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Novo Nordisk's Sorensen tops best CEO rankings

One chief executive beat out Starbucks' Howard Schultz, Nike's Mark Parker and Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff in new performance rankings released Monday. He is, of course, Lars Rebien Sorensen.

The Novo Nordisk CEO topped Harvard Business Review's list of the 100 best-performing CEOs this year. Former Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, who left the position in July, ranked second.

Lars Rebien Soerensen, Novo Nordisk
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Lars Rebien Soerensen, Novo Nordisk

The list evaluates executives not only on financial performance but also environmental and social records.

Sorensen joined the Danish pharmaceutical company in 1982 and became CEO in 2000. Novo Nordisk shares listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange have climbed about 40 percent this year.

Here are the top 10 CEOs as ranked by Harvard Business Review:

  1. Lars Rebien Sorensen, Novo Nordisk
  2. John Chambers, Cisco Systems (former)
  3. Pablo Isla, Inditex
  4. Elmar Degenhart, Continental
  5. Martin Sorrell, WPP
  6. Stephen Luczo, Seagate Technology
  7. Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor
  8. George Scangos, Biogen
  9. Michael Wolf, Swedbank
  10. Fujio Mitarai, Canon

Embattled former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down last month amid an emissions cheating scandal, ranked at No. 20 on the list.

Read the full list, which also includes Schultz, Parker and Benioff, here.