Topping the list of Harvard Business Review’s annual CEO 100 list for 2019 was Jensen Huang of graphics-processor company Nvidia. Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Francois-Henri Pinault of Kering, Richard Templeton of Texas Instruments, and Ignacio Galán of Iberdrola placed second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Huang had the foresight in the 2000s to allocate billions to research and development for building chips to support artificial intelligence applications. “By the mid-2010s its AI-focused chips had come to dominate this nascent market, showing up inside autonomous vehicles, robots, drone aircraft, and dozens of other high-tech tools,” Harvard Business Review reports. “From late 2015 to late 2018, the company’s stock grew 14-fold—a performance that puts Huang, 56, in the top spot on HBR’s list of best-performing CEOs in the world this year.”
While Amazon’s Bezos has made the list since 2014, the company’s poor environmental, social and governance scores did him in this year. These scores “reflect risks created by working conditions and employment policies, data security, and antitrust issues,” Harvard Business Review reports. The list saw its representation of women CEOs grow from three in 2018 to four this year.