How are the world’s leading CEOs being mentioned in the media? We’ve created a list of the top 10 global companies by revenue and took an inside look at their CEO’s media coverage. Are these individuals constantly in the spotlight or are they hiding in the shadows? Here’s what we found.
1. Doug McMillon — Walmart
Doug McMillon grabbed 164 mentions in the past month, which is not a low number, but not very high for being the CEO of the country’s largest retail chain. He is the youngest CEO to lead Walmart since its founder, Sam Walton, and he’s fairly new, only being in the position since 2013. He’s faced troubling sales, executive departures, and low worker compensation, but he seems to be proactively using the media to show his intention to make changes in these problem areas.
2. Rex Tillerson — ExxonMobil
Rex Tillerson hasn’t been cited in the news all that much, seeing only 76 mentions in the last month. Most of his mentions have been sources citing him for his opinion on the oil industry or climate change. As CEO of the most valuable publicly traded oil company for the past eight years, maintaining a small amount of mentions limited to punditic statements sounds like a CEO win to me.
3. John Watson — Chevron
As CEO of one of the country’s leading oil companies, John Watson is consistently mentioned in the news for speaking about the future of global energy and how it is (or isn’t) affected by the price of oil.
4. Tim Cook — Apple
Tim Cook is the CEO of one of the most popular consumer electronics corporations out there. Apple is a household name, and almost everyone owns an Apple product. Due to Apple’s overarching presence, people are interested in what Tim Cook has to say about things- even outside of the scope of technology. He was named CEO of the Year by CNN in 2014 and his popularity will only continue to keep him in the public eye.
5. Warren Buffett — Berkshire Hathaway
At the age of 84, Warren Buffett is at the top of his game. He is Chairman, CEO, and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. He is one of the world’s richest men, heavily involved in investing, and heading a company with the most expensive stock. No one knows how to close a deal like Warren Buffett and he is famous for his sales chops. No wonder he took the number one spot in CEO mentions.
6. Greg Garland — Phillips 66
As CEO of Phillips 66, an American energy company, Greg Garland remains mostly out of the spotlight. With only eight mentions in the last 30 days, Greg Garland takes the next-to-last position in CEO mentions. This is surprising, especially since Phillips 66 is known to be expanding its business and its shares have been rising in the stock market. Only being CEO for two years, we’ll cut Greg Garland some slack, but hope he finds a way to be more present in the media.
7. Mary Barra — General Motors
Mary Barra garnered over 2,000 mentions in the last month. As the first female CEO of a Big Nine Automaker that is constantly mentioned in the news, it is not surprising that she is very much in the public eye. She had to answer to Congress about the faulty ignition switches that led to a 30 million car recall and 21 deaths. You know what they say– It ain’t easy being CEO.
8. Mark Fields — Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an automobile giant, and Mark Field’s has only been CEO for less than a year. He receives plenty of mentions and not very much bad publicity. For the little time he’s been CEO, we’d say he’s doing a pretty good job finding a positive way to get his name out there.
9. Jeffrey Immelt — General Electric
Though Jeffrey Immelt has been CEO for over 13 years and may be ‘old news,’ General Electric is diverse enough for him to be mentioned more than 83 times in a month. With branches such as GE Aviation, GE Energy, GE Global Research, GE Healthcare and even more, it would be expected that he would be more present in the news for his all-encompassing responsibility.
10. Joseph Gorder — Valero Energy
Joseph Gorder had the lowest number of mentions in the last month, receiving only two. He hasn’t even been CEO for a full year yet, but he could do a better job of being more present in the news other than to report second and third quarter results.