Best CEOs of 2011: Sullivan
Number 3: Eric Wiseman, VF Corp..
The stock and operational performance of the company alone are enough to put Eric Wiseman near the top, but the June acquisition of Timberland finalized Wiseman’s spot on this list.
Rarely do analysts fawn over a deal as much as this one, and the Timberland buyout appears to already be paying dividends. Not deal shy, Wiseman also acquired the Rock & Republic brand this year and bought full ownership in a joint venture in India.
Though debt levels remain a little high for some investor tastes, VF has a few hundred million in cash on the books and a book value per share of more than $40 for the first time ever.
In October VF raised guidance again. Wiseman, 56, is well paid, with a total compensation listed as $9.3 million by Reuters.
Second Best CEO of 2011
Number 2: Terry Lundgren, Macy’s.
Things were looking bleak for Macy’s and most department stores a few years ago. Many ‘smart’ retail pundits suggested department stores would go the way of the dodo or cassette deck. But Macy’s Terry Lundgren used the weakness of others to grow his company, snapping up other stores and capturing market share.
Macy’s now operates more than 800 stores along with its upscale Bloomingdale’s brand. That scale gives the company greater negotiating power with suppliers, using volume to press them for lower prices and increasing profits.
Earnings and net income are well up from a year ago. The company is also hiring around 78,000 workers for the holiday season, and some of those jobs should translate into full time employment. As with some of the others on this list, Lundgren needs to watch growing inventory levels. He’s the highest paid CEO on this list, with Reuters putting his total compensation at a sliver less than $15 million. He also holds more than one million exercisable stock options.