Employee-Approved: These Texas CEOs Get High Marks From Their Employees

 Employee-Approved: These Texas CEOs Get High Marks From Their Employees

From market cap to revenue growth, there are many ways to measure a CEO’s success. But at the end of the day, one of the most revealing measures might be nonfinancial: What do employees think? Do they feel respected by the CEO? Do they like working at the company? 

A company can have blockbuster earnings and great PR, but none of that is sustainable without a base of talented, committed, and engaged employees. Smart CEOs recognize this and spend ample amounts of time and effort ensuring their employees, from the executive team to the frontline workers, have the fulfilling workplace they deserve. 

In this issue, Texas CEO Magazine wanted to highlight a few Texas CEOs who got the seal of approval from their employees. We realized up front that this could be a daunting task. Each of the millions of businesses in the state is led by somebody, and it would be a fool’s errand for anyone to suss out the “best” among them, especially along such subjective lines. 

And yet we still wanted to recognize a selection of the best. Here’s the approach we took: 

We partnered with Comparably, a Santa Monica–based company that collects workplace culture, salary, and corporate brand reputation data about companies across the country. Comparably pulled their Texas data for us, identifying the large-company CEOs with A+ scores based on employee ratings over the past year. These 22 CEOs are the ones we have highlighted in our primary list on the following pages. Read on to see who they are and to glean insights they wanted to pass on to Texas CEO Magazine readers. 

To this list, we added some picks of our own—other Texas CEOs with very high employee-approval ratings on Comparably. For all CEOs featured, we included a representative quote from an employee, and a response to the prompt: What do you like best about the leadership team? 

Like any list, this one has certain weaknesses. One, this is not an exhaustive list of all large-company CEOs in Texas whose employees love them. Rather, it is a glimpse at some of the CEOs who are doing a great job along the people line based on one specific metric. 

Second, this list reflects the demographic makeup of people who currently hold large-company CEO roles. Among the Fortune 500, only 41 companies are currently led by women, and white men are still overrepresented. This reality of who is leading large companies in the country and in Texas is reflected in the list. 

And now, without further ado, here is a selection of Texas CEOs whose own employees gave them a big vote of confidence. 

Bryan W. Adams

Cofounder & CEO, Integrity

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2006

Integrity is an “insurtech” company that uses data, technology, and a human touch to deliver a better insurance experience. The company’s singular purpose is to help people protect their life, health, and wealth so they can make the most of what life brings. Bryan W. Adams cofounded and currently leads the company, which now employs around 5,500 people and works with more than 420,000 independent agents and advisors. Last year, Integrity raised $1.2 billion in a round led by Silver Lake.

Prior to Founding Integrity, Bryan was Vice President of Corporate Development at Directors Investment Group, Inc., a financial services company that operates several life insurance companies. He became the youngest Vice President in the company’s history.

Adams is considered one of the nation’s leading experts in the senior market and speaks frequently across the country about the importance of helping families on one of the most difficult days of their lives. He earned a degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech University.

Recent Company Milestones

  • Added over 50 successful companies to our network of partners in 2021.
  • Served more than 3.5 million Americans with over $10 billion in annual paid premiums.
  • Secured $1.2 billion in funding from a group led by tech investment firm Silver Lake, which made it possible for to distribute $125 million to Integrity employees through the company’s innovative Employee Ownership Plan.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“It’s difficult to narrow it down! However, one bit of advice that I heard many years ago from Zig Ziglar has stayed with me throughout my career: ‘You can have everything in life that you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.’ To me, that speaks of the incredible power of having a servant’s heart and mindset in everything you do. Success becomes a byproduct of focusing on helping others and losing yourself in service. It’s something I strive to put into action every day.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?

“Always put people first, because you’re in a people business—and if you ever forget that you’ll be out of business.”

Recent proud moment?

One of the initiatives I’m most proud of is the founding of our Employee Ownership Plan, which awards every Integrity employee with meaningful equity in our company. Employees are the key to our success and through this innovative program, they are able to share in the value they help create. Working together with a common focus lifts all of us to greater heights as we work, win, prosper and share together. Since we started this program two years ago, we’ve distributed $175 million in cash to participating employees. I believe equity-sharing models like this are good for business, and I hope it inspires other companies to create similar programs for their employees.

What Employees Say about Integrity Leadership

“The face-to-face with the executive team certainly builds camaraderie and avoids employees feeling alienated from the upper echelons of the company.”

John Berger

Chairman, President & CEO, Sunnova Energy International

Headquarters: Houston

CEO Since: 2012

Energy entrepreneur John Berger founded Sunnova—a provider of residential solar, battery storage, and system protection services—in 2012. Since then he has served as its CEO, President.

Berger grew up in Bryan, Texas, and went to  Texas A&M University and earned a degree in civil engineering, cum laude. Later he got an MBA from Harvard Business School and while there worked as at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Later, he SunCap Financial, a residential solar service provider, and Standard Renewable Energy, a provider and installer of renewable energy and energy-efficient products and services.

Berger—who has joked about the thick skin it takes to be a solar power company based in Houston—then founded Sunnova, a company that aims to lead the energy transition by focusing on the power needs of residential consumers. Berger notes that residential consumers tend to pay more for solar than commercial customers and get less reliability. Today, over 200,000 households in 38 states and territories use Sunnova products.

From the CEO

“You need to be about recruiting the best people and putting yourself really further and further away from what you started out to do, whatever those tasks may be,” Berger told the Freeing Energy podcast. “And you really have to be a jack of all trades, but as you grow the business, you have to let go.”

What Employees Say about Sunnova Leadership

“The leadership team is constantly challenging me and truly believes the idea of investing in their employees.”

John Berkowitz

Founder & CEO, OJO Labs

Headquarters: Austin

OJO Labs, maker of an end-to-end platform for buying and selling homes at scale

Recent Company Milestones

  • Landed at number 49 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United State, and 29 on the Deloitte Fast 500, thanks to three-year revenue growth of 6840 percent. 
  • The OJO Select Network — the company’s agent referral network —crossed the 30,000-agent threshold since launching in late 2021.
  • Involved in more than $3 billion in real estate closings. 
  • Expanded offerings into Canada in 2021 in collaboration with the Royal Bank of Canada. OJO.ca has risen to become one of the 10 most visited home search sites in the country.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?
“When starting a business, it’s easy to get tied up in a fear of failure. A mentor taught me that conquering fear is not the objective. It’s about using fear to your advantage. Now, instead of trying to eliminate fear, I harness it, and use it to propel me forward.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized?
“I seek to find and unleash people’s individual superpowers.”

What Employees Say about OJO Labs Leadership

“Our leadership team sets an outstanding example of leading with empathy, consideration, and truly values each and every member of the team. They set the tone for a welcoming, inclusive, collaborative, innovative culture that is felt throughout the entire company.”

