HR & Management

Who are the best bosses to work for in the UK?

4 min read

10 June 2015

Glassdoor has released its annual Employees’ Choice Awards for the Highest Rated CEOs for 2015. Those vying for the top spot included Three's David Dyson and HomeServe's Martin Bennett, but where did they rank?

The CEO of a company is the figure spearheading both its growth and its reputation, so what their workers think of them is important to staff retention and productivity. Recruiting online marketplace Glassdoor has provided new data revealing which of the UK’s bosses are doing the best job here, according to those who see the day-to-day impact of their work – the company’s employees.

The annual review compiles the highest-rated CEOs according to staff, analysing data from thousands of anonymous reviews left on its website. To be considered, CEOs needed to have received at least 20 reviews in the year up to April and be in charge of companies with over 1,000 employees. Staff offered feedback on whether they approve or disapprove of their CEO’s leadership, as well as input on the job, work environment and company itself.

Taking the top spot in the UK is none other than Google’s Larry Page, with a 99 per cent approval rating. He may be based in San Francisco, but the company has a solid presence in Britain with renowned employee perks (from free food to free gym access). It’s expanding to Kings Cross – and recently took the crown of the best places to work on Glassdoor’s sister survey.

Respondents praised the “culture” of the company, with several references to “amazing people” and “offices to die for” and “leaders who understand the challenges facing the organisation”.

In second place was American Express boss Kenneth Chenault, followed by Three’s David Dyson, HomeServe UK’s Martin Bennett and easyJet’s Carolyn McCall.

Employees said a particular asset of Chenault and the rest of senior management at American Express was their ability in “attracting and retaining good people, which drives the company’s success”. One respondent referred to Three’s David Dyson as “the best CEO I have experienced, I trust him completely”. Another cited the regular communication between management and the rest of the staff, as Dyson shows presentations to his employees every month.

McCall was praised at easyJet both for her level of performance and the “great opportunities to grow” that were on offer for all members of staff.

To make the top ten, CEOs needed an approval rating of at least 92 per cent – James Gorman at Morgan Stanley just missed out in eleventh place with 91 per cent.

Read more on the best places to work:

The rest of the top ten was made up of Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Frank D’Souza, PwC’s Robert Mortiz, Accenture’s Pierre Naterme, J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and Schuh’s Colin Temple. There was a range of multi-national companies with a base in the UK as well as homegrown businesses featuring in the list, and the top 20 spanned a range of sectors.

Robert Hohman, Glassdoor’s chief executive, said: “Gaining the trust and approval of an entire workforce is one of the most difficult yet rewarding responsibilities for any leader.”

Several companies featured in the top ten for both the best bosses and best places to work in the UK – as well as Google, Accenture, J.P. Morgan, Three and PwC had a presence on both lists.

Google also topped the US equivalent for large companies, with Nike’s Mark Parker in second, HEB’s Charles Butt, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Scott Scherr, the boss of Ultimate Software, in fifth.

In terms of US SMEs, Frank Williams secured first place as CEO of Evolent Health, followed by WillowTree’s Tobias Dengel and LendingClub’s Renaud Laplanche.