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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on Barron’s 25 Top CEOs, Who Took on Extraordinary Challenges During 2020

by Eva Fox June 27, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on Barron’s 25 Top CEOs, Who Took on Extraordinary Challenges During 2020

Featured image: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

Each year, Barron’s compiles a list of the most successful company executives based on screens of financial results for previous years and investor income, as well as the opinions of journalists and editors. This year, when the CEO’s main job shifted from capital allocation to crisis management, Barron's took a different approach, weighing the preparedness and effectiveness of corporate leaders in emergency situations.

Barron’s focused on the U.S. of 2020, and leaned more heavily on their editorial panel’s judgment, taking into account several issues.

  • How well had chief executives prepared their companies for unknowable difficulties?
  • How quickly and skillfully did they respond to the pandemic to keep workers safe, customers cared for, and investors confident?
  • How did they add to the fight against Covid-19?
  • Did this year’s stress prove the resiliency of their business models, or lay bare the vulnerabilities?

Photo by Ross Gerber / Twitter

One of those who entered this list was the unsurpassed Elon Musk, who, despite everything, continued to manufacture cars at Tesla's factories, while launched two astronauts into orbit by his SpaceX.

Barron’s conclusion was clear and simple: "Pandemic or not, he’s revolutionizing two industries."

According to them, Elon Musk is the ultimate multitasker. He not only heads Tesla, the second most valuable car company in the world but also privately held SpaceX, which made history in May when it sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This was the first time NASA had used commercially built equipment and the first manned launch from U.S. soil since 2011. What's more, the rocket used to send astronauts Bob and Doug — as their colleagues call them — landed vertically on a drone ship a few minutes later, for reuse after some refurbishing. The episode was breathtaking and provided the world with a much- needed shot of joy at an otherwise mournful time.

But Musk makes Barron’s list because of Tesla, which he co-founded and has led for 12 years. From an investment perspective, it has been an amazing run: The stock has gone up roughly 50-fold since it started trading in 2010, and has more than doubled this year.

It was noted that Musk had shown his strong position during a dispute with Alameda County and was able to compromise with government officials to continue the work of the factory that produces revolutionary vehicles.

"What's more, every other major automaker, including General Motors and Volkswagen, is trying to emulate Musk's electronic-vehicle-first strategy. He has disrupted and altered a massive, century-old industry, and he's not finished yet."




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