CEO of the year revealed

by Cameron Edmond18 Nov 2013

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch unveiled its pick for CEO of the year, drawing from a pool of some of the world’s most influential CEOs at publically traded companies over the last year. While profits may have been taken into account, stock and influence were also heavy players in the decision.

Before we get to the winner, let’s take a look at the nominees and how they manage their staff:


Elon Musk, Tesla Motors, SpaceX
Elon Musk is arguably one of the hardest working men in the corporate world right now. A co-founder of PayPal, Musk has shifted his attention to primarily the advancement of transportation and the environment, through electric car company Tesla Motors and space exploration firm SpaceX.

The enigmatic entrepreneur hasn’t spoken to the media much about his organisation’s HR policies, but it would follow that the culture of Tesla Motors would follow Musk’s vision and philosophy. He is praised for his devotion to advancing the wellbeing of humans everywhere, and credits Tesla’s success on the ‘belief’ his customers have to his vision of a cleaner world.


Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!
A constant in corporate headlines, Marissa Mayer has helped to turn the struggling tech-company around with a string of acquisitions, as well as making headlines for dropping teleworking options and boosting parental leave. Most recently, her company has been in the spotlight for adopting bell curve rankings.


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Despite its teen demographic jumping ship, the social networking site continues to sit at the centre of the industry.  Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to run a large company at 29-years-old has been questioned, with primary concerns being raised about user privacy issues and a botched IPO in 2012. And while the company is known for its employee benefits and a workplace culture similar to Google’s, some employees have criticised Zuckerberg as being too hands-on.


Reed Hasting, Netflix
Considered by many as the future of television and film distribution, digital on-demand/streaming service Netflix has been led back from its 2011 meltdown through exclusive content. On the people management front, Netflix is known for their ‘unlimited vacation’ policy, in which they don’t track the vacation time of employees. Hastings credits the staff of mature, responsible employees devoted to producing high-quality work to allowing such a policy to function, Mashable reported.


Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines
Kelly took Southwest steered Southwest through the GFC and post-GFC recession through a consistent focus not on stocks, but on the wellbeing of the organisation and its customers.

Kelly stated that the organisation’s success is owed in large part to employee satisfaction.

“It doesn’t have to be fancy, it’s just somehow establishing trust and convincing people you care about them,” he told McCombs Today. “When I became CEO it was a humbling experience to realize I was responsible for 35,000 people, but also that I am dependent on them.”


Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn
LinkedIn has grown considerably since its inception to become the number one network for (primarily white collar) professionals. While the space is now cluttered with many online recruitment marketplaces and networking sites, LinkedIn remains the go-to for many.

On the HR front, LinkedIn offers many of the traditional tech-company perks: a morning boot camp, a beanbag lounge and chair massages. However, the organisation also provides its staff with weekly lectures from entrepreneurs, Mashable reported.


And the winner of the 2013 MarketWatch CEO of The Year is?

Elon Musk.


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