Mad Money

Hail to the Chiefs


If you’re wondering how the Dow can rally 202 points on Thursday, with the S&P 500 popping a sizable 2.3%, all in the face of weak home sales, disappointing jobless claims and little to no growth, look no further than some of America’s top CEOs. They were the driver behind stocks’ big push up, Cramer told Mad Money viewers.

Titans of Industry

These executives are delivering results in spite of a struggling US economy. There’s 3M’s George Buckley, who is using product innovations to grow his company. D. Scott Davis of UPS turned his firm from a shipping business into a logistics outfit. And Eric Wiseman at VF Corp. transformed this domestic jeans maker into an international sportswear powerhouse.

This focus on the emerging markets is a strategy that has worked well for other outperforming CEOs, too. Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi, Eaton’s Sandy Cutler, United Technologies’ George David and Chuck Bunch at PPG Industries all turned their attention overseas when there was no business to be had in the States.

Don’t forget about Steve Jobs at Apple , either. Once a personal-computer maker for a small but dedicated fan base, Cramer said, this company is now the top cell-phone company in the world. Now the iPad could get a foothold in the enterprise world, which would further extend Apple’s dominance in the tech space.

And these are just a few names. Anyone in need of more examples of the impact CEOs are having should look at Union Pacific’s James Young, Caterpillar’s Doug Oberhelman (and Jim Owens before him), Stanley Black & Decker’s John Lundgren and Airgas’ Peter McCausland.

These people didn’t wait for the US economy to turn up, they didn’t wait for a government handout, nor did they sit by and watch their market shares shrink. Instead, they found not just a way to survive, but thrive.

So, “when you wonder why we can rise above the doom and gloom,” Cramer said, “the answer is leadership, the leadership of these terrific CEOs.”

When this story published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned Apple, Stanley Black & Decker and UPS.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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