June 20, 2019

Recruiting site ranks C.R. England, C.H. Robinson execs in top 100 CEOs

Glassdoor survey measures employee reviews of their bosses' leadership.

By Ben Ames

An annual ranking of the CEOs who are most admired by their own employees features leaders of the trucking line C.R. England Inc. and third party logistics provider (3PL) C.H. Robinson among a roundup that includes 100 of the world's largest companies.

The two logistics industry firms' chief executives were named in the annual "Employees' Choice Awards," released Tuesday by Mill Valley, Calif.-based job search and recruiting site Glassdoor.

Chad England, the CEO of Salt Lake City-based refrigerated transport provider C.R. England ranked #26 with a 95 percent approval rating, while John Wiehoff, the former head honcho at Minneapolis-based 3PL C.H. Robinson finished at #88 with 91 percent approval. Wiehoff stepped down from that position in May and was replaced by former COO Bob Biesterfeld.

Also on the list were the top executives of familiar supply chain industry names such as: Cathy Engelbert from consulting firm Deloitte (15), Bill McDermott from software vendor SAP AG (31), Tom Linebarger from engine manufacturer Cummins (32), Robert Sulentic from industrial real estate firm CBRE (39), and Lynne Doughtie from consulting firm KPMG (72).

Providing corporate leadership in the transportation sector comes with a unique set of challenges in contrast to other businesses because many employees are professional drivers who spend time hundreds or thousands of miles away from their support systems, England said in an email.

"I don't think people generally have a handle on the complexity of transportation and logistics," he said. "Aside from being extraordinarily competitive due to fragmentation, our industry requires sturdy process management, advanced technology, and the engagement of a wide variety of employees."

Truck driver shortages and the demand for great employees is also a huge challenge in the industry, he said. To solve that puzzle, England requires every executive at the firm to be trained, get their commercial driving license (CDL), and go out on the road periodically. According to England, that approach has helped improve driver retention rates, alongside other benefit changes like increasing pay, creating jobs that get drivers home frequently, and improving a variety of driver-related processes and policies.

Likewise, C.H. Robinson's Wiehoff applied a strategy of "servant leadership" throughout his career, where senior company leaders are obliged to make sure everyone else is successful, too, according to a profile of the executive provided by a C.H. Robinson spokesperson. "We congratulate John for being named a Glassdoor Top CEO," the spokesperson said in an email. "This honor is a testament to his outstanding 17-year tenure as the company's CEO. We are proud of his leadership, and look forward to Bob following in John's footsteps."

The Glassdoor ranking is based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback by completing a company review about their CEO's leadership, along with insights into their job, work environment, and employer over the past year, Glassdoor said. Across the approximately 900,000 employers reviewed on Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating was 69 percent.

"Today's job seekers are looking for leaders who share their values and will empower them to bring their full selves to work," Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor's president and chief operating officer, said in a release. "More and more, we're seeing Top CEOs make decisions to shape the culture of their organizations to help recruit and retain quality talent, which has a direct correlation to fueling business success."

The full listings include entries from industries spanning technology, health care, finance, manufacturing, and retail. The ten Top CEOs in 2019 in the U.S. were:

  • VMware's Pat Gelsinger (99 percent approval)            
  • H E B's Charles C. Butt (99 percent approval)            
  • In-N-Out Burger's Lynsi Snyder (99 percent approval)            
  • T-Mobile's John Legere (99 percent approval)            
  • Adobe's Shantanu Narayen (98 percent approval)            
  • Microsoft's Satya Nadella (98 percent approval)            
  • McKinsey & Company's Kevin Sneader (98 percent approval)            
  • LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner (97 percent approval)            
  • Intuitive Surgical's Gary S. Guthart (97 percent approval)            
  • Best Buy's Hubert Joly (97 percent approval)

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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