Apple's Jobs gets top CEO gong

Apple chief tops prestigious list
Apple chief tops prestigious list

In its latest issue, the prestigious Harvard Business Review has named its best-performing CEOs in the world and fresh in at number one is none other than Apple chief Steve Jobs, with Microsoft counterpart Steve Ballmer not even listed

The magazine collected data on 2,000 CEOs, from all fields and around the globe, covering their entire time in office, up to September 30 this year, then came up with its top 200.

Jobs wasn't the only tech CEO to rank high on the list – Yun Jong-Yong, former Samsung Electronics Co. CEO was #2, whilst Cisco Systems Inc. head John Chambers hit #4. Notably, Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, didn't make the cut.

Not just arbitrary

It wasn't about the name recognition of the CEO. The magazine used a complex methodology based on total shareholder return to determine which CEOs qualified as the very best. Total shareholder return for each company was calculated on a daily basis for the tenure of each candidate.

These figures were then weighed again returns for both industry and country. As if that wasn't enough, the researchers also looked at the changes in a company's market capitalisation over the period. According to the magazine:

"The #1 CEO on the list, Steve Jobs, delivered a whopping 3,188 per cent industry-adjusted return (34 per cent compounded annually) after he rejoined Apple as CEO in 1997, when the company was in dire shape."

Jobs was a co-founder of Apple in 1976, but found himself ousted in 1985. He came back in 1997 and has guided the company through a huge renaissance that's seen its focus move away from computers to the iPod and the iPhone, and making it into a major global brand, and himself into a true celebrity CEO.

Apple's shares have more than doubled in the last year.