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CEOs Hold the Key to Higher Stock Prices

“There are two kinds of companies operating in this country at the moment,” said Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money.” “There are the ones that recognize they have to do something to improve their fortunes and then there are the companies that just sit there and do nothing.”

To Cramer, PPG Industries is a great example of a company that's doing what it can to push its stock higher. "The specialty chemicals company said Thursday it will spin off its commodity chemicals business and then merge it with chemical company Georgia Gulf in a deal valued at about $2 billion.

“This move, brilliant in its simplicity, then calls to the fore all of the exciting specialty chemicals PPG makes for everything from aerospace to eyeglasses,” Cramer said. “This is a global operation with substantial amounts of business in Europe, but [CEO Chuck] Bunch was not willing to let that European business overshadow so many of the positive changes he's made.”

In Cramer's opinion, PPG’s stock would not have rallied as it did without Bunch’s leadership.

Elsewhere in the market, VF Corp’s stock popped after reporting strong quarterly earnings results. The clothing maker posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on lower product costs and strong demand for its outdoors and sportswear. It also raised its full-year profit forecast.

“VF Corp has made a major global push under CEO Eric Wiseman, something that many companies have been punished for lately,” Cramer said, noting Wiseman is always to acquire smaller companies that he can “VF-ize, turn into leaner, meaner but more expansive operations that will allow him to grow VF Corp regardless of what's happening in Europe.”

Meanwhile, Walgreen’s stock rallied after it struck a pharmacy network agreement that settles a long-running dispute with Express Scripts. When it comes to pharmacy operators, Cramer prefers CVS Caremark, but he appreciates how Walgreen finally ended its longstanding disagreement to jumpstart its stock.

“Greg Wasson, the CEO of Walgreen, knew that no matter what he did, he couldn't please shareholders until he resolved this thing with Express Scripts,” Cramer said. “He caved because Walgreen had to get busy living. The result? A spectacular move, bringing WAG back to where it was before the kerfluffle started.”

As Cramer’s sees it, the executives who are finding ways to please shareholders are being rewarded with higher stock prices. On the other hand, he said the corporate leaders who are sitting on their hands remain captive to the volatile market and sluggish global economy.

—CNBC.com and Reuters contributed to this report

When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned CVS Caremark.

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