Based on about 280,000 reviews collected over the past year, Apple’s Tim Cook is the best chief executive in the country.
That’s the result of a survey from Glassdoor, a site that takes company reviews from about 7 million people per month.
“Tens of thousands of employees leave reviews of their companies,” Glassdoor Chief Executive Robert Hohman explained in an interview with The Post. “One of the questions we ask is, do you approve of the way that a certain CEO is leading the company?”
Tim Cook has topped the overall list with a 97 percent approval rating, a 2 percent increase over his predecessor.
“The transition from [Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs to Cook went amazingly smoothly,” Hohman said, making it possible for Cook to not only hold, but improve, on the top spot.
Hohman said it’s particularly unusual to have those kind of numbers when transitioning from a founder to non-founder. But Apple team members have said they like the way the executive team handles the company and holds onto the company culture.
Hohman said that Cook might have avoided the rocky transition period because “employees had a lot of time to adjust to the idea” of his being CEO. Cook took over for Jobs as acting CEO on two occasions while Jobs was on medical leave.
Another chief executive who’s navigated change well is Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman, who has an 80 percent approval rating, far above what her predecessors Leo Apotheker (57 percent) and Mark Hurd (34 percent) had when they left the company.
“Whitman’s been on the job about six months,” Hohman said. “She had seen high approval at once, and there had been questions about maintaining. There’s a strong belief among employees that the HP way is alive and well, though, and six months in, it looks good.”
He added that it is unusual for executives to weather transitions so well. For example, years after Bill Gates left Microsoft, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has just a 37 percent approval rating.
“What we’ve seen from the employee base has been interesting,” Hohman said of Microsoft. “Employees do not feel that he’s painting a clear picture and cutting a clear path through the forest.”
Of the top 25 CEOs on the list, nine are technology CEOs, and Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos missed the list by a few percentage points, Hohman said.
Tech CEOs tended to rank highly, Hohman said, because the tech industry has a tendency toward “iconic leaders.”
“You have Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page ... this list reflects that general trend,” Hohman said.