BIPOC and women employees ranked their CEOs: These were the top 10 for 2021

By Lydia Dishman

July 13, 2021

A full year after all the corporate pledges and proclamations to increase equity in 2020, employees at over 60,000 companies rated their leaders. After all, a culture of inclusion and belonging starts at the top.

Specifically, Comparably polled employees of color to find out which CEOs put effort behind their promises to work toward having a more equitable organization. The top 10 from companies with more than 500 employees are:

    Eric Yuan, Zoom Video Communications

    Vladimir Shmunis, RingCentral

    Shantanu Narayen, Adobe

    Dan Rosensweig, Chegg

    Rich Lesser, Boston Consulting Group

    Arvind Krishna, IBM

    Kenneth Lin, Credit Karma

    Henry Schuck, ZoomInfo

    Chris Caldwell, Concentrix

    Brian Halligan, HubSpot

This is the fourth annual survey of its kind and it’s noteworthy that after the violence against BIPOC and AAPI individuals over the past year, the rankings have shifted significantly. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella dropped from the No. 1 spot in 2020 down to No. 11 this year and Google’s Sundar Pichai fell from the No. 3 spot to No. 12. There are no female CEOs at the top of the rankings. Kumsal Bayazit of Elsevier was the closest, in 18th place, and Medela CEO Annette Brüls came next at No. 26.

And speaking of women, Comparably conducted another poll asking female employees to rank their CEOs. Here we see two female CEOs in the top 10 for large companies and some overlap with those who ranked best for diversity.

    Shantanu Narayen, Adobe

    Jeffrey Dailey, Farmers Insurance

    Leslie Stretch, Medallia

    Brian Halligan, HubSpot

    Sarah Friar, Nextdoor

    Vladimir Shmunis, RingCentral

    John Foley, Peloton

    Dan Rosensweig, Chegg

    Satya Nadella, Microsoft

    Kumsal Bayazit, Elsevier

For both surveys, the rankings were based on how many positive sentiment ratings from employees of color (non-Caucasian) or female employees the CEOs received on their effectiveness and management style. Companies that had more employees participate relative to their size were weighted for statistical significance.