A rundown of the ten best CEOs in the UK

Glassdoor has revealed the 50 brightest bosses in Britain as chosen by staff and we’ve rounded off the ranking to reveal who made the top ten

A rundown of the ten best CEOs in the UK


There are no second thoughts of success being possible when entrepreneurs with vision lead hundreds of employees to achieve it. Many books have been written on management and countless hours have been spent by bosses worldwide perfecting the craft but some business owners haven’t only studied their sector in depth but conquered the industry despite disruptive winds blowing against them – and UK staff have now hailed their favourite leaders of 2018.

In the annual employees’ choice awards conducted by Glassdoor, the job site, which is based on voluntary feedback from workers, a list of the top CEOs was released with responses from 770,000 companies. Featuring head honchos from the UK, US, France, Germany and Canada, the list covered industries spanning from technology to consulting and finance to pest control among others.

We bring you the top ten movers and shakers operating in the UK.

(1) Richard Flint, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming

Seems like business is a simple game for Richard Flint. Having helmed Sky Betting and Gaming for almost two decades, he beat competition from the likes of Microsoft boss Satya Nadella and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to claim the top spot. Having presided over the £4.7bn sale to Stars Group in April, the Canadian owner of Pokerstars, the boss of the Leeds-based Sky operation received a 99% approval rating from his employees.

(2) Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

The CEO of Microsoft since 2014, Satya Nadella, an Indian-American, followed Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer which made him the first non-American to head the company. A Microsoft veteran since 1992, having occupied a previous role as the executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, he also joined the board of Starbucks in January 2017.

(3) Richard D. Fairbank, CEO of Capital One

Graduating from Stanford University, Richard D. Fairbank established Capital One in 1988 and grew it into the financial giant it is today. He’s been its executive chairman since February 1995 and CEO since July 1994. Fairbank  was named ‘2006 Banker of the Year’ by the American Banker. Fairbank served on MasterCard International’s global board of directors as well.

(4) Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

American entrepreneur, author and philanthropist Marc Benioff is the founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, the enterprise cloud computing company. Benioff founded the company in March 1999 in a rented San Francisco apartment and made it to a 30,000 staff strong enterprise. As of 2017, the company was worth £100bn.

(5) Tim Kidd, managing director of Kantar Worldpanel

Tim Kidd has been managing director of Kantar Worldpanel, the customer insights business, since 2008. The Oxford University graduate received an approval rating of 99% on Glassdoor and ranked fifth on the list. “The key is to remember to lead not just manage,” he said. “Let your team know where they’re going and then trust them to do their jobs well.”

(6) Andy Ransom, CEO of Rentokil Initial

Appointed as the chief executive in 2013, Andy Ransom, a Southhampton university graduate, scored a 98% approval rating. Under his leadership, Rentokil Initial, the pest control company, was awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation, which is the UK’s highest accolade of business success, for its RADAR and PestConnect system, in recognition of its product and digital innovation for commercial pest control. He brought experience from various senior executive positions at Imperial Chemical Industries and spent several years working in its businesses in the US and Canada.

(7) Phil Loney, CEO of Royal London

Phil Loney is CEO of Royal London, the life insurance and pension company, and has been in charge since 2011. He comes loaded with experience having previously worked at Aviva, AXA and Lloyds Bank. With £114bn of funds under management, individual pension sales at Royal London rose by more than 60% under his leadership as seen until March 2018.

(8) Oliver Harris, CEO at Resource Solutions

Established in 1997 under the Robert Walters Group consultancy, Resource Solutions provides an outsourced recruitment service. From a consultant to CEO, Oliver Harris worked his way up the ranks and became CEO in July 2010. In 2017, Resource Solutions saw a revenue growth of approximately 27%.

(9) Craig Donaldson, CEO at Metro Bank

Metro Bank is a retail bank operating in the UK founded by Vernon Hill in 2010 and became the first British high street bank to launch in more than 150 years. Craig Donaldson has been CEO since the beginning, following on from previously working at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group since 2005. He achieved an approval rating of 97% from his employees, making him the ninth on the list. Under his management, Metro Bank took the number of customer accounts to more than 1.2 million.

(10) Peter Redfern, CEO at Taylor Wimpey

Peter Redfern has been CEO ofTaylor Wimpey, the residential development company, since July 2007. Profits and revenue rose strongly at Taylor Wimpey after it sold more houses at higher prices under his leadership. Redfern brought the two companies Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey together in 2007 at the age of 36 to effectively create what has become a £6bn business.

While these moguls are undeniably terrific role models SME leaders can take inspiration from, the only question is: why is the list so male-dominated? Just six women made the top 50.

The highest ranked is Jane Holbrook of Wagamama, who previously held the company roles of CFO and COO, at number 26. When she stepped into the top job in April 2017, she said: “Over the course of my career I have learned that high performance comes from happy teams and strong leadership. My focus will be on providing both, as well as ensuring that our customers have a great experience whenever they spend time with us.” Next year, hopefully there will be further diversity on the list to encourage even more entrepreneurs. 


Varsha Saraogi
Varsha Saraogi

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