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Apple's Tim Cook falls 45 places in employee CEO ranking

Commentary: Glassdoor issues its annual ranking. Apple's Tim Cook falls to No. 53, while Microsoft's Satya Nadella leaps to No 29.

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Should he worry? 

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How should you rate a CEO?

Should you look at their company's financial results or their public profile? 

Or should you just listen to what their employees think of them? That's the shtick behind Glassdoor's list of 100 Highest Rated US CEOs for 2017.

Anonymous employees leave their reviews on the job site. Then Glassdoor's big data boffins look at it all and give their final scores -- after they've chatted with their proprietary algorithm, of course.

This year's results for large companies were announced on Tuesday, and 26 tech company CEOs made it into the elite class. Some, though, might be moved by one particular result: Apple CEO Tim Cook fell from a lofty No. 8 last year to No. 53 this year. 

What might this mean? Should there be conniptions in Cupertino? Should there be a smashing of iPads and a tossing of dongles? Has the pressure of trying to make a global company embrace creativity become a little much? 

Those who enjoy tweaking the great and the good of tech might be moved by the fact that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has leaped into the elite bracket -- for the first time ever -- at No. 29.

Still, when you look at the numbers, there isn't that much difference between the No. 1 CEO -- Clorox's Benno Dorer -- and Cook. While Dorer enjoys a 99 percent approval rating from members of his staff that left anonymous reviews, Cook merely has a 93 percent approval rating.

Yes, 7 percent of supposed Apple employees had the courage or the incipient madness to give Cook a negative review. Don't they know Apple's security police has a legendary reputation for thoroughness?

I asked Glassdoor how serious a drop Cook's was. A spokeswoman told me that everyone in the top 100 is part of an elite group. "For comparison, the average CEO rating is 67 percent, based on 700,000 employers on the Glassdoor site," she told me. 

It's also quite common for there to be some fluctuation from one year to the next. Still, a 45-place drop must feel like someone mislaying an iPhone prototype in a bar. Well, almost.

Should you wonder about who the top-rated tech CEO might be, it's World Wide Technology's Jim Kavanaugh at No. 2, closely followed by Fast Enterprises' Martin Rankin at No. 5 and Nvidia's Jen-Hsun Huang at No. 6. 

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg fell six places to No. 10, while Square's Jack Dorsey, at No. 38, and VMWare's Pat Gelsinger, at No. 83, were other first-time tech entrants.

One glaring tech absentee was Amazon's Jeff Bezos. He only manages an 82 percent approval rating. One less glaring absentee was Uber's Travis Kalanick -- though he does enjoy an above-average 77 percent approval rating.

I'm always slightly skeptical of such surveys, though. They're great for entertainment, but may not show quite as much as they claim. Why, who do I see in there at No. 18? Oscar Munoz of United Airlines. Yes, that United Airlines.

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