Mark Zuckerberg ousts Tim Cook as top employee-approved tech CEO, according to Glassdoor

March 15, 2013

Like his company’s stock, Tim Cook’s employee approval ratings are down this year, at least according to job hunting and review site Glassdoor.

In 2012 Apple’s Cook was the highest-rated CEO on Glassdoor’s rankings, with his employees giving him a 97 percent job approval rating. In 2013, he didn’t register in the top 10 tech CEOs list, but he did come in at No. 18 in the more general Top 50 Highest-Rated CEOs list with an employee approval rating of 93 percent. While the change sent him down the list, it’s not a huge drop from last year, or from his predecessor’s ranking; Steve Jobs received a 95 percent approval rating by his employees, according to Glassdoor’s 2011 survey.

For 2013, the new No. 1 CEO, both in tech and in business in general, is a very familiar face: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He received a 99 percent job approval rating from Facebook employees on Glassdoor. SAP’s co-chief executives, Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, also received 99 percent ratings from their employees.

Glassdoor’s CEO list is compiled from the average approval ratings of each chief executive from anonymous employees of his or her company between Feb. 25, 2012 and Feb. 24 this year.

Cook’s rating drop is so slight that it’s more logical to interpret this list as other companies’ employees being more complimentary of their CEO’s job performance this year as opposed to a new current of disapproval among Apple’s employee ranks, although surely some will take that route. Google’s Larry Page, for example, has the same 95 percent rating in 2013 that he received in 2012, yet he dropped from No. 3 among tech CEOs to No. 6 this year.

Cook’s lower rating could also indicate that after 18 months on the job, his honeymoon period with employees has come to an end. He has amped up the number of company perks Apple offers, like charitable contribution matching, better discounts on Apple products, sabbaticals and designated time for employees’ passion projects, and he has presided over some of the best quarterly earnings results in Apple — and all public corporations’ — history.

But some employees could be ranking him by what they’re seeing in their stock portfolio: Apple’s stock is up more than 13 percent since Cook officially became CEO, but it’s down significantly from its high in September 2012 of more than $700.

(c) 2013, GigaOM.com.

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