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CEOs on a Roll...For Now

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 | 1:31 PM ET
PeskyMonkey | E+ | Getty Images

The trials and triumphs of corporate chieftains are daily blood sport here at CNBC. These days, CEOs seem to be on a winning streak.

Jamie Dimon, CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, this week successfully fended off a shareholder attempt to change that title by splitting his roles.

"I was so thrilled to see the results," said Peter May, president and founding partner of Trian Fund Management, referring to the final tally of the vote; just 32% of shareholders voted in favor of redefining Dimon's job. "For him to lose the vote would have been a vote of no confidence no matter what people said."

Meanwhile, Apple chief Tim Cook calmly rebutted insinuations by a Senate panel that his company was dodging taxes by simply pointing out Congress was responsible for the law. "He looked sterling," said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management. "He was able to defend himself as a great corporate statesperson."

Cook & Dimon: Two CEOs Take on Tough Opposition
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management, shares his perspective on Apple's CEO Tim Cook's Senate grilling, and JPM's CEO Jamie Dimon's dual role vote.

And Marissa Mayer got a generally good response for Yahoo's deal to take over Tumblr. Sure, Wall Street had some questions about how the blogging site will ultimately make money for the Internet oldie, but the sense was hey, at least the Yahoo CEO was doing something.

"She's following the right script," said Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital Markets.

Of course, the tide can turn quickly. Dimon could find another Whale in the closet. Apple is only as good as its next i-Thingy. And Mayer's honeymoon will eventually end. Indeed, it wasn't so long ago that JCPenney's Ron Johnson flamed out.

But for now, high-profile CEOs are on a roll.

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