Harvard Business Review: Microsoft's Ballmer ranks low as CEO

The Harvard Busines Review just published an analysis of the top 100 CEOs in the world, and the results don't bode well for Microsoft. Steve Ballmer didn't even make the list, while Apple's Steve Jobs topped it at number 1.

To compile the list, Harvard Business Review analyzed data about 1,999 CEOs worldwide. CEOs were included who took over the jobs between 1995 and 2007, who headed a publicly traded company, and whose companies were in the Standard & Poor's Global 1200 or BRIC 40 lists since 1997.

The magazine measured the financial performance of each CEO, using very detailed, specific metrics, notably stock prices adjusted for a variety of factors, such as for industry and for country. The change in market capitalization over the CEO's tenure was calculated and adjusted for inflation in each country. Other types of control and analysis was done as well. Then the results were compiled and reported.

Jobs' value was rated as the most significant of any CEO in the world. He has increased Apple market value by approximately $150 billion since he took over, and the magazine says that he delivered to Apple a 3,188 percent industry-adjusted return --- quite astounding.

Ballmer's not making the list comes just after Newsweek predicted that Ballmer will be forced to resign in 2010 because of his poor performance as CEO. As I've written in a previous blog, since he took over Microsoft's helm, Microsoft stock has dropped nearly 50 percent, Newsweek says.

Another Microsoft competitor had its CEO make the top list --- Google's CEO Eric Schmidt made the list at number 9, with Google's market capitalization jumping $101 billion since he took over. Other high-tech CEOs in the top 10 include John Chambers of Cisco at number 4, Jeff Bezos of Amazon at number 7, and Margaret Whitman of eBay at number 8.

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