Fernando Bleichmar

CEO, Academic Partnerships

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2022

Academic Partnerships is an online facilitator that helps regional public universities expand access to top-quality, affordable, and workforce-relevant education. The company sets itself apart by focusing on innovation in online learning, using “the strengths, experience and creativity of [its] people.”

Fernando Bleichmar became CEO in February of this year, succeeding Rob Ganji, who remains a senior advisor to the board. Fernando served in leadership roles at Cengage Group for eight years, including as Executive Vice President, General Manager of US Higher Education, Chief Product Officer, and Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to joining Cengage Group, Bleichmar held roles at Elsevier Health Sciences and Boston Consulting Group.  He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Recent Company Milestones

Helping regional university partners across the country expand access to affordable and high-quality online education with an average weighted tuition of less than $15,000 for an entire AP-supported degree

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“Assume people have good intent and are capable and our job as leaders is to make sure they have clear and aligned context.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?

“Spend 90 percent of my time focused on heart (the right culture), mind (a clear strategy), and hands (the right people).”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?

“Southwest is a Texas-based company we look to a lot as an analogy of low-cost innovation. We are disrupting traditional expensive education programs by partnering with innovative universities that offer high ROI, affordable online education.”

What Employees Say about Academics Partnerships Leadership

“They speak clearly and don’t try to hide things. They also communicate the company vision/goals well, and seem to care about the individual person.”

Brent Bellm

Chairman & CEO, BigCommerce

Headquarters: Austin

BigCommerce, provider of an ecommerce platform to approximately 60,000 online stores in more than 150 countries

Recent Company Milestones

  • Received with best CEO and CFO by the Austin Business Journal in 2021 and “great place to work” and “top workplaces” awards in BigCommerce’s largest office locations in Austin, San Francisco, London, and Sydney.
  • Grew revenue 44.3 percent to $219.9 million in 2021. For the fourth consecutive year, the company’s revenue growth rate increased relative to the year before—a feat seldom achieved by publicly traded, recurring-revenue software companies.
  • Expanded partnerships with companies like Meta, Google, Walmart, Amazon, TikTok and Mercado Libre.
  • Closed several large acquisitions, including Feedonomics, B2B Ninja, and BundleB2B.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“One of my professors at Harvard Business School, the late Clay Christensen, taught me the playbook that I’ve used to successfully grow PayPal, HomeAway, and BigCommerce. Professor Christensen coined the idea of ‘disruptive innovation,’ which explains how to build a disruptive (and successful) technology business, and is today considered one of the foremost business theories of the internet era. Christensen’s course and concept left a permanent impression on me. I had the good fortune to learn it directly from him, before it became so popular, and the opportunity to apply it successfully to three businesses over the last 15 years.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized?

“There are three big pillars of leadership: strategy, operations, and culture. It’s not that one is more important than the others, but rather the drive to excel at all three.”

Most admired fellow Texas CEO? John Mackey of Whole Foods.

What Employees Say about BigCommerce Leadership

The leadership team is “strategic, forward thinking, open to and embrace change. Hyper-focused on the employees, the partners, and merchant success.”

Charles E. Butt

Chairman & CEO, H-E-B

Headquarters: San Antonio

CEO Since: 1971

Charles E. Butt, a leader and philanthropist, has served as CEO of the revered Texas grocery chain H-E-B for over 50 years. Today, he heads a leadership team that has continued to grow H-E-B’s reputation as a fixture in the community and an excellent place to work. H-E-B currently operates over 420 stores in Mexico, employing more than 145,000 employees—or partners as they are known at the company. It owns Favor and operates several brands, including Central Market. Talk to any Texan and they’ll have a great H-E-B story, most often including one of its dedicated, motivated employees.

H-E-B began in 1905 in Kerrville, when Charles Butt’s grandmother, Florence, opened a grocery store on the ground floor of the Butt family home. Florence’s son (and Charles’ father), Howard Edward Butt, later assumed control of the store, and his initials became the name of the growing chain. When Charles Butt became CEO in 1971, H-E-B was at $250 million in annual sales; today, it’s at over $28 billion.

From the CEO

Some things have remained the same over the years. These include our fundamental dedication to employees and their welfare, and being part of the communities we serve.”

What Employees Say about symplr Leadership   

“[The leadership team] makes sure everyone is taken care of ahead of themselves. they make work feel like a partnership in pursuit of a goal rather than a job under superiors.”

Marvin Crossnoe

CEO, CoNetrix

Headquarters: Lubbock

CoNetrix, a family of technology companies including AccountingWare, CoNetrix Technology, CoNetrix Security, and Tandem

Headquarters: Lubbock

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? 

“I once was purchasing lumber for my construction business and a serious misunderstanding regarding price arose between myself and the proprietor. I was disgusted with the situation and started to leave. The proprietor stopped me and said: ‘Marvin, we don’t want anyone leaving here unhappy!’ As a result of that statement, I ended up purchasing materials exclusively from that supplier for many years. That is the philosophy that we have adopted at CoNetrix and it has proved successful for our business.  We don’t want anyone unhappy with our services.

Your leadership philosophy summarized?

“Apply yourself to your strengths, and surround yourself with people who are much better than you to fill your weaknesses.”

What Employees Say about CoNetrix Leadership

“Almost all of our leadership team are good listeners. They take the time to listen and weigh all the facts before making a decision. So even when going in diverse directions, I still feel that I was heard.”

Dan Curtis

President, BNSF Logistics

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2018

BNSF Logistics is a multimodal third-party logistics company founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Today, it has more than 25 offices across North America. The company describes itself as driven dually by people and technology, and it moves freight just about any way you could imagine, from rail to truck to boat to plane.

The company is led by Dan Curtis, who has been there for over a decade. He joined BNSF logistics in 2011 as CFO, transitioned to COO in 2014, and then took over as president in early 2018. Originally from New Braunfels, Dan majored in accounting at Baylor University. After that, he went to work at Ernst & Young and later held leadership positions at Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and Greatwide Logistics Services, also headquarted in Dallas.

In addition to its core work of transporting goods, BNSF Logistics also expands its mission to doing good in its community and industry. Last year, the company partnered with Veterati, an organization that that connects transitioning service members with business professionals to provide career mentorship and support. BNSF Logistics employees now donate time as mentors, offering one-on-one conversations and helping veterans overcome hurdles in transitioning from military service to employment. The company has also partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking, a nonprofit that educates and mobilizes members of the trucking industry to combat domestic human trafficking.

From the CEO

“I’m not a big command-and-control guy,” Curtis told D Magazine in 2020. “I’m an empowerment person.”

What Employees Say about BNSF Logistics Leadership

“I have had many chances to interact with them in passing which helps reduce problems that usually arise with low visibility and interaction with upper management.”

“Dan Curtis is very down to earth and genuinely seems to care about the employees.”

