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The question of who the best ASX CEOs are is a subject of much debate amongst retail investors. Much of this is tied up with the debate about which are the best companies? And how much you can attribute the performance of the CEO to that of the company is another can of worms too.
We’ve decided to outline who we think are the best ASX CEOs. The 5 that we mention are, in our view at least, the primary driver of their companies’ success through longevity and certain decisions they made along the way that set the companies up for success.
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Our 5 Best ASX CEOs
1. Tony Wall from Objective Corporation (ASX:OCL)
Objective Corporation has software products that can handle common problems or manually intensive tasks local governments and businesses in highly regulated sectors undertake on a daily basis as well as to store data. This software increases the ease, security and efficiency with which such tasks can be accomplished.
Tony Wall founded the company, took it public in 2000 and has not had to raise a cent of capital since. He still owns a majority stake in the company and as CEO has presided over a solid few years of growth in conjunction with the rise of the Cloud.
2. Ross McEwan from NAB (ASX:NAB)
McEwan has not been around as long as Wall, but he makes the list because of where NAB was when he took over and where it is now. In mid-2019, NAB was emerging with its reputation in tatters due to the Royal Commission. Its response was that bad, it claimed the scalps of both then chairman Ken Henry and CEO Andrew Thorburn.
Amidst a period of intense competition, NAB has fared significantly better than its competitors (at least Westpac and ANZ) due to its superior technology and how McEwan has changed the culture of the bank, decentralising operations to get rank & file staff back on the management’s side.
3. Sam Huppert from Pro Medicus (ASX:PME)
Sam Huppert co-founded Pro Medicus back in 1980 and led it into what it is today. In 2009, it acquired the Visage radiology and the rest is history. Visage allows radiologists view reports and large image files, generated by X-rays and other scans from their mobile devices in seconds. This enables faster diagnostic systems.
Not only has it continued to grow its revenues strongly but has maintained very strong margins with a 65% margin at the EBIT line.
4. Scott Didier from Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG,)
Johns Lyng is a building company that specialises in emergency repairs. Scott Didier bought the company in 2003, appointed himself CEO and floated the company. At the time he bought the company, it had a $12m annual turnover but now turns over $400m.
It has been a successful couple of years for the company, given all the natural disasters that have occurred. The company dispatches its partner businesses to the affected regions and begins the process of rebuilding. This stock wants to become a full turnkey solution for homeowners, property managers and strata managers and will be well on the way to doing so.
5. Richard White from WiseTech (ASX:WTC)
Never mind the temporary dip in the company’s share price post its FY23 results. Richard White founded this company in 1994, listed it in 2016 and has delivered spectacular returns for shareholders.
WiseTech’s main product is CargoWise One, a cloud-based end-to-end logistics execution platform that freight forwarders and other logistics companies can use to manage their businesses. Over 18,000 logistics organisations across 150 countries rely on WiseTech software to facilitate the movement and storage of all types of goods, including 24 of the top 25 global freight forwarders and 41 of the top 50 global Third Party Logistics Providers.
It has been a spectacular period of growth and Richard White as CEO has played a significant part in that.
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