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Two Indian steel tycoons -- Ratan Tata of Tata Group and NRI Lakshmi Mittal of global powerhouse Mittal Steel -- have made it to the world's best CEOs list compiled by US stock market weekly Barron's.
As per the magazine, Tata and Mittal are among the 30 top corporate leaders from around the world who have top-notch reputations in the financial community and who would be missed by investors if they unexpectedly left their jobs.
"Many chief executives are critical to their organisations. But a much smaller number really matter on Wall Street," the magazine said after assembling its third annual list of 30 top corporate leaders.
The two Indians are the only CEOs from the steel sector to find place on the list. The weekly said that one should read the story of Lakshmi Mittal to know how India became a leading incubator of multinationals.
The World's 30 Best CEOs
(Names in alphabetical order)
Royal Bank of Scotland
A G Lafley
Procter & Gamble
The 56-year-old tycoon took over Arcelor last year for $35.8 billion creating the world's largest steel company and further expanding an empire he started in 1970s and is now investing in Indian refineries and scouting for energy assets overseas.
While Mittal has retained his position on the list, Tata has made to this exclusive club for the first time along with three other new entrants - James Schiro of Zurich Financial, Franck Riboud of Groupe Danone and Satoru Iwata of Nintendo.
The Tata Group chairman also finds place among the ten overseas CEOs on the list. According to the weekly, Mittal owes his place for "forging a global steel empire," while Tata has reached here "riding the elephant" (the Tata empire).
Tata has been termed as "face of India Inc", who oversees an empire including everything from tea to IT. As chairman of Tata Steel, he recently drove the firm's $12 billion acquisition of Anglo-Dutch Corus Group, four times its size, creating the world's fifth largest steelmaker.
"Not content to operate only in India, he is challenging managers to expand overseas," Barron's said. The list, published in Barron's March 26 edition, is based on financial and stock market performance and assessed intangible factors like leadership and industry stature,
Barron's said, adding that these are the 30 leaders who matter and form a group of the world's most indispensable CEOs.
All the 30 have delivered for the shareholders and the share price of all the companies have outperformed the S&P 500 index during the tenure of these leaders at the top position.
Only those CEOs who have been on the job for three years were considered, although those with at least five years of experience were preferred as it takes time to influence a large company and develop a reputation in the investment world, the weekly said.
The list includes many who founded their company - such as Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, Warren Buffet of Berckshire Hathaway, Jime Sinegal of Costco Wholesale, Fred Smith of FedEx and Charle Ergen of Echostar Communications or have been at the help for a decade or more.
While many investors might not see good in continuing presence of a founder on a company, but patient shareholders have reaped the rewards of having a Buffett, Smith or Sinegal at the helm, it added.
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