Great brands need great leaders: Top 10 CEO’s. 2020 Ranking



Lockheed Martin F-35; @Lockheed Martin

Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, is the world’s best brand guardian, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Hewson ranks first among top 100 CEOs, with a Brand Guardianship Index score of 72.2 out of 100.

The ranking is extracted from the Brand Finance Global 500 2020 report on the world’s most valuable brands, set to be released on 22nd January at a World Economic Forum event in Davos discussing the role of shareholders for a sustainable world and how best to maximise both purpose and profit.

Marillyn Hewson has been at Lockheed Martin for 37 years, her whole career, and has been CEO for the last 7 years, presiding over a 14% increase in Enterprise Value. Hewson has led the charge for the defence brand’s position as a leader in security, aerospace, and technology.

Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin; @Lockheed Martin

Great leaders set and direct brand purpose and balance short and long-term financial returns.

Their role is to gauge the mood of external stakeholders and ensure that all internal stakeholders behave in a way that is consistent with optimising purpose and profit.

They may be technical experts, but the moment they become CEOs they must rise above technical specialism to lead and inspire the whole team.

“Not only is Marillyn Hewson the highest-ranking CEO in the Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index2020, she is also one of only 4 women in the top one hundred table.This is a formidable achievement,” said David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance.

Based on the world’s top companies by portfolio brand value, the Brand Guardianship Index rates CEOs to capture how well they measure up as brand managers and ambassadors. Similar to its Brand Strength Index, Brand Finance’s new metric scored 0-100 considers multiple inputs reflecting CEOs’
success in Investment, Guardian Equity (or Guardian Equity if necessary), and Performance.

The Brand Guardianship Index is made up of 100 CEOs representing a variety of industries and countries, with 46% leading US-based companies and 10% coming from China. This is a testament to the business acumen of Chinese CEOs who are rising above the parapet of their European counterparts, particularly when navigating such a large domestic market and global expansion against the backdrop of regulatory developments.

LVMH has created a sustainable program fostering innovation and out of the box-thinking; Bernard Arnault; @LVMH

World’s longest-serving CEOs

The Brand Finance Brand Guardianship Index also seeks to rate the performance of CEOs of world leading brands who have reached the job through merit and success alone.

The tenure of CEOs has also been taken into account when preparing the Brand Guardianship Index ranking.

The world’s second most reputable CEO, Bernard Arnault of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, (LVMH) has been leading the French luxury goods conglomerate for over 30 years. Arnault receives a CEO Brand Guardianship Index score of 68.4 out of 100 and has risen up one spot from third rank last year.

In the past year, Arnault and LVMH pledged over $220 million to help repair the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris following the devastating fire in April 2019. LVMH also took over Tiffany & Co, the US jeweller famed for its signature engagement rings and white diamond necklaces, in a $16.2 billion deal.

“When we think of visionaries we think of Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Jack Ma, Enzo Ferrari, Elizabeth Arden, Laura Ashley and Jeff Bezos – leaders who have achieved a true balance of vision and inspiration. But all had the benefit of founding, as well as leading, their brands. Some founding CEOs have done well in our Brand Guardianship Index 2020 as we see 14% of the CEOs are both founders and CEOs,” added David Haigh.

Top 10 CEO’s:

1. Marilyn Hewson – Lockhead Martin;
2. Bernard Arnault – LVMH;
3. Michael S. Dell – Dell;
4. Ma Huteng – Tencent;
5. Tim Cook – Apple;
6. Christopher J. Nassetta – Hilton;
7. Reed Hastings – Netflix;
8. Satya Nadella – Microsoft;
9. Arne M. Sorenson – Marriott;
10. Akio Toyoda – Toyota;

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor; @Lockheed Martin