Mar 11, 2015

Top 10: Global manufacturing CEOs

Abigail Phillips
4 min
The ten hottest seats in manufacturing
10. Terry Gou, Hon Hai Precision Industry  Heading up the Hon Hai Precision Industry which is better known as Foxconn...

10. Terry Gou, Hon Hai Precision Industry 

Heading up the Hon Hai Precision Industry which is better known as Foxconn, is Gou Tai-ming, better known as Terry Gou.

Gou founded the world’s largest electronics manufacturing company in 1974 and has been at the helm ever since and now has a net worth of more than US$5 billion.


9. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan & Renault 

As well as heading up Japanese automaker, Nissan, Carlos Ghosn is also CEO of European manufacturer, Renault, meaning that the French-Lebanese-Brazilian oversees one in every ten cars sold around the world.

His nickname of ‘Mr. Fix It’ stems from the salvage operation in the early 90s to bring Nissan back from the brink of bankruptcy.


8. Hiroaki Nakanishi, Hitachi 

As President of electronics and engineering conglomerate, Hitachi, Hiroaki Nakanishi has been with the company for more than 40 years, working his way up the ranks through his senior regional roles in Europe and America.

Since becoming president in 2010 he has overseen a dramatic restructuring of the company through the Smart Transformation Project.


7. Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard

Despite recent struggles in turning around Hewlett Packard’s PC fortunes, Meg Whitman is one of the US’ leading business personalities while also being named one of the most likely candidates to be the country’s first female president. 

Her CV includes roles at The Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, Hasbro and, most notably, her 10-year role as CEO of eBay.


6. Alan Mulally, Ford

After 37 years at Boeing as an engineer and eventually Executive Vice President, Alan Mulally ditched the wings for wheels when appointed as the man to pull Ford Motor Company from the recession mire in 2006.

Since then it has been ‘mission accomplished’ for Mulally who returned the business to profitability despite the flailing industry around him.


5. Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric

As well as being the Chairman and CEO of conglomerate, General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt has become somewhat of a trailblazer in bringing stability to the US economy.

Appointed by President Obama as Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, his presence has been seen by many as an attempt to make the Whitehouse more active in enhancing domestic business.


4. Dieter Zetsche, Daimler

As well as being Daimler AG’s Chairman, Dieter Zetsche is also the man behind Mercedes-Benz turnaround in recent years, living up to his reputation as a proactive leader.

In his seven year tenure as CEO he has also overseen the demerger of Daimler and Chrysler, but has been with the company in some capacity since 1976.


3. Lee Kun-hee, Samsung Electronics 

As the third son of Samsung founder, Lee Byung-chull, Lee Kun-hee is among one of the world’s richest families and, in his role as Chairman, oversees Samsung Electronics, one of the planet’s biggest IT companies.

His business prowess has also breached the world of sport where he has been instrumental in bringing the 2018 Winter Olympics to Pyeongchang in South Korea.


2. Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen Group

Another leading CEO with the reputation of keeping a company moving forward through the tide of the global recession, Martin Winterkorn has held his role at Volkswagen AG since 2007.

This title complemented the Chairman role he already occupied on the Board of Management at Audi AG, a Volkswagen subsidiary, since 2002.


1. Akio Toyoda, Toyota

As the name suggests, Akio Toyoda is the latest in a long family line of Toyoda’s at the top of the Toyota organisation.

Officially joining the company in 1984, it was another 16 years until he joined the board of directors, and another nine after that before he was announced as the new President of the business in 2009.

The 57-year-old has not only had to ensure that the world’s largest and leanest automaker stayed on top, but has also had to do so through the global recession and 2011’s natural disaster in Japan.

Overcoming the effects of the tsunami played a large part in him being named Autocar’s Man of the Year a year later as he continues to maintain the positive reputation of a family which has sat in the upper echelons of the business since 1937.

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Mar 14, 2019

Top 10 Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies

Catherine Sturman
5 min
FMCG companies
10. L’Oréal

10. L’Oréal

Founded in 1919 in France, L’Oréal has grown into a multinational brand with over 82,000 employees, becoming one of the most internationally recognised FMCG companies worldwide.

Registering 498 patents in 2017, the business is focused on innovation and developing strong relationships with suppliers and partners. 100% of its strategically important suppliers will also take part in its sustainable development programme in 2020.

