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Top CEOs for 2021: Boston Consulting Group CEO Rich Lesser tops annual Glassdoors list

A first time winner, Lesser took the top spot on the United States – Large Companies list with an approval rating of 99 percent.

June 17, 2021 / 12:51 PM IST
According to employees on Glassdoors, BCG employees felt supported, trusted BCG’s leadership team to carry them through the pandemic and saw how Lesser and his team led the company as a “masterclass in best practices” during the pandemic. (Image: Shutterstock)

According to employees on Glassdoors, BCG employees felt supported, trusted BCG’s leadership team to carry them through the pandemic and saw how Lesser and his team led the company as a “masterclass in best practices” during the pandemic. (Image: Shutterstock)


Boston Consulting Group CEO Rich Lesser has emerged as an employee favourite on jobs and professional networking portal Glassdoors’ annual list of the ‘Top CEOs for 2021’ released on June 15.

The list is compiled based on employee feedback for their company heads over the past year on parameters such as accessibility, transparency and reliance.

Lesser took the top spot on the United States – Large Companies list with an approval rating of 99 percent. He previously led the company through the Great Recession and the 9/11 crisis and during the COVID-19 pandemic made employees feel supported. He is a first time winner.

According to employees on Glassdoors, BCG employees felt supported, trusted BCG’s leadership team to carry them through the pandemic and saw how Lesser and his team led the company as a “masterclass in best practices” during the pandemic.

They said that Lesser and his BCG leadership team also embodied the company’s core values, which include integrity, diversity, social impact and more.

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“Over the past year, company leaders around the world faced unprecedented challenges to support employees during the COVID-19 crisis… it’s inspiring to see Top CEOs who, according to their employees, adapted to change, redefined visions and led with transparency while putting the health and safety of employees first,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, CEO of Glassdoors.

Here are the Top 10 CEOs in the US:

  1. Boston Consulting Group’s Rich Lesser (99 percent approval)

  2. Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen (99 percent approval)

  3. MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Peter Pisters (99 percent approval)

  4. Southwest Airlines’ Gary C. Kelly (98 percent approval)

  5. Visa Inc.’s Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. (97 percent approval)

  6. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella (97 percent approval)

  7. H E B’s Charles C. Butt (97 percent approval)

  8. Delta Air Lines’ Ed Bastian (97 percent approval)

  9. Red Hat’s Paul Cormier (97 percent approval)

  10. Booz Allen Hamilton’s Horacio D. Rozanski (97 percent approval)

(Check the full Top 100 CEOs for 2021 list here)

Notably, 56 CEOs (more than half) on the list are first timers – these include lululemon’s Calvin McDonald (19, 96 percent approval), SurveyMonkey’s Zander Lurie (40, 94 percent approval) and Slack’s Stewart Butterfield (82, 92 percent approval).

The Top 100 list also has five women this year – including In-N-Out Burger’s Lynsi Snyder (20, 96 percent approval), Fidelity Investments’ Abby Johnson (44, 94 percent approval) and Progressive Insurance’s Tricia Griffith (No. 65, 93 percent approval).

Apple’s Tim Cook (32, 95 percent approval) is the only CEO to be honoured all eight years the list has been compiled. Further, Novartis’ Vas Narasimhan also made it to the list this year (23, 96 percent approval).

The awards this year featured six company categories across the US, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany, including the Top 100 CEOs (CEOs with 1,000 or more employees) and the Top 50 CEOs at small and medium companies (those with fewer than 1,000 employees).

“The winners of Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards threw out the ‘business as usual’ mindset and embraced changes required to lead their employees through uncertainty. They not only drove their companies forward with innovative strategy and execution, but also engaged and uplifted employees during challenging times – clearly demonstrated by the reviews employees have left on Glassdoor,” the website said in its blog post announcing the winners.
Jocelyn Fernandes
first published: Jun 17, 2021 12:16 pm

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