The 22 most liked CEOs in tech

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, one of the 22 heads of tech companies who made Owler’s list of the top 50 CEOs.
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ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Who are the most-liked CEOs? And how do the heads of tech companies stack up against their non-tech peers?

A company called Owler set out to find out. So the company, which is sort of like a cross between Glassdoor, PitchBook, Alexa and your favorite news feed, surveyed its 1 million active users. As part of the survey, Owler users rated more than 167,000 CEOs from different industries and from around the world.

Unlike Glassdoor, which only allows employees of particular companies to assess those businesses, Owler allows any of its users to rate any company they choose, whether they are employees, competitors, business partners or just followers of the enterprise. However, to determine which CEOs had the highest approval ratings, Owler says it factored in users’ relationships to the companies they rated. And when users submitted multiple ratings, it weeded out the duplicates.

Its resulting list of the 50 most liked CEOs among public US companies is both interesting and surprising, because it includes the heads of both smaller companies and of the giants and has a healthy representation from the tech industry.


Overall, the top tech CEOs didn’t rate as highly as peers from outside the industry. No head of a tech company cracked the top 10 CEO. And when it came to likability, none of the tech CEOs scored even a 90 on Owler’s 100-point scale.

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Costco’s Craig Jelinek
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U.S. Department of Labor/flickr

The top 10 most liked CEOs overall, according to Owler, along with their likability rating on a 100-point scale:

Costco’s Craig Jelinek, 94.9Marriott’s Arne Sorenson, 93.9 Capital One’s Richard Fairbank, 93.8 First American’s Dennis Gilmore, 93.6 Delta’s Ed Bastian, 92.9 Rockwell Collins’s Robert Ortberg: 92.9 Graybar’s Kathleen Mazzarella: 92.6 Henry Schein’s Stanley Bergman: 91.8 Hyatt’s Mark Hoplamazian: 91.8 Kohl’s Kevin Mansell: 90.6


Interestingly, CEOs of private companies were generally better liked than those running public companies. The average approval rating for a private company CEO was 70.8, while the average public company CEO scored a 68. All of the tech CEOs in Owler’s top 50 tech CEOs bested those averages.

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Owler

Even if they didn’t take the top spots, tech CEOs still dominated the Owlers top 50 list, taking 22 of the spots. All of the tech CEOs had likability ratings of 76.9 or higher.


And so, in David Letterman style, going from bottom to top, here is the list of the 22 tech industry heads who made it into Owler’s top 50 CEO list. At No. 22 is Cisco’s Chuck Robbins with a likability rating of 76.9 points out of a maximum of 100 points.

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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins
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Business Insider

Robbins was ranked No. 47 overall in the top 50 list.


No. 21: Commvault’s Robert Hammer, 77.6

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Commvault CEO Rob Hammer
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Commvault

Hammer was No. 46 overall.


No. 20: Ultimate Software’s Scott Scherr, 78.7

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Ultimate Software CEO Scott Scherr
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Ultimate Software

Scherr was No. 44 overall.


No. 19: Box’s Aaron Levie, 78.8

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Box CEO Aaron Levie
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Mike Windle/Getty

Levie was No. 42 overall.


No. 18: Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, 78.9

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
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Getty Images/Stephen Brashear

Nadella ranked No. 41 overall.


No. 17: NetApp’s George Kurian, 79.8

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NetApp CEO George Kurian
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Getty Images

Kurian was No. 40 overall.


No. 16: ADP’s Carlos Rodriguez, 79.8

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ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez
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CNBC Video

Rodriguez was No. 39 overall.


No. 15: Google’s Sundar Pichai, 79.9

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai
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Getty / Stephen Lam

Pichai was No. 38 in the overall rankings.


No. 14: Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk, 80.6

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk
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REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Musk was No. 37 overall.


No. 13: F5 Networks’ John McAdam, 80.6

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F5 Networks’ CEO John McAdam
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F5

McAdam ranked No. 36 overall.


No. 12: Agilent’s Mike McMullen, 80.6

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Agilent CEO Mike McMullen
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Agilent

McMullen was No. 35 overall.


No. 11: Netflix’s Reed Hastings, 80.8

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
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Flickr

Hastings was No. 32 overall.


No. 10: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, 80.9

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
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David Ryder/Getty

Bezos ranked No. 31 overall.


No. 9: Seagate’s Stephen Luczo, 81.8

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Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo
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Seagate

Luczo was No. 30 overall.


No. 8: LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, 82.9

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LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
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Getty Images/Mandel Ngan

Weiner ranked No. 27 overall.


No. 7: Xactly’s Christopher Cabrera, 83.6

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Xactly CEO Christopher Cabrera
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YouTube/IBTimes UK

Cabrera ranked No. 26 overall.


No. 6: AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, 83.9

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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stephenson ranked No. 21 overall.


No. 5: SAP Concur’s Steve Singh, 85.6

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Steve Singh, former CEO of SAP’s Concur unit
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LinkedIn/Steve Singh

Singh was No. 20 overall. His company, Concur, is owned by SAP.


No. 4: Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, 85.9

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff
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Mike Windle/Getty Images for Weinstein Carnegie Philanthropic Group

Benioff was No. 18 overall.


No. 3: Texas Instruments’ Richard Templeton, 86.7

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Texas Instruments CEO Richard Templeton
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Texas Instruments

Templeton ranked No. 16 overall.


No. 2: SAIC’s Tony Moraco, 87.6

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SAIC CEO Tony Moraco
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SAIC

Moraco ranked No. 14 overall.


No. 1: Red Hat’s Jim Whitehurst, 89.8

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Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst
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Red Hat

Whitehurst was No. 11 overall.