Three Minnesota CEOs have made the Harvard Business Review’s annual ranking of the top 100 CEO’s in the world. Minnesota CEOs on the list were Doug Baker Jr. of St. Paul-based Ecolab at #41; Ken Powell of Golden Valley-based General Mills at #71; and Jeff Ettinger of Austin-based Hormel Foods at #84.
There were 33 new CEOs on HBR’s list this year, including Ettinger and Powell. Doug Baker was on last year’s list at #98.
HBR’s objective is to measure the effectiveness of CEOs over the entire length of their tenure as CEO. They try to measure objective data over a long-term rather than emphasize short-term results and public opinion.
They began the list with companies from the S&P Global 1200, eliminated CEOs who had less than two-years of experience in their role and any CEOs who might have been convicted or arrested. In the end they had a universe of 895 CEOs from 32 countries.
On average the CEOs on their list have been in their roles for 17 years which is remarkable since turnover among the global CEOs was a record 17 percent in 2015 according to the authors.
The three Minnesota CEOs on the list each have long track records with their companies and in the CEO role. Baker joined Ecolab in 1989 and has been CEO since 2004; Ettinger has been with Hormel for more than 26 years and CEO since 2006; and Powell joined General Mills in 1979 and became CEO in 2007.
HBR has been conducting their list since 2010. Each year the editors of HBR tweak the methodology of the list after listening to feedback from readers and outside experts. In 2015 they added a component based on environment, social and governance measures (ESG) and tweaked that component this year to combine ESG ratings from two prominent research firms Sustainalytics and CSRHub.
Financial metrics included country-adjusted total shareholder return, industry-adjusted total shareholder return and change in market capitalization. Those measures helped to balance out small firms and large firms. The financial metrics accounted for 80 percent of the ranking and the two ESG factors the rest.