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Top 10 Influential Business Executives

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Ian Astraquillo. These are the top-tier professionals whose hard work brought their companies to the forefront of their industries. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 influential business executives. For this list, we’ve chosen leaders of industry who, although they were not founders or co-founders of their respective enterprises, have either helped their companies earn greater prominence or have substantially increased their profitability during their administration. We’ve also excluded those magnates we categorized as our Top 10 Most Influential Tech Business Moguls, as well as our Top 10 Most Influential Non-Tech Business Moguls. So if you’re looking for inspirational founders and innovators like Bill Gates or Walt Disney, be sure to check out those lists. Special thanks to our user akt for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Ian Astraquillo.

Top 10 Influential Business Executives


These are the top-tier professionals whose hard work brought their companies to the forefront of their industries. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 influential business executives.

For this list, we’ve chosen leaders of industry who, although they were not founders or co-founders of their respective enterprises, have either helped their companies earn greater prominence or have substantially increased their profitability during their administration. We’ve also excluded those magnates we categorized as our Top 10 Most Influential Tech Business Moguls, as well as our Top 10 Most Influential Non-Tech Business Moguls. So if you’re looking for inspirational founders and innovators like Bill Gates or Walt Disney, be sure to check out those lists.

#10: Alan Mulally
Former President & CEO of Ford Motor Company

Under this executive’s leadership, Ford became the only American car company to dodge the government bailout at the onset of the Great Recession. Prior to his tenure as CEO with the auto-manufacturing giant, Mulally looked to the skies as an engineer for Boeing, where he contributed designs to numerous commercial flight models and ascended to executive status. After joining Ford in 2006, Mulally spearheaded the resurrection of the brand’s popular Taurus model. While he’s since left his role with the automaker, Mulally remains influential as a member of the Google board of directors.

#9: Jamie Dimon
Chairman, President & CEO of JPMorgan Chase

Renowned as an influential CEO by numerous media outlets, this money-wise Harvard Business School graduate has a résumé with its own multi-million dollar value. Starting his career at American Express, Dimon has since added financial institutions like Bank One, New York’s Federal Reserve and Citigroup to his CV. After becoming president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase in the mid-2000s following the company’s merger with Bank One, Dimon saw to the firm’s acquisitions of countless assets, which eventually resulted in a growth-spurt that made it the largest bank in the United States.

#8: Maurice Lévy
CEO of Publicis Groupe

To not recognize this man’s name would be ironic. Known as “Monsieur Big” in the world of advertising, this French tycoon has earned his spotlight as CEO of Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s “Big Four” advertising agencies. Serving at the helm since 1987, Lévy solidified his international presence by leading the company to procure countless competitors – domestic and overseas. However, despite holding the highest position in the company, Lévy continues to involve in more day-to-day operations, participating in the creative process of colorful ads like this.

#7: Lee Iacocca
Former Chairman, President & CEO of Chrysler Corporation

He’s the man to thank for the Ford Mustang and Pinto – which, depending on how you look at it, is both a blessing and a curse. With history at two of the “Big Three” American car manufacturers, this entrepreneur, engineer, and innovator has done it all, from sales, to design, to corporate. After dedicating over 30-years to Ford, Iacocca went on to lead the struggling Chrysler Group out of trouble in the late-‘70s, early-‘80s, by requesting an unprecedented government bailout, and by introducing highly successful models like the K-Car line and the minivan.

#6: Lou Gerstner
Former Chairman & CEO of IBM

When IBM suffered its first major financial setback in the early-‘90s, its board dethroned its CEO and initiated a desperate search for a fitting successor. The only candidate interested was one Louis Vincent Gerstner, who was previously an exec at American Express and CEO of RJR Nabisco. Despite his outsider status in the tech industry, Gerstner’s managerial efforts not only kept IBM afloat, they resulted in what’s commonly labeled one of the most impressive reversals of fortune ever, with Gerstner’s focus on the Internet and IT services credited with saving the tech giant from bankruptcy.

#5: Tim Cook
CEO of Apple Inc.

When Apple’s co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs required a string of medical leaves throughout the 2000s, his close friend and personal choice to takeover Tim Cook was the willing appointee that kept the tech multinational’s operations running. After Jobs’ passing in 2011, Cook continued to lead Apple by updating its ever-so popular line of iPod, iPhone, and Macintosh products. The company also expanded its humanitarian efforts under Cook’s leadership, having immensely increased its donations and ties to charities, civil-rights groups, and global sustainability organizations.

#4: Lakshmi Mittal
Chairman & CEO of ArcelorMittal

As partial owner, chairman, and CEO of the world’s largest producer of steel, Mittal has been appropriately dubbed the “King of Steel.” Beyond the borders of his metallic empire, Mittal retains high executive status in other companies, notably as a member of the boards of directors of both Goldman Sachs and Airbus Group. His generosities as a philanthropist have garnered him further prominence, as he helped form a number of non-profit organizations and donated millions to underfunded hospitals.

#3: Roberto Goizueta
Former Chairman & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company

This native of Cuba made Coca-Cola the brand it is today. Working his way up the corporate ladder, Goizueta began his Coke career as a bottler, eventually taking a chemical engineering job and finally earning the top job in 1980. Although he was also the man behind the New Coke fiasco and the company’s acquisition and eventual sale of Columbia Pictures, Goizueta also brought us Diet Coke. Ultimately becoming one of the few people with Coca-Cola’s secret formula, Goizueta was responsible for expansion efforts that saw Coke become an undeniably global brand.

#2: Alfred P. Sloan
Former Chairman, President & CEO of General Motors

Placed at the helm of GM at the dawn of the roaring ‘20s, Sloan captained the company through good times and bad, surviving the Great Depression and WWII. He was also a well-known philanthropist, with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation becoming an important charitable organization in the U.S. Credited with influencing companies beyond the auto industry, Sloan was responsible for breakthrough business practices that’ve since become standard for many competitors and sectors, including annual style changes and planned obsolescence. Sloan’s his leadership and ingenious methods in place, GM stayed strong long after his departure in 1956.

Before we get to our most influential business executive, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Michael Eisner
Former CEO of The Walt Disney Company
- Bob Iger
Chairman & CEO of The Walt Disney Company
- Meg Whitman
Chairwoman, President & CEO of Hewlett-Packard
- Anne M. Mulcahy
Former Chairwoman & CEO of Xerox Corporation

#1: Jack Welch
Former Chairman & CEO of General Electric

Neutron Jack began his career with the General in 1960 as a chemical engineer. Just over twenty-years later, he became the company’s youngest CEO and began utilizing tactics, which – although considered brutal – were ultimately successful and respected by the competition. Some of these practices included firing the bottom 10% of his managers each year and getting out of unsuccessful product segments. Despite these unorthodox practices, GE’s value rose by 4000% during Welch’s time at the company and today retains its potency as an international conglomerate by continuing to promote the business methods he initiated.

Do you agree with our list? Which business exec do you think is the most influential? For more powerful top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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