Executives The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World  

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15.9k votes 2.8k voters 138.5k 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

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 Steve Jobs Died at 56 (1955-2011)

2
645 403
Elon Musk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
ithinkshows added Elon Musk age 46 - SpaceX

3
705 455
Warren Buffett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Warren Buffett age 87 - Berkshire Hathaway

4
702 747
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
StephenSSkinner added Donald Trump age 71 - King of business and money making.

5
489 516
Larry Page is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Larry Page age 45 - Google

6
380 410
Jeff Bezos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Jeff Bezos age 54 - Amazon

7
250 320
Larry Ellison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Larry Ellison age 73 - Oracle

8
213 276
Reed Hastings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Lon Harris added Reed Hastings age 57 - Netflix

9
278 389
Ralph Lauren is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Ralph Lauren age 78 - Polo Ralph Lauren

10
202 280
Steve Wynn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Steve Wynn age 76 - Wynn Resorts

11
157 220
Clark Benson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
mwahahahaha added Clark Benson Ranker.com

12
266 417
Howard Schultz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Howard Schultz age 64 - Starbucks

13
106 156
Mukesh Ambani is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
MUGESH added Mukesh Ambani age 60 - a great man with noble virtues....  

14
149 231
Frederick W. Smith is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Frederick W. Smith age 73 - FedEx

15
76 109
Ranker Video
ralph-engstrom added Bill Chaaban CEN Biotech

16
71 103
Satya Nadella is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Karan Gakhar added Satya Nadella age 51

17
118 189
Bob Iger is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
bburke30152 added Bob Iger age 67 - The Walt Disney Company

18
269 457
Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
MUGESH added Mark Zuckerberg age 33

19
132 221
James Sinegal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Lon Harris added James Sinegal age 82 - Costco

20
128 215
Steve Ballmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
aair.surajj94 added Steve Ballmer age 62 - Microsoft

21
150 261
Rupert Murdoch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Rupert Murdoch age 87 - News Corporation

22
100 171
William J. Lynch, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
William J. Lynch, Jr. age 47 - Barnes & Noble

23
111 191
Blake W. Nordstrom is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Blake W. Nordstrom age 57 - Nordstrom

24
72 123
Lee Kun-hee is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
garybhatnagar added Lee Kun-hee age 76

25
9 10
Satoru Iwata is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
voting closed at #14 Joy215 added Satoru Iwata age 58

26
88 158
Leslie Moonves is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Leslie Moonves age 68 - CBS

27
99 182
Jeffrey R. Immelt is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Jeffrey R. Immelt age 62 - General Electric

28
78 143
Tony Hsieh is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Randolph Strauss added Tony Hsieh age 44 - Zappos

29
6 8
Arunansh Arya is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Arunansh Arya added Arunansh Arya

30
45 82
Christopher A Sinclair is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Alaina Hillman added Christopher A Sinclair Mattel

31
64 119
Greggory Wasson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
DocWheat added Greggory Wasson

32
91 172
Mike Jefferies is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
PeteBoyle added Mike Jefferies age 54 - Abercrombie and Fitch 

33
54 104
Ivica Todorić is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
TomislavMarđetko added Ivica Todorić age 67 - Agrokor

34
48 98
Ollen Bruton Smith is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
BabyMae1 added Ollen Bruton Smith

35
3 17
Caio Portella is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Caio Portella added Caio Portella

36
31 94
Brian Roberts is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
slaft added Brian Roberts Comcast

37
90 338
Tim Cook is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Tim Cook age 57 - Apple

38
30 165
Marcus Lemonis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
leperchuanangels added Marcus Lemonis age 44