Harvard Business Review Names Steve Jobs Top CEO in the World

Harvard Business Review has released a list of the 50 best-performing CEOs in the world, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the top slot. The publication looked at CEOs who took their jobs no earlier than January 1995 and no later than December 2007, gathering an initial list of nearly 2,000 top executives before winnowing the list based on shareholder returns and other criteria.

“The #1 CEO on the list, Steve Jobs,” writers Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer said, “delivered a whopping 3,188% industry-adjusted return (34% compounded annually) after he rejoined Apple as CEO in 1997, when the company was in dire shape. From that time until the end of September 2009, Apple’s market value increased by $150 billion.”

Number two on the list was Samsung CEO Yun Jong-Yong, followed by Alexey B. Miller of Russian energy company Cazprom, Cisco’s John Chambers, and Mukesh D. Ambani of Indian energy firm Reliance Industries to round out the top five. As the publication noted, such CEOs as Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, and Bill Gates were omitted from the list because they didn’t fit the initial criteria. “They all took the helm before 1995, though they probably would have done well if included,” Harvard Business Review said.