Most-Loved Tech CEOs And What Sets Them Apart

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 06, 2017


If you think Silicon Valley’s most beloved tech CEO is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook or LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, you got to think again. While they continue to remain their employees’ favorite, it’s Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of NVidia, who walked away with the cake this year as the top technology CEO. In an overall rating, Huang ranked no. 6 in Glassdoor’s 2017 survey of the highest-rated CEOs. [Read the full list here]

Needless to mention, the tech CEOs make up a chunk of Glassdoor’s ranking of highest-rated CEOs. The Glassdoor job-search website, which offers employees the opportunity to review businesses and their management, recognizes noteworthy companies and leaders each year through its Employees’ Choice Awards. This year’s rankings are based on employee reviews submitted anonymously between May 2, 2016 and May 1, 2017. Each CEO must have received at least 100 reviews from current and former U.S.-based employees during the period. The companies have at least 1,000 employees.

Employees who submit reviews are asked to provide feedback on the pros and cons of working for their employer, offer advice for management, and rate factors tied to their experience, including their CEO’s leadership. When rating the CEO, employees are given three options: approve, disapprove, or no opinion.

Top tech boss, Jen-Hsun Huang of Nvidia got a 99 percent approval rating. Huang co-founded Nvidia, the Santa Clara-based chip maker that has been best known for gaming graphics chips and is now turning its attention to artificial intelligence and self-driving technology, in 1993. According to a Mercury News interview with Huang in 2009, he was born in Taiwan and came to the United States at the age of 10.

Nvidia provides “a fantastic environment for forward-thinking engineers, computer scientists and marketers,” says an anonymous employee on Glassdoor. Another said it is “a big company that thinks it is a startup.”

Elon Musk wasn’t far behind at No. 8. But he didn’t get a 98 percent approval rating for leading Tesla, the Silicon Valley-based cleantech company. That score came from his employees at SpaceX, the Southern California-based company where he is also CEO. This is the first time on the list for Musk, also an immigrant CEO, who was born in South Africa. Facebook’s Zuckerberg, who was ranked No.4 last year is now at number No. 10. Apple’s Cook was No. 53 in this year’s survey. Other notable tech CEOs on this year’s list: Brad Smith of Intuit was No. 13; Marc Benioff of Salesforce was No. 15; Sundar Pichai of Google was No. 17; and Shantanu Narayen of Adobe was No. 19.

“We know that CEO approval ratings correlate to overall employee satisfaction and trust in senior leadership, which contributes to long-term employee engagement, ultimately helping an employer’s recruiting and retention efforts,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor co-founder and CEO. 

One may wonder, why do employees enjoy working at the companies of certain CEOs? Experts believe, the top tech CEOs share several of these desired traits, which earned them high approval among employees. Those who rank highly are typically cited by employees as strong leaders, dedicated to the company mission and culture, providers of leadership and growth opportunities, personable, approachable, and transparency in leadership as these are traits especially valued among tech employees.