Raymond Ackerman's acumen respected globally

Raymond Ackerman is the only South African to be rated one of the World's Most Respected Business Leaders. The Financial Times/PricewaterhouseCoopers World's Most Respected Companies rankings were released Friday from New York, with nine of the top 10 companies being US-based.
General Electric was rated the World's Most Respected Company, with Microsoft taking second place and Toyota coming in at third.

Pick 'n Pay was rated South Africa's second most respected company, with Anglo American coming in first and the South African Breweries and Standard Bank coming in joint third, followed by De Beers and SABMiller plc.

According to the survey, Bill Gates is considered the world's most respected business leader, for the third year, with former General Electric chairman Jack Welch in second place - despite having long-since retired - and Carlos Ghosn of Nissan third.

"The companies attracting the strongest and most durable respect are those that continue to innovate, take risks and challenge existing thinking," said Paul Weaver, Global Technology Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers. "It is no coincidence that so many of the respected leaders are visionary ground-breaking entrepreneurs, and that the rankings for 'dream' board members from history are dominated by pioneering geniuses, ranging from Einstein to Da Vinci and from Edison to JFK."

For the first time since 2001, U.S.-based multinationals, whose reputations were tarnished by the corporate scandals in 2001/2, are climbing back up the rankings, accounting for more than half of the top 50 world's most respected companies. Flying the flag for non-US companies were Germany and the UK, each with six companies in the top 50; Japan with five; and France, the Netherlands and Sweden with two apiece.

U.S.-based companies again dominate the highest echelons of the most respected companies list. Analysis of the top 50 reveals several big-name companies making major strides up the "most respected" table, including Citigroup, Hewlett-Packard, Southwest Airlines, BP, Canon, Ikea, Boeing, Ferrari, Deutsche Bank and BHP Billiton.

In terms of the most respected business leaders, Fujio Mitarai of Canon rose to number 10, and other high climbers included Sam Palmisano of IBM, Donald Trump, Luca di Montezemolo of Ferrari, Leif Johansson of Volvo, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Francois-Henri Pinault of Pinault Printemps Redoute PPR, and easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

"Many high-performing companies maintain their position on this list year-on-year because they have the right boardroom agenda," said Frank Brown, Global Advisory Services Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers. "At times such as these in the business cycle, organizations need to work hard to maintain a sensible balance between managing downside risk and exploiting upside opportunity."

Additionally, for the first time, CEOs and fund managers were asked to identify the most innovative companies. Both groups voted Microsoft number one, and they gave agreed top 10 positions to Dell, Nokia, Apple, Sony Ericsson, General Electric and IBM.

The FT/PwC World's Most Respected Companies report is published in today's FT and full results are available at or via

The Top Ten World's Most Respected Companies
1. General Electric
2. Microsoft
3. Toyota
4. IBM
5. Coca-Cola
6. Dell
7. Wal-Mart
8. Citigroup
9. Proctor & Gamble
10. Hewlett-Packard

The Top Ten World's Most Respected Leaders
1. Bill Gates (Microsoft)
2. Jack Welch (formerly of General Electric)
3. Carlos Ghosn (Nissan)
4. Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway)
5. Michael Dell (Dell)
6. Hiroshi Okuda (Toyota)
7. Jeffrey Immelt (General Electric)
8. Carly Fiorina (Hewlett-Packard
9. Steve Jobs (Apple)
10. Fujio Mitarai (Canon)

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