Business leadership comes in many forms from many different people within an organization. Most people equate business leadership with the head of the company or the CEO in most instances. While the CEO often gets a bulk of the credit, the second in command is also often behind the leadership within a company. New research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has down that we can learn more about leadership from the second in command business executives rather than the CEO of a company.

To show the value of the second in command executives, Topgrading has compiled a list of the most influential second in command at some of America’s most respected companies. The reason behind doing this was to visualize the impact of these business executives on their respective companies.

They turned this list into an infographic that can be seen below and looked at the current background of each executive as well has how they came to be at both their company and at their current position. The list profiled many large companies including Twitter, Facebook, Tesla, Salesforce, Zappos, Google, Amazon, AT&T, Whole Foods, Apple, Starbucks, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Nike, Walmart, Koch Industries, IBM, General Motors, Pepsico, GE, Goldman Sachs, American Express and Berkshire Hathaway.

The snapshot of the second in command business executives on the list looks like this:

  • Been with the company for on average twenty one years
  • In their current role for at least five years
  • Earned $17.6 million in 2016
  • Harvard educated

For each second in command they looked at:

  • Time with the company
  • Time in current role
  • 2016 compensation
  • Education background
  • Career history
  • Current responsibilities within their current role

Let’s take a look at a few of the notable second in command business executives on the list:

Sheryl Sandberg is currently the chief operating officer of Facebook and one of the most noted female leaders in business in the United States. She has been with both Facebook and in her current role of COO for over 9 years.  Before joining Facebook, Sandberg worked for Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and for Google as VP of Global Online Sales.  In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg recruited Sandberg to help make Facebook profitable.  She has been widely successful in her current role with an annual compensation of over $18 million.

Sundar Pichai is the CEO of Google and the right hand man to Larry page. He has been with the company for over 13 years but only in his current role for 2 years.  Before joining Google, Pichai worked as an engineer and in management consulting.  When he joined Google in 2004, Pichai ran product management and innovation efforts for Google, becoming Product Chief and overseeing the development of Google Chrome and Google Drive.  His 2016 was a staggering $100 million dollars.

To see the full list of second in command business executives, check out the full infographic below.

We present facts about the people in succession at top companies over time. second in command business executives

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