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Year of Crisis-Management for Top Leaders


The pandemic might be in the past, but this year, the top company leaders were put to test as they faced various challenges. Despite the trials, 25 CEOs proved their ability to thrive amidst the chaos and landed on ’s Top CEOs list for 2023.

One of the biggest hurdles was the surge in interest rates, which rose at the fastest pace in four decades. Consequently, bonds had their worst year ever, leading banks to suffer paper portfolio losses and trigger a run on deposits that caused three banks to fall. Regardless, strong industry leaders like Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase and Frank B. Holding Jr. at First Citizens BancShares managed to scoop up assets and strengthen their position.

Another notable occurrence was James Gorman’s stepping down from Morgan Stanley after leading the bank through an asset-management growth spree that caused competitors to be envious of their fees.

With yearly inflation rates down by half but still relatively high, and asset prices rising, it’s hard to determine if the U.S. economy is running too hot or cooling too quickly. However, top retailers like W. Craig Jelinek at Costco Wholesale and Marvin Ellison at Lowe’s are managing their inventories, pricing, and shopper convenience with care to grow their market share without compromising profits or taking on more risks.

Finally, CEO Ramon Laguarta at PepsiCo is shaking up the staples business with new product variations such as Cheetos while Brian Niccol at Chipotle Mexican Grill is not only perfecting their approach to filling digital burrito orders but also promoting their new chicken al pastor dish.

As proven by these successful leaders, crisis-management skills are crucial, and adapting to changes in the market can lead to growth and success even during challenging times.

CEOs Excelling in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

As computers become more self-sufficient, investors show signs of caution when it comes to paying for artificial-intelligence exposure. However, some tech leaders are not only riding but also selling into the wave, thanks to years of preparation. Among them are Jensen Huang at Nvidia (NVDA), Satya Nadella at Microsoft (MSFT), Sundar Pichai at Alphabet (GOOGL), Shantanu Narayen at Adobe (ADBE), and Safra Catz at Oracle (ORCL).

Our list is carefully curated by a panel of editors and reporters through a process of screening, nomination, discussion, and debate. It is akin to 12 Angry Men, made up of collegial and half female jurors, minus the murder charges. Recent management actions that position companies for success is emphasized. Stellar stock returns may not always equate to being a top CEO.

While veterans like Tim Cook at Apple (AAPL) and Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) have made the list for years, there are many new members, like Dave Powers at Deckers Outdoor (DECK), who propelled Ugg boots into a boom in bouncy Hoka sneakers. Returning members like Tricia Griffith at Progressive (PGR) is gaining market share amid chaotic car-insurance pricing.

Read on for more about John C. May’s robo-tractor rise at Deere (DE), Dave Ricks and Eli Lilly’s (LLY) obesity breakthrough, Vicki Hollub and Occidental Petroleum’s (OXY) plan for capturing carbon and using it to boost oil output, and Larry Culp’s feat of market fission at General Electric (GE)—splitting up the business to unleash its best stock performance in years.

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