By Fortune Editors
February 16, 2017

Fortune’s survey of the World’s Most Admired Companies, now in its 19th year (and conducted by our partner the Korn Ferry Hay Group), has always measured the reputations of large corporations as seen by fellow big-company executives. This year, we decided to also gauge the reputations of the people who lead those enterprises. Specifically, we asked respondents to volunteer the names of which CEOs aren’t getting enough credit—and which are getting too much. More people identified under-touted chieftains than those they see as having inflated reputations. What can we deduce from the results? Well, two of the CEOs managed the feat of being cited as underrated and overrated. If nothing else, that suggests it just may be better to be loved and hated than not to be noticed at all.

Underrated CEOs

Based on 2,170 responses

Satya Nadella, Microsoft: 123 votes

Nadella discussing the intricacies of Minecraft coding with schoolkids in Dublin. More than mere ceremonial stops, the visits allow him to glean intelligence on how customers are using [f500link]Microsoft[/f500link] products.
Photograph by Veronique de Viguerie

Jeff Bezos, Amazon: 109 votes

Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos motions to cut a digital ribbon during an opening ceremony for the new headquarters of The Washington Post on Jan. 28, 2016.
Jabin Botsford — The Washington Post/Getty Images

Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines: 85 votes

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly at the company’s training facility near its headquarters next to Love Field in Dallas
Photograph by Nancy Newberry for Fortune

Elon Musk, Tesla: 73 votes

Elon Musk, chief executive officer for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), speaks during the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sept. 27, 2016.
Susana Gonzalez — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase: 72 votes

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., speaks during a Bloomberg Businessweek event in Detroit, Michigan on Dec. 15, 2016.
Laura McDermott — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Overrated CEOs

Based on 1,497 responses

Tim Cook, Apple: 229 votes

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, in San Francisco.
Marcio Jose Sanchez — AP

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook: 205 votes

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Berlin with Gear VR (virtual reality) eyeglasses on February 25, 2016.
Kay Nietfeld — picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Jeffrey Immelt, GE: 201 votes

Jeffrey "Jeff" Immelt, chief executive officer of [f500link]General Electric[/f500link] Co., center, reacts as he speaks with other attendees at the Minds + Machines digital industry event in Paris, France, on June 14, 2016.
Christophe Morin — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase: 128 votes

Jamie Dimon, president and chief executive officer of [f500link]JPMorgan Chase[/f500link], speaks during a visit by Chancellor George Osborne to JP Morgan's Bournemouth corporate centre in Dorset on June 3, 2016.
Andrew Matthews — PA Wire/AP

Jeff Bezos, Amazon: 93 votes

Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Inc. and founder of Blue Origin LLC, smiles during the 32nd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 12, 2016.
Matthew Staver — Bloomberg via Getty Images

A version of this article appears in the March 1, 2017 issue of Fortune as part of “The World’s Most Admired Companies” package.


You May Like