Luke McGrath (Bloomberg) -- Patrick Gelsinger, the chief executive officer of Silicon Valley software maker VMware Inc., was ranked the best CEO in America, according to an annual survey by employment website Glassdoor.
Gelsinger, 58, has spent seven years as CEO of the Palo Alto, California-based company, which specializes in virtualization software. Before landing the top job, he spent most of his career at Intel Corp., playing a key role in developing USB and Wi-Fi technology, as well as helping the chip giant dominate the microprocessor industry, according to VMware’s website.
In last year’s survey, Gelsinger was ranked 78. Since then, his company has become a critical component of Dell Technologies Inc., its majority shareholder. In April, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a partnership with VMware, aiming to bring more of the latter’s customers to its own Azure cloud computing service, emulating a 2016 pact with Amazon.com Inc.
Last year, Dell, which owns more than 80% of VMware, was considering a full takeover of the software maker. Gelsinger was able to avoid a formal merger. In doing so, he shielded equity held by VMware employees. The price of independence, however, was $11 billion paid to Round Rock, Texas-based Dell in the form of a special dividend.
Top 10 U.S. CEOs, ranked by employees
- Pat Gelsinger, VMware Inc.
- Charles C. Butt, H-E-B
- Lynsi Snyder, In-N-Out Burger
- John Legere, T-Mobile US Inc.
- Shantanu Narayen, Adobe Inc.
- Satya Nadella, Microsoft Corp.
- Kevin Sneader, McKinsey & Co.
- Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn Corp.
- Gary S. Guthart, Intuitive Surgical Inc.
- Hubert Joly, Best Buy Co.
Coming in third in the Glassdoor survey was In-N-Out Burger’s Lynsi Snyder, her second year in the top 10, and the top-ranked woman CEO. Filling out the top five were H-E-B’s Charles C. Butt, T-Mobile’s John Legere and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen. Full results can be found here.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came in at 55, and Apple’s Tim Cook was ranked 69. Zuckerberg and Cook are the only two CEOs to make the list all seven years Glassdoor has administered the survey.
Of the 100 CEOs on this year’s list, 53 are making their second straight appearance, while 40 are new. The technology industry led the way, with 27 CEOs making the list, followed by the health-care industry, with 12.
The 2019 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards for the Top CEOs contains six company categories and includes reviews by employees and former employees on the website from May 2, 2018, to May 1, 2019. CEO approval ratings are determined based on the quantity, quality and consistency of reviews, according to the website. To qualify for the survey, current CEOs were required to receive 100 approval ratings and 100 senior management ratings over the course of the voting period.
--With assistance from Nico Grant.