Matt Flake

President & CEO, Q2

Headquarters: Austin

Q2, a financial experience company dedicated to providing digital banking and lending solutions to banks, credit unions, alternative finance, and fintech companies in the U.S. and internationally

Headquarters: Austin

Recent Company Milestones

Q2 saw record revenue, profits, employee engagement, customer satisfaction numbers and product innovation. “Doing all of this during a pandemic was truly inspiring to me,” says Flake.  

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“If you don’t hire people smarter than you, your company will become dumber.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized?

I believe every person can do far more than they think they are capable of and my goal is to create a culture that inspires them to maximize their potential through opportunity, hard work, trust and love. 

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO? 

Amy Porter, former CEO, chairman, and founder of Affinipay (she is now executive chairman). Amy is an amazing example of what hard work, curiosity, humility and passion can do to create a meaningful business in this world that has changed so many lives.

What Employees Say about Q2 Leadership

“Collegial, humble and practitioners of servant leadership. They not only empower and give you agency, but in fact expect it. You can definitely make an impact here and will be listened to.”

Michael Dell

Chairman & CEO, Dell Technologies

Headquarters: Austin

CEO Since: 1984

Dell Technologies is one of the world’s largest IT companies, with revenues of $101 billion and 130,000 team members across the globe. Houston-born Michael Dell founded the company in 1984 at age 19, while still a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Based on a model of selling computers directly to consumers, Dell experienced massive growth in the 1990s. In 1992, Dell earned the distinction of becoming the youngest CEO to be ranked on the Fortune 500. In 2004, he stepped away from the CEO role but resumed it in 2007. He took Dell private in 2013, and later combined Dell, EMC, and VMware in 2016 and relisted the company on the public markets in 2018.

Dell’s other activities include serving as chairman of the VMware board of directors after VMware was spun off from Dell Technologies in 2021 and leading with his wife, Susan, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, which provides support to children in poverty in India, South Africa, and the United States. Last year, Dell released his second book, Play Nice But Win: A CEO’s Journey from Founder to Leader.

From the CEO

“People are the greatest asset of the company. We will provide an environment that attracts, motivates, and retains the best people in the industry. Employees will participate in decisions that affect their own work and receive the rewards that come as a result of their efforts. We will always reward superior performance.”

—from a statement of company values written by Michael Dell in 1988, a few months after the company first went public

What Employees Say about Dell Technologies Leadership  

“They are extremely passionate about what they do, lead by example and that attitude rubs off on the employees.”

Kendall Garrison

CEO, Amplify Credit Union

Headquarters: Austin

Amplify Credit Union, provider of fee-free banking and award-winning lending to people throughout the state of Texas

Recent Company Milestones

  • Real estate lending department crossed the $1 billion threshold in both loans originated and loans serviced.
  • Launched fee-free banking in Q1 2022, becoming the first Texas-based financial institution to charge zero fees on all deposit products.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? 

“Be transparent. At Amplify, we’ve put that into practice by our concept of Radical Transparency. No information is secret; we share everything we know with the entire team and no question is off limits.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized?

“Hire smart people and work to remove obstacles to their success. As CEO, I accomplish nothing on my own. Our organization is successful due to the efforts of the team.”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO? 

“Marc Laird, CEO Cornerstone Home Lending. Marc has successfully led his company for 35 years through every business cycle imaginable. He is widely respected in his industry, by his peers and by his team.”

What Employees Say about Amplify Leadership

“They’re completely honest about strategy and why things happen or don’t happen. There is also a culture of ‘no stupid questions or suggestions,’ and I really appreciate that.”

Mitch Fadel

CEO, Rent-a-Center

Headquarters: Plano

CEO Since: 2018

The Rent-a-Center story traces back to 1960s Kansas and a store called Mr. T’s Rental. The owner of that business rented washers and dryers to people who, once they had made enough payments, owned the appliances. One of Mr. T’s employees saw the promise of this model and started Rent-a-Center in 1973 in Witchita.

Today, the company allows consumers to rent name-brand furniture, electronics, appliances, computers, and smartphones and has over 3,000 store locations across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico—including 12 new stores opened just this year.

Rent-a-Center’s CEO is Mitch Fadel, whose roots with the company go back over 30 years. From 1992 to 2000, he served as President and CEO of the company’s subsidiary Rent-A-Center Franchising International, and later as COO, president, and director. He left to serve as President of US Pawn for Austin-based EZCORP in 2015 before returning to become CEO of Rent-a-Center in 2018.

Fadel and Rent-a-Center place a priority on philanthropy, with particular focus on hunger relief and youth empowerment. To date, it has raised over $1.5 million through its partnership with the North Texas Food Bank. It also donates funds and furniture to organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Boys and Girls Clubs of America, as well as funding scholarships for customers’ and employees’ children through Scholarship America.

From the CEO

“As a company, we strive to enrich the lives of our nation’s youth by providing them the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Fadel earlier this year. “Our charitable efforts support students in the pursuit of higher education. We believe earning a college education can make a huge difference in everyone’s life by offering them the opportunity to be the best they can be.”

What Employees Say about Rent-a-Center Leadership

“Mitch travels to various stores, which is good for employee morale and enables him to remain connected and informed.”

“I like that our leadership team seems to be constantly reevaluating best practices. This includes everything from operations to healthcare benefits to diversity and inclusion training.”

Jeremy Fudge

Managing Partner, BAL

Headquarters: Richardson

CEO Since: 2013

BAL—or Berry Appleman & Leiden—has a mission to be “the world’s preeminent corporate immigration firm, offering [its] clients the highest level of service, tailored immigration advice and analysis, industry-leading technology, and overall excellence.” In this mission, it is led by managing partner Jeremy Fudge, who has overseen aggressive firm growth despite the challenges of the pandemic.

In the past year alone, BAL has continued to expand its national presence, opening two new offices in California at Santa Clara and Los Angeles and one in Denver. In Texas, it expanded its Austin presence with additional legal teams, and in Dallas it acquired 100,000 additional square feet of office space that it is currently building out as a new wing of its headquarters.

Fudge earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Texas School of Law and a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in journalism and political science from Baylor University.

Recent Company Milestones

  • Three high-profile lateral hires in the past year, including:
    • COO Leslie Rohrbacker, who left her position as CHRO at Fragomen to join BA
    • Jeff Joseph, one of the country’s top immigration litigators, joined BAL from the firm he founded in Denver.
    • Maggie Murphy from Jackson Lewis, who brought her whole team over to BAL’s Austin office.
  • BAL’s technology team won Legalweek’s recognition as Most Innovative Law Firm Operations Team of 2021
  • BAL’s proprietary case management system, Cobalt, was named a 2022 CODiE Award finalist by the Software & Information Industry Association.
  • Created a technology spinoff, Dunasi, dedicated to solving immigration challenges through innovative tech tools.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? “Read widely and keep learning.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence? “My leadership philosophy is time-tested and true: Be a servant leader. Genuinely love your people and look for meaningful ways to serve them.”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?Elon Musk.”

