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New research reveals education leaders among UK’s best

New analysis has revealed that CEOs working in the higher education sector are among the best in the UK.

CEOs of UK universities ranked in third place, beaten only by the banking and legal sectors, in Vestd’s CEO Approval Index.

The research is based on analysis of Glassdoor and LinkedIn data of 500 CEOs from businesses across 25 of the UK’s biggest towns and cities.

The Index ranks business leaders by average ‘CEO approval’ ratings and ‘recommend to a friend’ scores on Glassdoor, as well as the median employee tenure on LinkedIn.

In the education industry, 73% of staff gave their bosses a big thumbs up and 73% recommended their company to a friend. Workers also stayed with their company for almost five years on average.  

At the other end of the rankings, the retail, travel and logistics sectors were found to have the worst performing CEOs, according to their employees. Less than half of logistics workers would recommend their company to their friends.

Explaining the findings, Ifty Nasir, CEO of Vestd, said:

“There are many universities in the UK with a world-leading reputation and our research points to the positive impact that its CEOs have on this success.

“Higher education faces a range of challenges but its standing in this table shows how well respected our institutions are and how much good leadership plays towards this.”

The sectors with the highest and lowest rated CEOs

SectorCEO approval rating (% based on Glassdoor)Recommend to a friend score (% based on Glassdoor)Median employee tenure (in years, based on LinkedIn)Overall CEO score
Financial services76%71%4.5192.9

The Index also found which town and cities had the best CEOs, with London scooping top spot operall. Its business leaders average a ‘CEO approval rating’ of 80% on Glassdoor, as well as an average 74% ‘recommend to a friend’ score.

The capital also scored highly for employee retention, with an average median tenure of 5.7 years.

Other towns and cities at the top of the rankings include Belfast, Hull and Reading. CEOs in Liverpool were at the bottom of the table.

Ifty added:

“Being a CEO is not an easy task and the role varies across sectors and individual businesses.

“There are, however, some skills which are shared by most successful leaders. While the CEO is often the figurehead, and influences how the company is run, their employees are absolutely critical to the growth and success of the business.

“The ability to win the hearts and minds of staff is a vital trait for all CEOs – you only need to look at some high-profile examples to see the impact that losing the approval of your key people can have – and a strong leader is likely to mean that employees stay around for longer.

To see Vestd’s CEO Approval Index in full, visit here.

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