Top 10 CEOs in Europe

Top 10 CEOs in Europe
- Leadership - Aug 10, 2018

For this 2018 list of top European CEOs, we focus on the leaders at the helm of the biggest revenue-producing companies on the continent.

10. Jean-Laurent Bonnafé - BNP Paribas

With a reported revenue of $109bn for 2017, this international banking company generated a 14.7% increase in profit over the previous year, even though revenue decreased by more than two percent. Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, 57, has served as CEO since December 2011. The bank's assets earn it the rank of eighth largest in the world, and it has a presence in more than 75 countries. In 2016, he earned a reported salary of $4.5mn.

9. Oliver Bate - Allianz

The world's largest property and casualty insurer posted revenue of $122.2bn, with a corresponding 3.7% profit increase over 2016. CEO Oliver Bate, 53, was educated in both Germany and the US and began his career with an American management consulting firm in New York. He joined Allianz in 2008, serving in several capacities, including COO and CFO, prior to being named CEO in 2014. He led a management reorganisation the following year, and is reportedly concerned about the ongoing health of the global economy.

8. Patrick Jean Pouyanné - Total

Based on revenue of $127.93bn for the year, Total experienced profit growth of nearly 22% despite a 10.8% revenue drop. At the helm, Patrick Jean Pouyanné, 55, is an advocate of long-term solutions and aggressive strategies to promote "reliable and affordable" global energy and combat climate change. His career began with French government positions, but he joined the oil and gas industry in 1997, serving in various capacities with the petroleum company Elf, later absorbed by Total. He became CEO in 2014 and was named chairman of the board in December 2015.

7. Thomas Buberl -AXA

French insurance firm AXA has a unique business structure, with a corporate CEO, currently German businessman Thomas Buberl, 45, who reports to the company's board of directors and works closely with a Management Committee and Partners Group to oversee operations of the giant, multi-national insurance company. He has held the position since March 2016, following a company reorganisation that separated the functions of CEO and chairman. For 2017, AXA showed revenue of $143.7bn, a growth of 11.2% over the previous year. Operating profit was steady at 3.5%.

6. John Philip Jacob Elkann - Exor Group

In spite of a colossal decrease in profits of more than 21%, Exor group posted revenue of $154.9bn, up 1.5% over 2016. Its workforce is the largest of the top 10 companies, and its holdings include real estate, automobiles and Juventus Football Club. The privately-held company's current CEO, John Philip Jacob Elkann, 42, also chairs and controls Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and was the chosen heir to his industrialist grandfather Gianni Agnelli. In 2013, he was one of Fortune's Most Influential managers under the age of 40.

5. Dieter Zetsche - Daimler AG

Dieter Zetsche, at age 65, is the oldest chief executive among the top 10 European companies. Named CEO in 2006, his current contract runs until 2019. He is credited with bringing about major changes to Mercedes-Benz, as well as with the separation of Daimler and Chrysler in 2007. He also was listed as the second-highest paid employee at a German company in 2014, with income of more than €14mn. In 2017, Daimler reported revenue of $169.5bn, and a profit of almost one percent, after a 2015 loss of $3.6bn.

4. Ivan Glasenberg - Swiss Glencore

Sixty-one-year-old Ivan Glasenberg presides over the troubled company, which holds investments in agricultural equipment and energy products as well as its mining and metals holdings. Its 2017 revenue of $173.9bn represents a 2.2% increase over 2016, but with no uptick in profits there are continuing concerns about its future. Following huge losses in 2011 and the continued selling off of assets, the company's value is lower by almost $100bn than it was in 2012. Glasenberg's tenure has not been without some controversy, but he has served as CEO since 2002.

3. Robert Warren Dudley - BP

Ranking 12th on the Fortune 550, BP slipped from second place in 2005, with revenue of $186.61bn in 2017, a decrease of 17.4% from the previous year. Profit remained the same, however, offering some positive signs for the future. American Robert Warren Dudley, 62, originally joined Amoco in 1979, remaining when BP acquired the company, and moving up through the ranks. He was responsible for Gulf of Mexico clean-up efforts following the Deep Horizon spill and became chief executive of BP in 2010. Last year, following a shareholder revolt, it was announced that his salary would be cut by $8mn.

2. Ben van Beurden - Royal Dutch Shell

Ben van Beurden, 60, with a 30-year tenure at Shell, is a "heavyweight" in his field with extensive experience not only in oil and gas, but also chemicals. He has served in many roles and geographical locations for the company and was named CEO in 2014. Company revenue at $240.03bn was down by 11.8%, but profit was up an unbelievable 135.9%. The company attributed the gain to job and spending cuts, and the ability to adapt to lower oil prices. The CEO, however, reportedly earns a salary of more than €24mn.

1. Herbert Diess - Volkswagen

The iconic automobile company earned revenue of $240.4bn, with growth of just 1.5% and an unchanged profit margin. Volkswagen now ranks sixth on the Fortune 500. Herbert Diess was named as it CEO in April 2018 and expectation are that he will lead the company out of scandal and into emerging markets, such as electric and self-driving cars.

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