The top-rated CEO in the U.S. is a Chinese immigrant

The top-rated corporate chief executive may be the epitome of the American dream: An immigrant who moved to the U.S. hoping to make it big. 

Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video, is ranked No. 1 on Glassdoor’s annual list of best-rated CEOs, a report that’s based on approval ratings from employee reviews. Yuan is the first person of color to lead this list, Glassdoor said. 

The ranking may also be significant for coming at a time when immigration is increasingly under fire from President Donald Trump, whose administration is taking a harder line on legal immigrants by, among many other things, scrutinizing and limiting some visas. Yuan said he applied for a U.S. visa nine times over two years before he was awarded one in the 1990s. 

“When I came to America, I did not even speak English, but I knew I could write software code,” he said in a Glassdoor interview. “I knew I had to work hard, so I did. Also, I’m very paranoid. I say to myself, ‘I have to work harder.’ Working hard, that’s the only thing I know better than my competitor.”

Yuan developed the idea for Zoom Video when he was a freshman at college in China and his girlfriend lived far away, which prompted him to think about building a device that would allow them to make video calls. The company now makes remote conferencing services through cloud computing. 

“We saw employees not only rating him highly, but we looked at the quality of the reviews,” said Glassdoor spokesman Scott Dobroski. “They say he’s an inspiring leader who wants to make the world a better place. He leads by trusting and empowering employees.”

Many of the leaders who were ranked on Glassdoor’s list of top CEOs share a few behaviors, Dobroski said. Among those are a dedication to the company’s mission. 

The positive leadership skills include providing “professional opportunities, making it a great place where people want to be, and they are personable and approachable,” Dobroski added. 

Glassdoor’s list of the top 100 U.S. CEOs includes eight women, with two ranked among the top 10. Overall, that’s an 8 percent share of women leaders, higher than the 5 percent share of women who are CEOs of S&P 500 companies. The two women in the top 10 are Lynsi Snyder of In-N-Out Burger and Colleen Wegman of Wegman Food Markets, the grocery chain. 

Speaking of those eight women, Dobroski said “I hope they inspire people in all underrepresented groups.”

Here are the top 10 CEOs in the U.S., with their approval rating from employees. 

1. Zoom Video Communications‘ Eric S. Yuan (99 percent approval)

2. Boston Scientific‘s Michael F. Mahoney (99 percent approval)

3. DocuSign‘s Daniel Springer (99 percent approval)

4. In-N-Out Burger‘s Lynsi Snyder (99 percent approval)

5. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital‘s James Downing (98 percent approval)

6. Power Home Remodeling‘s Corey Schiller and Asher Raphael (98 percent approval)

7. H E B‘s Charles C. Butt (98 percent approval)

8. LinkedIn‘s Jeff Weiner (97 percent approval)

9. Wegmans Food Markets‘ Colleen Wegman (97 percent approval)

10. Salesforce‘s Marc Benioff (97 percent approval)

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