9. Phillip Morris

Despite various campaigns, over a billion people are set to smoke in 2025. Multinational FMCG company, Philip Morris remains a leading tobacco company, expanding its footprint into more than 180 key markets.

With 81,000 employees covering 80 languages in total, the company houses a comprehensive, agricultural supply chain; sourcing 400,000 metric tonnes of tobacco each year in partnership with 350,000+ tobacco farmers. The company has also sought to embrace the manufacture of electronic devices for heated tobacco products and ecigarettes.

8. JBS

Launched in the 1950s, global Brazilian food industry leader JBS is now home to 300 production facilities with over 10 billion-dollar brands under its umbrella., such as Seara, Swift, Friboi, Doriana, Moy Park, Pilgrim’s, Primo and more.

Serving more than 300,000 customers, it is the world’s largest company in the beef sector, with over 235,000 employees. Its Legal Supplier Programme has enabled beef suppliers to adapt to Brazil’s environmental legislation, whilst the Green Light Pact initiative has seen cattle breeding centres in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil improve their production practices.

7.  Coca Cola

Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging distribution network, strong portfolio and exceptional marketing capabilities have made it one of the most iconic FMCG companies in the world.

Available in over 200 countries, its products are supplied through one of the world’s largest beverage distribution networks, where suppliers must adhere to its Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles (SAGP) and Supplier Engagement Program.

Adopting SmartLabel technology across its manufacturing operations, the business is also leading the way in the identification, implementation and sharing of best practices. Each product now houses a QR code, providing complete transparency. The company is also looking to reduce the emissions from its production processes, where 42% of energy used at its sites is sourced from renewable energy sources.

6. AB InBev

Originally established by combining three big companies: Interbrew, Ambev and Anheuser-Busch, Belgian-Brazilian beverage company AB InBev is officially the world’s largest beverage business.

Selling over 500 beer brands, such as Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Quilmes in more than 100 countries, the company is acutely aware of its need to frequently adapt and enhance its distribution network.


Partnering with nearly 50,000 farmers, the business is committed to sustainable sourcing, where its flagship platform, SmartBarley has utilised data analytics to support more than 5,000 enrolled farmers improve their productivity and environmental performance. AI and blockchain will also support its manufacturing capabilities.

5. Unilever

Housing some of the most recognisable everyday brands, Unilever’s aggressive acquisition strategy and strong brand presence has seen it become a household name across 190 countries worldwide. Its R&D centres have sought to fully bolster its manufacturing operations and vast distribution network, where the business has maintained its zero non-hazardous waste-to- landfill agenda since 2017.

Additionally, a number of its initiatives have provided employment opportunities to those in rural areas. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) has enabled half of the company’s agricultural raw materials, such as palm oil to become sustainably sourced. Not only that, 26 sustainable living brands are now situated under the company’s umbrella.

4. PepsiCo

The main rival to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo’s beverages, as well as its food products continue to grow in popularity and demand.

Harnessing significant brand awareness, the Fortune 500 company is one of the most admired companies in the world. Its six global divisions form part of its aim to transform its products which are delivered through its extensive distribution network to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers.

3. Procter & Gamble

Following from its acquisition of personal care company Gillette in 2005, Procter & Gamble has become one the largest FMCG companies, with operations in up to 70 countries.

Providing a range of personal and consumer health products to five billion customers, the company’s recent plans to acquire the consumer health division of Merck Group, as well as implementing a new simplified management structure will form part of its 2020 vision.

2. Johnson & Johnson

A firm family favourite, Johnson & Johnson remains one of the most influential FMCG companies. With products in three categories, Consumer Healthcare, Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals, the business has grown at a considerate pace, with up to 250 subsidiaries under its umbrella.

The company’s complex, global distribution network and diverse supplier base has seen the business embrace new technologies across its network, as it continues to thrive in its role in delivering quality products and services at affordable prices for consumers.

1. Nestle AG

Undertaking a number of corporate acquisitions, Swiss food and beverage company, Nestle has become the largest in the world, with more than 2000 brands available in 189 countries.

Home to the world’s largest private food and nutrition research organisation, the company invested US$1.7bn in its research capabilities in 2017 alone, supporting its 30 R&D facilities worldwide. Its recent partnership with Starbucks will see the business bolster its complex distribution network.

Additionally, in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nestle is striving for zero environmental impact across its operations. Providing clear labels across its manufacturing lines, the company provides nutritional knowledge as well as supporting local farmers who provide high quality ingredients within its sustainable sourcing efforts.

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