BUCK STOPS HERE: When people talk about a “dearth” of talent in fashion and retailing, it appears to be a misnomer. If Harvard Business Review is any standard, this sector is alive and well when it comes to the world’s best-performing chief executive officers. The November issue lists the world’s top ceo’s, and 14 of them hail from the fashion and retailing world. The ceo’s were judged on such hard data as total shareholder return and market capitalization, as well as long-term results.
This story first appeared in the October 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Number one on the list is Jeffrey Bezos, ceo of Amazon, whose sales keep growing even though it routinely reports losses. Amazon continues to bet on the future and move into completely new industries, according to HBR. David Simon, ceo of Simon Property Group, came in at number four, while Tadashi Yanai, ceo of Fast Retailing, whose properties include Uniqlo, Theory and J Brand, took the number 11 spot. Pablo Isla Álvarez de Tejera, ceo of Inditex, which owns Zara, was listed as number 14.
Michael Balmuth, ceo of Ross Stores, came in at number 25, while Carol Meyrowitz, ceo of TJX, came in at number 51. Meyrowitz is not only one of two women who made the top 100, but she also came in at number 10 on the list of performers with the highest total compensation. She earned $20.7 million, according to compensation analysis firm Equilar. (Heading up that separate list was Disney’s Robert Iger, who earned $34.3 million, followed by David Zaslav, ceo of Discovery Communications, who earned $33.3 million).
Of the top 100 ceo’s, Nick Hayek Jr., ceo of Swatch, came in at number 52, while Blake Nordstrom, ceo of Nordstrom tied, for number 54 (with Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks). Also making the top 100 were Terry J. Lundgren, ceo of Macy’s, who tied for number 66. Athleticwear firms also made a strong showing. Herbert Haines, ceo of Adidas, took the number 73 spot, while Mark Parker, ceo of Nike, sprinted in at number 76. Fabrizio Freda, ceo of Estée Lauder, earned the number 81 spot, while Eric Wiseman, ceo of VF Corp., came in at number 84. Further down the list was Michael Kowalski, ceo of Tiffany & Co., who came in at number 92.