What Employees Say about BAL Leadership 

“Jeremy Fudge is always willing to discuss your ideas with you to see if he can implement them or change policies that aren’t working.”

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Founder & CEO, Bumble

Headquarters: Austin

CEO Since: 2014

Early in her career, Whitney Wolfe Herd was in on the ground floor of dating app Tinder. When she struck out on her own, she was determined to build an app that solved for the weaknesses of Tinder—primarily its downsides for women users. Her brainchild became Bumble, the dating app where women (the ones seeking heterosexual relationships at least) must initiate contact with men. Contacts must be made within 24 hours of a match, and technology spares women from inappropriate content that might be sent by men on the app.

Bumble has been a runaway success. Whitney took the company public in 2021—becoming the youngest women to ever do so—and raised $2.2 billion in the process. At that point, she also become the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire.

Wolfe Herd grew up in Salt Lake City but got a degree in international studies from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She leads Bumble from the company’s bright Austin HQ, which is decorated in bright yellow with tasteful beehive touches. Last June, she gave all 700 Bumble employees a week off to address pandemic burnout and spend a little time on themselves. These days off came in addition to employees’ regular vacation time. And she is known for her fierce championing of women, not just those who use Bumble, but those who work there.

From the CEO

“Companies must put infrastructure in place to support their female employees and ensure that they receive the benefits of male and female leadership,” Wolfe Herd wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

What Employees Say about Bumble Leadership 

“I’ve never before worked for a company with a leadership team that’s 95% women. It makes such a difference, and it trickles down.”

Sheryle Gillihan

CEO, Cause Labs

Headquarters: Fort Worth

CauseLabs,a company that works with nonprofits to build websites with continuous-improvement lifecycles.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? 
To lead, we must first lead ourselves.

Your leadership philosophy summarized?
Stand for something that is worth following and do work that matters. 

Most admired fellow Texas CEO? 
Cynt Marshall, Dallas Mavericks CEO

What Employees Say about CauseLabs Leadership

“The quarterly State of the Labs gives all of us a full picture of the last quarter and year to date across projects, financials and departments. I appreciate the transparency.”

Chris Hyams

CEO, Indeed

Headquarters: Austin; co-headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut

CEO Since: 2019

Chris Hyams joined Indeed in 2010, when the company had just 130 employees, as VP of Product. Today, now that he is CEO, the company has grown to over 12,200 employees across the globe.

Before he was championing Indeed’s mission to help people get jobs, Hyams was founder of B-Side, a technology platform for independent film analytics, marketing, and distribution. Prior to B-Side, he was Vice President of Engineering at Trilogy Software.

Hyams has spoken repeatedly about his and his company’s focus on diversity and inclusion and belonging, which they address not only in their product but in their own company. “It’s not just some random corporate directive. It’s really integrated into the business top to bottom,” he told Mary Buckley of IDA Ireland last year.

Hyams also does a weekly Q&A with the company’s COO, does a weekly podcast where he talks with an Indeed employee, and frequently has breakfast or lunch with a random group of 3–5 Indeed employees.

Recent Company Milestones

  • In Q1 of 2022, helped 20 people get a job every single minute, compared to 10 per minute in Q1 of 2019.
  • Transformed leadership team after implementing an “Inclusive Interview Rule,” which requires all hiring managers to interview a diverse slate of candidates for every leadership position.
  • In 2022 so far, helped over one million job seekers facing barriers get jobs (e.g,, those with no college degree, long term unemployed, military veteran, formerly incarcerated).
  • Introduced Indeed Flex, a new e-staffing mobile app that allows job seekers to book a shift at the push of a button and get paid directly by Indeed.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

I started at Indeed in 2010 as the Head of Product. A few years into the role, our then CEO Hisayuki “Deko” Idekoba told me that someday he might ask me to take on responsibility for the client and revenue side of business as well. I asked him how I might prepare for that. He said, “That’s easy. When you come to work on Monday, pretend that’s your job. What would you do?”

I told him if it was my job, I would start meeting weekly with our Sales and Customer Service leadership. I would dig deep into our sales pipeline, quota setting, and lead generation. I would meet with our client teams to understand how we could improve our products to better support them.

 Deko said, “Great, so do that. You’re the Head of Product; no one will wonder why you are focused on our customers.” It seems so obvious now, but at the time it was a revelation.

I did all these things, and my entire perspective changed. As far as Deko and I were concerned, this was my job. He held me fully responsible, and I had to learn how to lead through influence rather than authority. Two years later, when he named me president, responsible for both technology and revenue, I had been doing the job already, and had to change almost nothing. I have used this advice with nearly everyone who is thinking about how to grow into their next opportunity.

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?

“My job is the Chief Mission Officer, reminding every Indeedian every single day that our mission is to help people get jobs.”

Most admired fellow Texas CEO?

 The Texas CEO I admire most is Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, President & CEO of Huston-Tillotson University, a Historically Black University (HBCU), and Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning.

What Employees Say about Indeed Leadership

“They overcommunicate so everyone truly understands the direction the organization is moving in. Great team!”

Worthing Jackman

President & CEO, Waste Connections

Headquarters: Spring

CEO Since: 2019

Worthing Jackman, who grew up in New Orleans, came to Waste Connections almost 20 years ago with an MBA from Harvard Business School and a decade of investment banking experience at Deutsche Bank Securities. He held several leadership positions at Waste Connections, including CFO and president, before being appointed CEO in 2019. He also serves as a director of Quanta Services, Inc.

Of course, the waste business doesn’t stop for pandemics, so Jackman had the task of leading the company through the upheaval. He noted on the Nothing Wasted podcast that Waste Connections had 99 percent employee attendance through COVID-19, which he calls “remarkable,” and that they put around $40 million into wages, wellness, and health support for employees. “Our culture is one of servant leadership . . . It’s an inverted pyramid that puts the frontline on top. And we have to prove ourselves to our employees and their families every single day.”

Recent Company Milestones

  • Improved safety and continued COVID-related employee support
  • 13% revenue growth and 20% free cash flow growth
  • $1.8 billion invested through capex and acquisitions
  • 34% total shareholder return

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? “The less relevant you make your position by developing and advancing others, the more relevant you become to the company.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence? “Servant leader; intentional, committed, and accountable.”

What Employees Say about Waste Connections Leadership 

“[Company] leaders are trained to lead from a servant’s heart. They are passionate and motivated to do right for their people and their company. Waste Connections often looks and feels more like a well-functioning family than a corporation, and yet it continues healthy shareholder returns.”

David Holl

CEO, Mary Kay Inc.

