1. Dick Fuld, Lehman Brothers. I listened to the second quarter earnings statement again today and just loved how he was all over it, not making an excuses for the performance, saying numerous times, “this is my responsibility.” He was emphatic, and he sounded as blown away by the decline in value as his investors felt. Triple A plus.
2. Steve Jobs, Apple. Apple’s continued success is directly related to Jobs leadership. The results issued on July 21 were great: the Company posted revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share. Last year’s second quarter results were $5.41 billion and net quarterly profit of $818 million, or $.92 per diluted share. He’s managed to keep money rolling in, even though Apple has had a few stinkers that nobody’s payingn much attention to (AppleTV and the new iPhone.)
3. Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil. Exxon Mobil made history in February of 08 when it reported the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company. Their fourth-quarter net income rose 14% to $11.66 billion, or $2.13 per share. The company earned $10.25 billion, or $1.76 per share, in previous year-ago period. Obviously, the man is doing something right.
4. Larry Kellner, Continental Airlines. The fact that he’s slashing his own salary means nothing to me, but I’m sure his employees appreciate the gesture. And he’s always out there, giving interviews – I seem to hear from him a lot more than other CEOs. He’s approachable and hardworking, good qualities to have in a CEO.