Dell Computer Corp. -- "Distributes quality [products] that advance the information age while creating shareholder value by the ton."
  • George Fisher, Eastman Kodak Co. -- "Has attempted to change his organization without asking his employees to shoulder the entire burden."
  • Don Fites, Caterpillar Inc. -- "He took on UAW and won."
  • Joe Ford, Alltel -- "Integrity, excellent job in difficult environment."
  • Kenneth Lay, Enron Corp. -- "Visionary. Developer of people."
  • Paul O'Neill, Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa) -- "Proven ability to inculcate cultural change, thereby reducing costs and enhancing efficiency. A painful task made more palatable to constituencies as a result of his leadership qualities."
  • Jim Perrella, Ingersoll-Rand Co. -- "Has built an organization for the new millennium quietly and with class."

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Optimizing Connected, Resilient Supply Chains in 2024

Dec. 19, 2023
Discover how manufacturers fortify supply chains amidst change, explore the 2024 manufacturing industry outlook and delve into Gen AI for resilient supply chains.

Get ready for CLOUD 9: Nine reasons to move to the Microsoft Cloud

Jan. 24, 2024
With pioneering AI (Copilot, built on OpenAI) and best-in-class low code development tools (Power Platform), the Microsoft Cloud has no equal. Learn a whole lot more in in “Moving...

Onsite Wind Generation Guide for C&I

Jan. 22, 2024
This document offers insights into using onsite wind power for businesses, covering feasibility, project development, technology selection, and benefits of renewable energy.

Five Tips for Choosing the Right AMR to Improve Worker Productivity

Jan. 24, 2024
Here are five top tips to consider before selecting an AMR to increase productivity for your enterprise.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!