Headquarters: Addison

Mary Kay Inc., one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics in the world

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“People will support that which they help create.” That was one of the many mottos of our founder, Mary Kay Ash, when she started her company nearly 60 years ago. It’s became one of our guiding principles at Mary Kay—if our employees come to work every day convinced they’re helping make the world a better place, then we’re on the right track.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized? 

Trust and earn the respect from your people by being transparent, decisive and willing to make (and explain why) the tough decisions.

What Employees Say about Mary Kay Leadership

“Lots of leadership opportunities and potential to grow. They lead us daily and provide training frequently.”

Bob Jordan

CEO, Southwest Airlines

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2022

Texas CEO Magazine’s Q2 2022 cover story featured this CEO’s transition into leadership at one of the country’s most iconic brands (“Bob Jordan Takes Flight,” Q2 2022). Bob Jordan has held 15 different roles at Southwest and been responsible for the delivery of many key company initiatives, including executive oversight for development of the Southwest.com e-commerce platform, the revamp of the Rapid Rewards loyalty program in 2011, the $3.2B acquisition and integration of AirTran Airways, the comprehensive “Heart” brand refresh in 2014, significant domestic and international network expansion, and the 2017 switch to a new reservations system. Bob is a proud former student of Texas A&M University, having earned an undergraduate degree in computer science and a master’s degree in business administration.

Like his mentor and Southwest’s previous CEO Gary Kelly, Jordan places great emphasis on taking care of the people who keep the company running day to day. “Our employees have a warrior spirit,” he told us. “They push through and making things happen. We owe them two things: the tools that they need to do their job in the best way possible, and the tools to be as efficient as we can.”

Recent Company Milestone:

Successfully launched a new fare class called Wanna Get Away Plus, a new fare product that offers more flexibility, options, and rewards

From the CEO

Bob often quotes advice he received from former SWA CEO Gary Kelly, “If the people aspect of your business doesn’t keep you up at night, you need to get out of Leadership.”

What Employees Say about Southwest Leadership    

“They are always thinking of ways to make our company profitable and passing those profits down the line.”

David Lesniak

CEO, Personiv

Headquarters: Austin

Personiv, provider for more than 30 year of services that help businesses run more efficiently through high-quality and cost-effective outsourcing

Headquarters: Austin

Recent Company Milestones

Personiv successfully sold to a strategic acquirer, eClerx, in late 2020.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?  

“Never let a lack of data prevent you from making a decision. Leaders often have to make decisions and take action without perfect information.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized? 

“My leadership philosophy is to be very collaborative, almost ‘coach-like,’ listening to managers and supporting their initiatives with questions and suggestions rather than being overly directive.”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?  

Michael Dell

What Employees Say about Personiv Leadership

“I think we have some of the best leadership out there—they strive to create a corporate culture of professional development and #beinghuman that’s genuine and gives back to the community. Performance expectations are clear and the working environment is welcoming.”

Edward Logan

CEO & President, Sport Clips

Headquarters: Georgetown

CEO Since: 2020

Though he only took the CEO reins in 2020, Edward Logan has worked at Sport Clips since 2010—and been involved with the business much longer. His parents, Gordan and Bettye Logan, founded the company in the early 1990s in Austin when he saw a gap in the market for men and boys’ haircuts.

Logan, who studied finance at SMU and spent time as a Deloitte consultant in Dallas soon thereafter, began at Sport Clips operating one store and leading special projects. He then expanded the footprint from one market, 14 stores, and little infrastructure when he joined to six markets, 70 stores, and a highly successful and tenured management team. He began his tenure on the executive leadership team as Vice President of Operations for all 1,800 locations. Later, as COO, he led day-to-day operations across the entire support team. In 2020, he was named CEO of the brand. It was, obviously, not an easy time to take the helm of a business providing in-person services, but Edward helped the company and its franchisees navigate the pandemic successfully. Nearly all stores had resumed operations, with safety measures in place, by October 2020.

Sport Clips now has more than 1,800 stores across the United States and Canada. It was founded on Coach Lou Holtz’s “Heart of a Champion” philosophies: “Do your best; do what’s right; and treat others the way they want to be treated.”

Recent Company Milestones

  • The only national haircare service provider with more locations now than in 2019. On track to have its highest number of store openings this year since 2018.
  • Franchisees entering the system are coming from the most diverse backgrounds to date, with an increase in veteran franchisees since 2020, who now represent 12 percent of the system.
  • Edward was joined by chairman and founder Gordon Logan and 17 others who had their heads shaved as a show of renewed commitment to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, with another $1 million donation over the next three years.
  • Sport Clips, its clients, and product partners reached a $10 million milestone in donations to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation (VFW) to fund VFW’s Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarships by fundraising and donating $1.5 million in 2021.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” When I was a recent college grad in management consulting, I was brought onto a technology strategy project for one of the 10 largest companies in the U.S. I approached the managing partner on the project to make sure we were aligned on expectations. I wanted to make it clear that I had no experience on a project like that and to make sure he still wanted me on it. He explained to me that even with all his experience, it is important to lean on peers and previously existing knowledge to leverage yourself, and most importantly that anyone who wants unusual levels of success can only do so if they are constantly growing and achieving things that are unusual to achieve. This means there is likely no playbook and it will be challenging, but achieving success that is perceived as unusual is what sets you apart. If you’re not outside your comfort zone, you’re not growing and learning, and you effectively disqualify yourself from ever achieving anything new.

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?

“Make It Happen.” It is every leader’s job to get results and make things happen that wouldn’t happen otherwise, and to do so through and alongside other people.

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?

There are so many Texas CEOs I admire and learn from constantly.

When I was very young, I asked John Paul DeJoria (co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems) his advice on becoming successful and he didn’t think twice in sharing with me that successful people do what others are unwilling to do to achieve what others don’t.

My father, Gordon Logan, is one of the most admired CEOs around and I have learned so much from him over many years of mentorship.

I will share with you the story of a CEO I admire and have gotten to know better only recently. Rob Holmes is the CEO of Texas Capital Bank, who Sport Clips now banks with as well. In getting to know Rob and the organization, we have very similar beliefs and strategies, which is interesting given our different industries. We believe in bringing on the absolute best talent as the priority, setting ambitious goals that prepare you well for long-term sustainable success, applying technology as an accelerator and adding new capabilities to the organization, while remaining focused on operational excellence at the core of your business and on the human relationship aspect of business as the foundation above all else.

On a more personal note, Rob and I recently inspired each other around our personal and organizational philanthropic efforts. I got on stage at Sport Clips’ national convention recently and had my head shaved to raise money and support for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization committed to funding research focused on childhood cancer treatment. Rob also got on stage at TCB’s company town hall and shaved his head to raise funds and support for the American Cancer Society to drive their activity within Texas. I had the honor of being the one to shave his head there, though I think now he realizes that just because I’m in the hair industry does not mean I’m the one you want giving you a haircut!

What Employees Say about Sport Clips Leadership

“The leadership team I work with are truly invested in the growth and success of each of us! They provide opportunities and paths for us to make Sport Clips more than just another job, but a career.”

