You are here: Home » Companies » Features
Business Standard

The Best and Worst CEOs of 2013

Amazon's Jeff Bezos the best CEO; Eike Batista of Brazil's EBX Group the worst

Kalpana Pathak  |  Mumbai 

Amazon’s has been nominated ‘Best of 2013’ by Sydney Finkelstein, professor of strategy and leadership at the Tuck School of Business.

of Brazil’s EBX Group was named the worst.

Going up

According to Prof. Finkelstein, stood out for his “long-term focus in an era where CEOs live in fear of missing quarterly numbers.” Described as a “cross between UPS, the NY Public Library, and a giant warehouse” Finkelstein considers a “boring business” that Bezos has made into a cool brand with low prices. “Super competitive, Bezos thrives on beating up weak players and industries and what is now a giant company is as nimble as a startup.”

“Bezos is building a huge talent pipeline via MBA hires and his recent use of the drone delivery story as a PR coop just before Cyber Monday was a stroke of genius. is the new Steve Jobs of business.”

Going down

Eike Batista, the Brazilian entrepreneur who made his fortune in gold mines, created inter-locking OGX (Oil and gas) and OSX (Offshore services and equipment) to exploit oil fields off the coast of Brazil supposedly holding 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil. But Batista made over-optimistic forecasts and underestimated the difficulty and cost of extracting oil deposits from salt, sand, and rock beneath the sea.

is not experienced as a manager in this industry but is an incredible salesman who convinced investors to put up $20 billion dollars,” said Finkelstein. “Ultimately, he spent more time generating interest for the project than on executing it and blamed everyone else when the OGX and OSX stock dropped 95% in 2013. He personally lost 99% of his wealth (Forbes #8 at $30 billion at the beginning of 2013).

Best CEOs of 2013 Worst CEOs of 2013
1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon 1. Eike Batista, EBX/OGX/OSX (Brazil)
2. Akio Toyoda, Toyota 2. Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney
3. Pony Ma, Tencent (China) 3. Thorsten Heins, Blackberry
4. John Idol, Michael Kors 4. Eddie Lampert, Sears Holdings
5. Reed Hastings, Netflix 5. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft

First Published: Sat, December 14 2013. 15:31 IST