Of nearly 200 students who participated in the survey from more than 60 top business programs, Musk — the serial entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity — was the runaway winner, beating out Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Musk garnered 17 votes, while Sandberg took seven. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Apple founder Steve Jobs both shared third place with six votes each. This is the first year Poets&Quants has asked this question on its survey, according to John Byrne, the CEO of the company that owns Poets&Quants.
While Musk has earned himself accolades as a visionary, and a net worth in the billions, he has also received his fair share of criticism. Most recently, he came under fire for failing to meet expectations on Tesla deliveries, and for what many considered a questionable potential merger between his companies' Tesla and SolarCity.