Martina McIsaac

Region Head & CEO, Hilti North America

Headquarters: Plano

Hilti North America, a global leader in providing technology to make construction faster, safer, and more sustainable

Recent Company Milestones

  • McIsaac served as 2022 Chair of the Dallas Habitat Women Build initiative to support women and families who are beginning a journey to financial independence and generational assets through education and first home ownership
  • Named a Best Place to Work for 2022, the No. 19 Best Large Workplace in Texas from Great Place to Work / Fortune magazine, and a 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in the US

What Employees Say about Hilti North American Leadership

“Hilti North America focuses on employees first and that carries over to the employees focus on customers and service.”

Bryce Maddock

CEO & Cofounder, TaskUs

Headquarters: New Braunfels

CEO Since: 2008

Bryce Maddock and his best friend, Jasper Weir, have been entrepreneurs since their teenage years, when they sold designer belts at Santa Monica High School. After a foray into the events business, they invested their combined savings into TaskUs. Today the company is a leader in digital outsourcing and content moderation, with a client list that includes companies like Facebook and Doordash. Since 2008, the company has grown from just seven employees to more than 45,800 today—thanks in no small part to its people-first business strategy. TaskUsfiled to become a publicly traded company in June 2021, posting an impressive valuation of up to $2.3 billion.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“To understand your business, do the job of the lowest paid, entry-level member of the team. At TaskUs, all leaders spend a day on the frontline every year—working side by side and learning from our teammates.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?

“Frontline first: a business is only as strong as the people who are doing the work every day.”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?

Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble and Chris Hyams of Indeed.”

What Employees Say about TaskUs Leadership

Deeply concerned with your personal welfare. They are also very open to diversity and respects you for who you are. I also like the fact that our leaders also include women and LGBTIQIA+. Loving that representation!”

Tom Nolan

CEO, Kendra Scott

Headquarters: Austin

Kendra Scott, a leading fashion accessory brand inspired by the personal experiences, travel and sense of community of its founder and designer, Kendra Scott

Recent Company Milestones

  • Entered new product categories, including Men’s (Scott Bros. by Kendra Scott), Watches, and Engagement
  • Launched the Take the Time initiative, establishing Mother’s Day as a paid corporate holiday for all employees
  • Opened 22 retail stores and counting in the past year
  • Announced $100,000 Grant for The Jed Foundation to provide mental health resources and programming for under-resourced schools

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“Seth Waugh, former CEO of Deutsche Bank and current CEO of the PGA of America, once told me that all great leaders are simply great teachers and coaches. . . . It’s never about the person in charge; the focus is on the people working with them that achieve great results.”    

Your leadership philosophy summarized? 
“You’ve got to remember that no matter your role in an organization, you’re always a part of a team. How you act, think, and speak directly affects your teammates—are you constantly inspiring the best in others?”

Most admired fellow Texas CEO?
“Aside from Kendra, our Executive Chairwoman, it’s impossible to name just one, but I really admire what Charles Butt has done with HEB. It’s a great Texas company, that embraces and understands its customer, puts them first, treats them right, and offers excellent service. While I don’t know her personally, I admire Vicki Hollub at Occidental Petroleum as she seems like a tremendous leader—especially being a woman in a very traditional male-centric industry. She leads with heart and smarts; it’s because of this leadership style that her business is outpacing others.”

What Employees Say about Kendra Scott Leadership

“Leadership team is always accessible and has monthly family meetings with the home office and monthly meetings with managers and directors. Incredible experience since most companies at entry level don’t even see the executive.”

Peter McCanna

CEO, Baylor Scott & White Health

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2022

Peter McCanna was appointed CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health earlier this year, though he has served as the company’s president since 2017. The Office of the President was created when he came then-CEO James Hinton recruited him to join the organization. Previously, McCanna served as the executive vice president and COO at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare in Chicago, as CFO at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico, and as CGO at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. During his 15 years at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, he helped grow operating revenue from $700 million to more than $5 billion.

McCanna is now CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas with 52 hospitals and more than 800 patient care sites, 7,300 active physicians, and 49,000 employees. In advance of taking on the role, he did extensive preparation. “I’ve been very intentional and did a lot of research on becoming a new CEO, particularly an internal candidate for CEO,” he told The Academy Table podcast of the Health Management Academy earlier this year.

“I really moved rapidly, even before January one to define with the board in with the other members of the senior team, what our strategy will be so really defining the what and then right on the heels of that, that then defining who needs to be on the team? What skills do we need, what leaders do we need and key positions. So by the end of the first month, essentially, we had an outline of what we’re setting out to do over the next three years, and defined who will be on the bus and who will be on the team.”

From the CEO

“If you treat the organization as if it were your family business, that leads you to the right decisions all the time,” Pete told an internal publication of Baylor Scott & White Health.

What Employees Say about Baylor Scott & White Health Leadership 

“They are ever present at our facility and you feel like you are a part of their team. Not just someone that reports to them. It is amazing to have such caring, personal, and involved executive leaders. We are truly blessed!”

Fred Parpall

CEO, The Beck Group

Headquarters: Dallas

The Beck Group, a firm that integrates architecture, construction, sustainability, and technology to transform how our clients’​ design and build

Recent Company Milestones

  • Awarded two significant design projects last July by the Ministry of Health to expand and upgrade Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama and Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence. This give Beck Group the opportunity to transform healthcare delivery in Perpall’s native Bahamas, including the hospital where he was born, Princess Margaret.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?
Treat others the way they want to be treated.

Your leadership philosophy summarized? 
For me, it’s about servant leadership. My purpose is to serve and support my team and community to effect the most significant change in everyone’s lives.

Most admired fellow Texas CEO?
I admire many CEOs in Texas, including Peter Beck and Cynt Marshall, who are also great friends.

Peter is my predecessor. He chose me to be Beck’s next CEO early in my career. At Beck, we call our succession strategy “the long handoff,” and Peter guided me during our handoff and supported me for many years to ensure our collective success.

Cynt is one-of-a-kind. She’s done great work with the Dallas Mavs during the organization’s most challenging times. Her “pure heart, clear head and steady hand” is not only what the Mavs need, but our greater Dallas community needs to be great.

What Employees Say about Beck Group Leadership

“They share what’s going on and how we will be successful!”

Elon Musk

CEO, Tesla

Headquarters: Austin

CEO Since: 2008

What else is there to say about Elon Musk? The one-of-a-kind innovator, the media enfant terrible, the man who recently made a big bet on Texas—he’s been unceasingly in the news this year under a variety of guises. Musk has a lot of spinning plates, from SpaceX to the Boring Company to his involvement in Twitter. But his biggest Texas presence is Tesla, maker of electric vehicles and other energy products, founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In 2004, Musk made a $6.5 million investment in Tesla, becoming its largest shareholder, and subsequently took the helm as CEO in 2008.

