Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may have put the kibosh on working from home last year and received attention for a performance review system that ranked employees on a curve -- just as Microsoft was dumping that much-hated approach. But that hasn't stopped her from getting a 79 percent approval rating from Yahoo employees, making her one of two female chief executives to place among the 50 most popular CEOs of large U.S. companies, according to Glassdoor.
The career Web site is out with its 2014 listing of the country's best-rated CEOs, according to ratings that were part of company reviews on Glassdoor over the past 12 months. Mayer came in 49th, barely squeaking into the top 50, but she's in good company. The top five include the list's No. 1, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner (who clocked a 100 percent rating), as well as Ford's Alan Mulally (97 percent) and Costco's Craig Jelinek (95 percent).
Last year's No. 1, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, fell to No. 9 this year; the biggest climber on the list was Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who rose from No. 37 in 2013 to No. 7 this year. He scored a 93 percent rating, slightly above the 88 percent average of the top 50 companies. The average CEO approval rating among the 300,000 companies that have reviews on Glassdoor is 69 percent.
Given how little most Americans think of business leaders -- a 2013 Pew Research Center survey found just 24 percent think business executives offer "a lot" to society -- that's a pretty high grade. Only one in five people, according to a 2014 report by the public relations firm Edelman, trusts corporate leaders to tell the truth and make ethical and moral decisions. Employees may give their own CEOs higher ratings because they know them well -- or despite the fact that they don't. "Many times, employees have never met the CEO, so are basically judging them on their leadership of the company," said Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor's community expert.
For the first time this year, the company also collected a list of the highest-rated leaders of small- and medium-sized businesses. Four CEOs -- Intaact's Robert Reid, APT's Anthony Bruce, Paylocity's Steve Beauchamp and SirsiDynex's Bill Davison -- each received a 100 percent rating from his employees. To be considered for this list, companies had to have at least 30 reviews.
A few D.C.-area CEOs made it onto Glassdoor's ranking. Capital One's Richard Fairbank came in at No. 27, Marriott's Arne Sorenson was 35th, and GEICO's Tony Nicely ranked 46th. The CEOs of cloud software company APT, education technology firm 2U and FrontPoint Security all made the small-to-medium business list.