Cramer: 8 CEOs positioned for strength in 2016

With March Madness in full swing this month, it is due to be whittled down to the elite eight on Friday. Jim Cramer decided to trim down his list of top CEOs, by establishing incredible leaders who he believes could lead their companies to success in 2016

"I think they need to be acknowledged so that you can buy their stocks into weakness," the "Mad Money" host said.

Cramer revealed the first four on his list on Wednesday, which were Dave Cote of Honeywell, Steve Easterbrook of McDonald's, Jeff Immelt of General Electric and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.

The next top contenders on Cramer's list of the elite eight CEOs were Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Inge Thulin of 3M.

Businessman in charge
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Nooyi has been the CEO of PepsiCo for almost 10 years, during which time the stock is up 56 percent, outperforming the broader 50 percent gain of the S&P 500. Since taking over, Nooyi has aggressively moved the company into healthier snacks and cut billions of dollars in costs.

Most importantly, Cramer added that Nooyi is responsible for taking PepsiCo worldwide.

"Nooyi's tenure at the helm of this gigantic snack and beverage company has been truly extraordinary," Cramer said.

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Schultz originally ran Starbucks from 1987 to 2000, and after he stepped back the company began to stumble. So, he returned as CEO in January 2008. Since his return, the stock has more than quadrupled.

Most important to Cramer is that Schultz uniquely understood the importance of technology better than any other CEO in the retail and restaurant sector.

"In fact, I would go so far as to say that Starbucks is a tech company that happens to sell coffee, tea and food," Cramer said.

While some people may question why there are so many Starbucks locations, it was clear to Cramer that it is simply because there is so much demand from customers.

Next up was Mark Zuckerberg, the visionary founder and CEO of Facebook who managed to turn the company into a $239 billion entity in just a dozen years.

Zuckerberg displayed real vision by making a series of acquisitions that were questioned at the time, but turned out to be brilliant. This includes the $1 billion he paid for Instagram in 2012, WhatsApp and Oculus virtual reality.

The final member of the elite eight is Inge Thulin, the CEO of 3M. When he took over in 2012 he orchestrated a massive turnaround and revamped the company. He reorganized the company to make it less complicated by streamlining and combining divisions to reduce the number of businesses to 26 from 40.

There were three additional CEOs that didn't make the elite eight this year, but Cramer gave an honorable mention to. Such as Marc Benioff at, Mary Dillon at Ulta Salon and Tim Cook at Apple. All three have generated remarkable returns.

"Management matters, and that is why I am sticking with them," Cramer said.

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