Telsa operates with a mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” As of October 2021, it officially does so from Austin, Texas, after Musk announced the company’s headquarters move from Palo Alto to its under-construction Gigafactory in southeast Travis County on a shareholder call. Tulsa and Nashville had been on the shortlist of relocation destinations, but in the end the Texas capital won the day. Now, Tesla will invest billions in Texas and create about 20,000 direct jobs, with the indirect jobs created numbering far higher. In April, the Austin Gigafactory and new headquarters, at an astounding 10 million square feet, opened with a blowout party.

When we speak with Texas CEOs, one question we often ask is what fellow CEO in the state they admire most (including in this issue). The most common answer by far: Elon Musk. Controversies notwithstanding, he remains an inspiration to business leaders across the state.

From the CEO

“People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”

What Employees Say about Tesla Leadership   

“The leadership of the team is amazing. Everyone has the opportunity of doing whatever is needed in order to achieve their tasks. No idea is a bad one.”

Gaby Saliby

CEO, The Infiniux Group

Headquarters: Frisco

The Infiniux group, including telecommunications companies Nexius, Velex, Velex SI, AccuV, MyndCo, Intelgica, and Allios

Recent Company Milestones

  • Achieved a record growth year for the Infiniux group of companies and delivered on customer commitments despite the pandemic, a global supply chain challenges, and a severe labor shortage

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? 

  • “The swiftest way to build a great company is to develop the greatness within your people.”
  • “Where focus goes, energy flows. ”
  • “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. ”

Leadership philosophy summarized?  Servant leadership: I am their leader. I must follow them.

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO? Elon Musk

What Employees Say about Infiniux Leadership

“We have an open concept and our CEO and executives are approachable. We are encouraged to speak up about ideas and the environment is welcoming for any feedback. I feel like they just want everyone to be at their best because that will only fuel the business to be at its best.”

BJ Schaknowski

CEO, symplr

Headquarters: Houston

CEO Since: 2020

BJ Schaknowski is a seasoned software industry executive, with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles across a wide variety of functions. He grew up in upstate New York, then joined the Marines during college. After that, he began a career in tech, holding leadership roles at LexisNexis Software Solutions, CA Technologies, Intuit, Sage Software, and Vertafore, where he was Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. He has also earned an MBA from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

In 2020, Schaknowski was appointed to his first CEO role, at symplr, which makes a SaaS platform for governance, risk management, and compliance in the healthcare industry. Today, its products are deployed at 9 out of 10 US hospitals. In this CEO role, Schaknowski sees himself as not only a business leader but as a cultural one too, noting that employees of symplr are often driven by a real passion for improving healthcare operations—and the lives of providers and patients.

Recent Company Milestones 

  • Unified seven companies, bringing symplr almost 1,400 new team members and enabling it to become the enterprise healthcare operations category leader.
  • Added feature functionality and value drivers for healthcare system, payer, and post-acute facility customers and. enabled them to take better care of patients by making healthcare operations simpler.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“During my time in the Marine Corps, they trained me on this leadership concept of simplification and prioritization. That rang true with me and stuck with me, and I have applied it throughout my career aligning entire organizations around goals. In the military, you would call it your mission and establish a ruthless prioritization of the things that matter—the cause and the people. If you are taking care of those two things—accomplishing your mission and taking care of people—then frankly, you are getting the big things right. I have tried to embrace that concept and apply that to my 20+ year software career.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?

“Common sense sometimes trumps pure intellect.”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?

“It would have to be Rick Pleczko, CEO of symplr for many years before me. He came up with the idea of consolidating this fragmented market of healthcare operations and GRC [governance, risk management, and compliance] companies into a market leader to the benefit of the stakeholders in healthcare I still look up to Rick and talk to him every single month.”

What Employees Say about symplr Leadership  

“The availability and quality of communication from BJ and the executive team have been light years ahead of the two Fortune 500 companies I worked with in the past.”

Alex Shootman

CEO, Alkami Technology

Headquarters: Plano

CEO Since: 2021

Alex Shootman came to Alkami, a provider of cloud-based digital banking solutions, in 2021 as CEO and member of the board. He succeeded Mike Hansen, who helped take the company public (valued at the time at $3.43 billion) and remains on the company’s board of directors.

Shootman brought with him over two decades of executive leadership in the tech arena. Most recently, he served as CEO of Workfront, where he more than doubled revenue in five years by repositioning the company from a departmental project application to an enterprise application platform. Before joining Workfront, Shootman served as President of Apptio and before that, he was President of Eloqua and a member of the team that helped bring Eloqua to a successful public offering. Shootman has also held executive leadership positions with Vignette, TeleTech, BMC Software, and IBM.

He is the author of Done Right: How Tomorrow’s Top Leaders Get Stuff Done, in which he wrote, “While executives, shareholders, and customers demand value, your team is starving to create something greater than themselves. The onus falls on every leader to radically rethink how they empower their teams to execute and deliver value in the Digital Era.”

From the CEO

 “It’s the leader’s responsibility to do a self-assessment to say, ‘How am I doing on integrity, intent, capability, and results?,’” Shootman told the Leaders24x7 podcast. “Because if I’m not doing well on any of those, then I can’t be offended if my organization doesn’t trust me. If you’re a brand-new leader going into an organization, you have no results yet in that organization. You need to understand that your people don’t yet trust you.”

What Employees Say about Alkami Leadership

“They go out of their way to make employees feel appreciated and cared for, both from a office/tech/tools perspective, but also a lot of mental/personal empathy when it comes to time off, counseling opportunities, massage bookings and various parties through the year.”

Bob Sulentic

President & CEO, CBRE

Headquarters: Dallas

CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm

Recent Company Milestones

  • Named by Forbes as one of the best large employers in America
  • Named by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies nine years in a row
  • Recognized for an Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion Organization by the Dallas Business Journal
  • Announced commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040
  • Acquired a 60 percent ownership interest in Turner & Townsend Holdings Limited, a global leader in program management, project management, and cost consulting
  • Launched $7+ million community impact initiative

From the CEO

Leadership philosophy summarized?

“One of the great things any person can do in their life is hold themselves accountable for doing the things they say they are going to do.”

What Employees Say about CBRE Leadership

“[The leadership team offered] great support during the pandemic to the needy and tracking back on the health and safety of the employee.”

“They live the core values RISE [respect, integrity, service, and excellence].”

Paul Singh

CEO, U.S. Dermatology Partners

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2018

U.S. Dermatology Partners is one of the largest dermatology practices in the country, caring for more than 1.5 million patients each year with more than 1,800 teammates across 90-plus locations across eight states.

