Executives The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World  

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16.1k votes 2.8k voters 139.8k 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
669 410
Elon Musk is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
ithinkshows added age 46 - SpaceX

3
716 458
Warren Buffett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 87 - Berkshire Hathaway

4
499 519
Larry Page is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 45 - Google

5
709 770
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
StephenSSkinner added age 71 - King of business and money making.

6
394 410
Jeff Bezos is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 54 - Amazon

7
254 324
Larry Ellison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 73 - Oracle

8
217 280
Reed Hastings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Lon Harris added age 57 - Netflix

9
282 392
Ralph Lauren is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 78 - Polo Ralph Lauren

10
203 282
Steve Wynn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 76 - Wynn Resorts

11
159 223
Clark Benson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
mwahahahaha added Ranker.com

12
112 159
Mukesh Ambani is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
MUGESH added age 60 - a great man with noble virtues....
 

13
270 419
Howard Schultz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 64 - Starbucks

14
76 103
Satya Nadella is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Karan Gakhar added age 51

15
78 110
Ranker Video
ralph-engstrom added Bill Chaaban CEN Biotech

16
149 234
Frederick W. Smith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 73 - FedEx

17
280 460
Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
MUGESH added age 33

18
118 191
Bob Iger is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
bburke30152 added age 67 - The Walt Disney Company

19
132 223
James Sinegal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Lon Harris added age 82 - Costco

20
128 217
Steve Ballmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
aair.surajj94 added age 62 - Microsoft

21
112 191
Blake W. Nordstrom is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 57 - Nordstrom

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

23
150 262
Rupert Murdoch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 87 - News Corporation

24
72 123
Lee Kun-hee is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
garybhatnagar added 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 age 58

26
7 8
Arunansh Arya is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Arunansh Arya added Arunansh Arya

27
88 160
Leslie Moonves is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 68 - CBS

28
100 183
Jeffrey R. Immelt is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
age 62 - General Electric

29
78 143
Tony Hsieh is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
Randolph Strauss added age 44 - Zappos

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

32
91 172
Mike Jefferies is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
PeteBoyle added 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 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

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
age 57 - Apple

38
30 166
Marcus Lemonis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Irreplaceable CEOs in the World
leperchuanangels added age 44