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Arguably two of the most influential tech companies on the planet today are Apple and Tesla.  Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple sold close to 50 million iPhones last quarter and made over $50 billion in profit.  In fact, it is on track to be the first American company to hit a trillion dollar evaluation.


However, while Apple is making revolutionary consumer products and rolling in lots of dough, Elon musk is positioning Tesla, Space X, and his other companies in a direction to save the planet, and do so in an epic fashion.  To start, Tesla is making eco friendly electric cars that break speed records.  His newest model, the Roadster, gets over 650 miles per charge and goes 0-60mph in just 1.9 seconds, beating any car in production today including the $1,000,000+ Bugatti Cheyron.  And it does all this with zero emissions and no gas engine.  To top it all off, his company solar city is making many of the solar panels that charge these electric cars from the sun.  And his rocket company, Space X, has intentions to put people on Mars if all of his attempts to save the earth fail.  Overall, it appears that Musk’s end goal is not to grow his companies, but rather save humanity.

While the visions of these two highly influential CEO’s may differ, there is no arguing the fact that both of these individuals are doing incredible things within each of their respective companies.  However, one aspect of being a great CEO is being well-liked.  After all, the job of CEO is to manage the company and if those you are managing don’t approve of you, then it’s impossible to really be an effective leader.  According to Glassdoor, Elon Musk is the 8th highest ranked CEO by employees and Tim Cook is all the way down at 53rd place.  This stat alone HAS to say something about Elon’s leadership style among his multiple billion dollar companies.

Despite all the facts pointing towards Elon Musk being a better CEO than Tim Cook, there are still a few things to keep in mind.  First of all, Elon is often titled an extreme “work-a-holic,” and as a result he often imposes the same standards he holds himself to on many of his employees.  Thus, it isn’t uncommon to hear of Musk employees who endure extremely long work weeks. Compare this to Apple where most employees, according to Glassdoor, feel they have a good work-life balance and have fair hours with competitive pay, and it starts to seem like working for Elon Musk can be quite the challenge.  Furthermore, Elon Musk has on numerous occasions been quite risky with his cash resources.  On one such occasion, Tesla was running so low on cash that it had to get a $465 million loan from the US government (which it was luckily able to pay back).  Risks like this could have huge negative side effects to the longevity of his companies, if they aren’t handled carefully.

Overall, it is clear that both Tim Cook and Elon Musk are excellent CEOs of top Fortune 500 companies and are quite capable at what they do.  However, it is clear that between Elon’s vision and work attitude, he rightfully holds the spot of top ten highest rated CEO.