CEO Paul Singh has a passion for building world-class healthcare organizations that deliver exceptional patient care experiences. Before becoming CEO of U.S. Dermatology Partners, he served as COO of NorthStar Anesthesia, a TPG-backed practice management company with 2,500+ teammates across 150+ facilities in 21 states and led its successful sale in 2018. Singh earned a BA in Economics with High Distinction from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Recent Company Milestones

Recently launched its Outreach Program to provide underserved and rural communities with critical access to dermatology care. This new Program will open 30 new locations in rural communities across eight states (Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, and Virginia) in the next three years to address the ongoing shortage of doctors and specialists in underserved areas.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?
“The greatest gift you can give someone is to set clear expectations on what it means for them to be successful in their role.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence?
“Clearly communicate where we are headed and why, surround myself with great leaders who are passionate about achieving this shared vision, and stay out of the way!”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?
“Elon Musk. He is a visionary who is fundamentally changing a number of industries.”

What Employees Say about U.S. Dermatology Partners Leadership

“My leadership is always making sure all employee have the necessities needed to complete their job well and efficiently. [They] not only appreciate me as an employee but they also appreciate me as a person.”

Mitch Snyder

President & CEO, Bell

Headquarters: Fort Worth

CEO Since: 2015

When it was founded in 1935, Bell made primarily fighter aircraft, including many that would be used in WWII. Perhaps the most famous of its products of that era was the Bell X-1, the first supersonic aircraft. In addition to breaking the sound barrier, it was also the first company to certify a commercial helicopter, and it took part in NASA’s first lunar mission. Nearly 90 years later, now a fully owned subsidiary, Bell is still thriving, with a presence of six continents and strong military and commercial sides of its multibillion-dollar business.

Bell is currently led by Mitch Snyder, who also serves on Textron’s corporate leadership team. The Kansas native came to Bell in 2004 after excelling in leadership positions at Lockheed Martin, in functions including engineering, business development, manufacturing, and the F-16 Program Office. Before being named CEO in October 2015, Mitch was executive vice president of Military Business and responsible for guiding the strategic direction, management, and performance of Bell’s government programs.

As a leader, work-life balance is critical to Snyder—not only his own but his employees’. Bell offers a 9/80 work schedule, in which employees get every other Friday off in exchange for working 9-hour days for four days of the workweek. Snyder works on being transparent and communicative as well: Every other week, Snyder has a 90-minute discussion event with all 400 leaders at Bell, a rhythm that went up to twice a week during the disruptions of COVID-19. Bell was declared an essential business, and Snyder made it a priority to see that the business continued to execute when ensuring that all employees were safe.

From the CEO

“Our value proposition [to employees] has to be more than ‘Hey, I can pay you more,’” Snyder said in a Center for Strategic and International Studies roundtable in 2020. “How often do you get to design brand new platforms that the Army is going to fly for the next 40 years? It’s the excitement of what you’re doing and the excitement of the mission that’s still drawing [talent to Bell].”

What Employees Say about Bell Leadership 

“Leadership at Bell does a very good job of caring for their employees. I’ve heard it said many times at Bell that ‘family comes first’ and I believe Bell does a great job of the work-life balance and ensuring that work does not consume employees’ lives, while still performing at our best.”

Artie Starrs

CEO, Topgolf

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2021

Artie Starrs came to Topgolf last year from Yum! Brands, where he most recently served as Global CEO for Pizza Hut, overseeing its 18,000 locations across 110 countries. Before that, he served President of Pizza Hut US and as Chief Financial Officer for Rave Cinemas.

He now leads Togolf, a tech-enabled driving range that’s paired with a full-service restaurant and bar. The company was founded in 2000 in Watford, outside London. The first US location to take off was the Dallas Topgolf, and the company officially moved its headquarters there in 2012. Today, Topgolf has 77 outdoor venues in six countries (US, UK, Australia, Mexico, Dubai, and Germany), after opening nine new venues in 2021 and three so far in 2022. Under construction currently are venues China, Thailand, and Scotland.

Recent Company Milestones

  • Completed merger with Callaway Golf Company (NYSE: ELY) in 2021
  • In May 2021, joined Callaway and Women’s Golf Day to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
  • On April 15, 2022, opened 76th global venue in El Segundo, California, which includes a refreshed 10-hole, par-3 golf course (its first green grass course) adjacent to the venue.
  • World Golf Tour (WGT) virtual game downloaded more than 35 million times.
  • Announced a 10-year partnership with St Andrews Links in Scotland, considered the “Home of Golf.” The company’s Toptracer technology will be installed at St Andrews Links, where the game of golf has been played since the 15th century! 

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got?

“My dad, Art Starrs, and Yum! CEO David Gibbs both told me that every leader you look up to or aspire to be likely had the same fears you have. The ones who rise to the top humbly embrace their strengths to combat the fears. It’s a daily discipline.”

What Employees Say about Topgolf Leadership

“Leadership LISTENS! The door or floor is always open and their ears are always keen to the needs of Teams they lead.”

Dallas Tanner

Cofounder, President & CEO, Invitation Homes

Headquarters: Dallas

CEO Since: 2019

Dallas Tanner is a founding member of Invitation Homes’ business, first serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer starting in 2012, and from August 2018 to January 2019 as interim President. In 2019, he was appointed CEO. Invitation Homes, a single-family home leasing company, went public in 2017 and celebrated 10 years in business last April.

Tanner currently serves on the HOPE Global Board of Advisors, the Policy Advisory Board of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, and the Real Estate Roundtable. He is actively involved in American Indian Services and served as a missionary in the Netherlands and Belgium.

From the CEO

Best leadership advice you ever got? “Act like you’ve been there before. And stay focused on the details.”

Your leadership philosophy summarized in a sentence? “Collaborative and anxiously engaged in good causes.”

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO? “Recently retired Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, for his relentless focus on customer experience.”

What Employees Say about Invitation Homes Leadership 

“They not only present our company’s goals and values to us, but they also live them—our leadership team leads by example.”

Terry Weber

CEO, Biote

Headquarters: Irving

Biote, a hormone optimization company that has translated over 80 years of scientific insight into clinically-validated medical approaches

Recent Company Milestones

Became a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange as of May 27, 2022.

 From the CEO

 Best leadership advice you ever got? 

My father, who was a battalion commander in the armed forces, is a major inspiration to me
as a leader—he left his legal career to join the US army. From him, I learned how to humbly lead and “never BS the troops.”

Leadership philosophy summarized?

Trust your lieutenants: the only way to grow and thrive in your career is by surrounding yourself with highly capable people and giving them the space to excel at what they do.

Most-admired fellow Texas CEO?

Jan Langbein, the CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support. She has been leading and growing this significant non-profit for 30 years. She is a US Senior Policy Advisor on violence against women and represents Texas brilliantly.

 What Employees Say about Biote Leadership

“The leadership team at Biote knows my name and is interested in listening to my
thoughts on how to improve or advance the business.”


Data on Top Employee-Rated CEOs courtesy of Compararbly | comparably.com

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