Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, HDFC Bank’s Aditya Puri Figure in Barron’s List of World’s Best CEOs
In the annual list that is in it's 14th edition, HDFC CEO Aditya Puri, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks and Shantanu Narayen of Adobe Systems make the cut.
Four corporate executives of Indian origin made their way into the American financial magazine Barron’s list of “World’s 30 Best CEOs” for 2018.
In the 14th annual list released on May 26, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella entered the top 30 for the first time, taking the fifth rank. The magazine described him as the one responsible for the transformation of Microsoft “from a potential cloud victim into a cloud landlord.” It added: “He has pushed Microsoft in entirely new directions, all while energizing the brands that sustained the software giant for decades.”
Nadella’s turnaround strategy was earlier also praised by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. “It was no surprise to me that once Nadella became Microsoft’s CEO, he immediately put his mark on the company,” Gates wrote in the foreword of the book, titled Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone, written by the Hyderabad-born executive. “As the title of this book implies, he didn’t completely break with the past when you hit refresh on your browser, some of what’s on the page stays the same,” Gates added.
Another Indian American CEO on Barron’s list is Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, who has been projected as a growth leader by the magazine. Narayen took the post in December 2007, after over a decade of working in the company.
The list also recognizes the emergence of Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks. Ullal, after she turned in her resignation at Cisco, has turned the startup into a growing force in computer networking since 2008, with revenue rising 45 per cent to $1.6 billion in 2017, according to Forbes. The company’s largest customer is Microsoft, which accounted for 16 per cent of the company’s sales last year.
Mary Barra of General Motors, the third highest paid CEO in the United States, was ranked first by the magazine this year.
The other leading names from various sectors who figured on the list included Jeff Bezos of Amazon; Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway; Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Larry Page of Alphabet; Reed Hastings of Netflix; and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.
Bezos is having a good year, with his e-commerce firm Amazon appearing in Fortune 500’s list of top 10 companies for the first time. Hastings, who is running the subscription-based video streaming company, joined the ranks of the World’s billionaires in June 2014 after Netflix’s share price rose above $400.
HDFC Bank CEO Aditya Puri made it for the fourth time consecutively as the only Indian on the list, with the magazine saying that “he has transformed HDFC Bank from a startup into one of the world’s highest-quality banks, generating eye-popping returns by maintaining lending standards and expanding beyond corporate loans into a full-service retail bank.”
The magazine also observed that Puri “swiftly transformed India’s second-largest private-sector bank into the digital spot for anything money-related.”
Puri, 66, who is ranked 23rd on Barron’s list, receives “effusive praise” from investors, with them calling him “one of the most impressive CEOs we have come across,” the magazine said.
The list takes into account the revenue and earnings growth and share-price performance of the companies over the past five years. The CEOs are selected based on the extent to which each chief’s actions led to his or her company’s success. Then, about a third of the previous year’s picks were taken off the list to give room for newcomers.