In a volatile year for the U.S. stock market, institutional investors are sticking by their favorite executives.
Money managers and stock analysts surveyed by Institutional Investor were steadfast in their selection of America’s top chief executives, with 30 of last year’s first-place CEOs retaining their No. 1 position in the 2019 All-America Executive Team.
The annual ranking of chief executives, chief financial officers, and investor relations professionals covers 44 industry sectors. In the 2019 ranking, forty-seven CEOs earned recognition as the top chief executive in their industry, due to ties in three sectors.
Included among the slate of top CEOs are JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon and Apple’s Tim Cook, repeating their first-place positions in the large bank and IT hardware categories, respectively. Other repeat victors included Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos and Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty and the only woman to earn first-place recognition last year.
Although voters largely stuck by the same CEOs who ranked atop the 2018 All-America Executive Team, the 2019 ranking featured 17 chief executives who rose to first place this year. These included Delta Air Lines CEO Edward Bastian, who toppled Doug Parker of American Airlines, and Merck & Co. chief Kenneth Frazier, who bested Allergan CEO Brenton Saunders.
Mary Barra, chief executive of General Motors Co., also rose to first place within the autos and auto parts sector, as voters soured on past favorite Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO landed in hot water this year over a tweet about taking the electric car maker private, ultimately leading to a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission settlement that required Musk to step down as Tesla’s chairman.
Beyond ranking their favorite CEOs, money managers and analysts also rated the top CFOs and investor relations professionals, as well as the companies with the best overall IR performance. Companies that received a top-three position in at least two of these four categories were designated as “most honored.”
This year, 151 companies earned that distinction, down from 152 last year. Seven of the “most honored” companies — Delta, JPMorgan, Honeywell International, Kroger Co., UnitedHealth Group, Enterprise Product Partners, and T-Mobile USA — swept their respective sectors, ranking first across the CEO, CFO, and the two IR categories.