Mukesh Ambani has been ranked second in a list of top CEOs dominated by Indian-origin chief executives. The highest ranking woman CEO is Leena Nair, who heads luxury fashion brand, Chanel. Brand Finance’s ‘Top 100 Brand Guardians 2023’ list places Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Punit Renjen, Shantanu Narayen, N Chandrasekaran, Piyush Gupta in the Top 10.
The report said that Ambani continues to oversee Reliance’s transition into green energy and the diversification of its telecoms and retail branches. This commitment to positive change, it said, has positively raised his perception as Chairman and MD of the group, and is reflected in the ‘inspires positive change’ metric.
The list has been topped by Jensen Huang, who heads tech company Nvidia, followed by Mukesh Ambani, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Deloitte’s Punit Renjen, Estee Lauder’s Fabrizio Freda, Tata Sons’ N Chandrasekaran, DBS’ Piyush Gupta, and Tencent’s Huateng Ma.
Half of the top 10 CEOs or equivalents come from tech and media sectors, which is a dip from 9 out of 10 in 2022. Engineering and finance are the most common backgrounds for the ones in the ranking.
Leena Nair, the highest-ranking woman CEO has been placed at the 11th spot by Brand Finance. She is one of the only seven women CEOs to feature in the list of 100. The report stated that they expect to see an increase in the number of women CEOs in the coming years.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who stepped down on Thursday night, has been placed at the 17th spot. Anand Mahindra has been ranked 23rd, while Airtel’s Sunil Mittal is on the 26th spot. Dinesh Kumar Khara, CEO of State Bank of India was ranked on the 48th spot.
Annie Brown, General Manager UK Consulting at Brand Finance, said, “This year has seen a shift in the top drivers of brand guardian reputation due to the uncertain global financial market, with ‘Commercial Leadership’ and ‘Inspiring Positive Change’ now the two most important drivers of reputation. This reflects the necessity of brand guardians maintaining a strong focus on commercial outcomes in difficult operating conditions.”
The report added that highly-paid brand guardians are being held accountable for their commercial and organisational leadership and are expected to successfully manage the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.
The US has the highest number of CEOs in the top 100, followed by China. Indian chief executives performed well too, the report pointed out.
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