What separates a mediocre leader from a great one is not only the latter’s ability in creating wealth, but also their desire to make a difference and to change the world for the better. If you want to feel better about humanity and have your trust restored in corporations, read on to learn more about some of the most respected CEOs around the world.
Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft Corporation
The success of the computer giant Microsoft made Bill Gates the richest man in the world for 13 years, according to Fortune magazine’s rich list. Now, the company has an outstanding financial performance and has profit margins estimated at 30%. Along with the development of his career is Gate’s charity – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is claimed to be the biggest philanthropic organization worldwide. Wanting to make a “positive contribution to the world”, the founder of Microsoft has pledged to donate all of his £30 billion ($58 billion) fortune to charity, instead of leaving it to his children.
Simon Blake, CEO of Brook
Instead of donating to the charity, some entrepreneurs like Simon Blake developed their own career in charity. Brook is the leading provider of sexual health services for young people in the UK and Jersey, with a mission to allow young people to enjoy sexuality without harm. This sexual health charity brought together 17 existing independently constituted charities, and became a protective mechanism for dealing with legal issues involving young people, particularly those under 16. Simon Blake used to work at the National Children’s Bureau and was seconded to the Department of Health as an advisor on children’s public health in 2004.
Haruka Nishimatsu, CEO of JAL Group
Haruka Nishimatsu is believed to be the world’s most respected CEO. Contrary to the general impression of a CEO, Nishimatsu eats in the company’s cafeteria with his employees and buys his suits at discount stores. When Japan Airlines experienced hardship in 2009 and began to lay off its staff, he eliminated his perks and even cut his own pay to lower than that of the pilots in order to save company costs and improve revenue.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
One of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest couples – Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan – is proved one of its most charitable. In 2012, the two were named as America’s second most generous, right after Warren Buffett. They have donated around $500 million in Facebook stock in 2012, all of which went to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Stephen Clookbeck, CEO of Diamond Resorts International
Probably one of the world’s most generous bosses, Stephen Clookbeck has contributed $2 million to his workers and $1 million of that came from his own pocket. Not only has he paid for the workers’ life-saving cancer treatments, he also created a special crisis fund for all his 5,600 employees. “I realized I couldn’t just give to a couple of members,” Clookbeck said after being featured on the show “Undercover Boss”, “it’s important to take care of as many people as possible.”
Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo
Lenovo has had an outstanding performance in this particularly competitive industry. Earlier in 2013, it overtook Hewlett Packard as the top manufacturer or PC computers in the world. Having every right to keep the bonus himself, the generous Lenovo CEO instead donated his entire $3.25 million bonus to his employees. The $3.25 million bonus will be split among the company’s 10,000 hourly manufacturing workers, mainly in China.
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