Executives The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World  

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16.2k votes 2.8k voters 140.4k views 38 items

NOTE: This list is just for CURRENT CEOs. It is not intended as an "All-Time Greatest CEOs" collection. Please only include executives currently holding the chief executive position in a company. In January of 2012, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from the company’s board of directors and from all other positions with the company and in August of 2011, Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs announced he would be resigning from his position (though he remained on board as an Apple employee and board member until his death). Though Jobs was replaced by the capable Tim Cook, this still sparked a lot of discussion about the fate of Apple after the loss of its long-time leader and chief innovator and the same can be said of Yahoo.

This list identifies the other Chief Executive Officers who are centrally important to their companies, and whose departure would lead to concerns about the fate of the business as a whole. They needn't be from the world of technology, either. Any CEOs of any major companies are eligible for consideration.

And because this is an Open List, add the names of any irreplaceable CEOs you think companies could not prosper without. They'll get added to the main list and then the Ranker community can vote on the Most Essential CEOs.

Check out more lists like Sexiest Female Leaders of 2014, Surreal Mark Zuckerberg Characteristics, Twitter Obsessed CEOs
list ordered by

1
378 163
Steve Jobs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
voting closed at #2 toytrukn78 added Dec. at 56 (1955-2011)

2
693 411
Elon Musk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
ithinkshows added age 47
SpaceX

3
723 460
Warren Buffett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 88
Berkshire Hathaway

4
503 523
Larry Page is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 45
Google

5
713 783
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
StephenSSkinner added age 72
King of business and money making.

6
401 413
Jeff Bezos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 55
Amazon

7
256 327
Larry Ellison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 74
Oracle

8
218 282
Reed Hastings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Lon Harris added age 58
Netflix

9
283 393
Ralph Lauren is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 79
Polo Ralph Lauren

10
203 283
Steve Wynn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 77
Wynn Resorts

11
159 225
Clark Benson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
mwahahahaha added
Ranker.com

12
115 160
Mukesh Ambani is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
MUGESH added age 61
a great man with noble virtues....
 

13
80 104
Satya Nadella is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Karan Gakhar added age 52

14
271 421
Howard Schultz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 65
Starbucks

15
79 111
Ranker Video
ralph-engstrom added Bill Chaaban
CEN Biotech

16
149 235
Frederick W. Smith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 74
FedEx

17
281 466
Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
MUGESH added age 34

18
119 192
Bob Iger is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
bburke30152 added age 68
The Walt Disney Company

19
132 224
James Sinegal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Lon Harris added age 83
Costco

20
129 219
Steve Ballmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
aair.surajj94 added age 62
Microsoft

21
112 192
Blake W. Nordstrom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 58
Nordstrom

22
100 172
William J. Lynch, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 48
Barnes & Noble

23
150 263
Rupert Murdoch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 87
News Corporation

24
72 124
Lee Kun-hee is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
garybhatnagar added age 77

25
8 8
Arunansh Arya is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Arunansh Arya added Arunansh Arya