Tim Cook Beats Steve Jobs In CEO Approval Ratings

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has surpassed his predecessor in a survey of employees’ approval of their leaders

Apple’s new chief executive Tim Cook took the top spot in a survey of highest-rated chief executives compiled by jobs and career site Glassdoor. Cook received a 97 percent approval rating; by comparison, when Steve Jobs stepped down from the post in August 2011, his cumulative approval rating was 97 percent, though his rating between March 2010 and March 2011 was 95 percent.

Cook joined Apple in March 1998 and was named chief executive after Jobs, who passed away in October 2011, announced his resignation.

Employees polled

One Apple employee commented on Glassdoor’s site, “I think leadership is doing an amazing job. We have the best management team anywhere.”

The list of top 25 highest-rated chief executives is based entirely on feedback from employees who were asked one survey question: Do you approve of the way your chief executive is leading the company?

In the last year alone, more than 280,000 employees rated their chief executive on Glassdoor, the company said. “While many speculated how Cook would be received by employees and how he would lead the tech giant, he seems to have settled in quite nicely,” the Glassdoor blog post said.

Several chief executives representing the tech industry make this top 25 list, including Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs, who scored a 95 percent approval rating, up seven points from the previous survey period. Google chief executive Larry Page placed third on the list with a 94 percent approval rating, 2 points less than former Google head Eric Schmidt’s score.

Intel chief executive Paul Otellini and VMware chief Paul Maritz rounded out the top five with approval ratings of 93 percent (up 3 points) and 90 percent (up 15 points), respectively.


Maritz posted the biggest gain in approval, followed by Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman, with 80 percent, 13 points higher than previous chief Leo Apotheker. Whitman placed ninth on the list of top tech chief executives, ahead of tenth-place finisher Jeff Bezos, who held a 79 percent approval rating, a slide of 5 points from the previous survey period.

Whitman is the only woman to break into the list of top-rated chief executives. The report noted she is faring much better than her predecessors. Apotheker garnered a 57 percent cumulative approval, and Mark Hurd received a 34 percent cumulative approval.

One Hewlett-Packard employee wrote, “Mark Hurd badly impacted HP values and people’s morale, but HP has got amazing people who kept on performing through salary cuts and chief executive scandals. So my most sincere good luck to Meg and her leadership team to bring back some of the HP way.”

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