Only Three Fashion and Luxury CEOs Made It Onto Harvard Business Review's List of 100 Top CEOs

Looks like fashion and luxury CEOs have room for improvement in 2013. The Harvard Business Review just released its list ranking the 100 best-performing CEOs--and only a paltry three fashion and luxury CEOs made the cut.
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Hayley Phelan
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Looks like fashion and luxury CEOs have room for improvement in 2013. The Harvard Business Review just released its list ranking the 100 best-performing CEOs--and only a paltry three fashion and luxury CEOs made the cut.
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Looks like fashion and luxury CEOs have room for improvement in 2013.

The Harvard Business Review just released its list ranking the 100 best-performing CEOs--and only a paltry three fashion and luxury CEOs made the cut.

The rankings, based on long-term performance, total shareholder performance and other metrics like sales, profitability, and innovation rates, come as a bit of a surprise since, as the Financial Times' Vanessa Friedman points out, there's been much "ballyhoo about the absolutely extraordinary unprecedented growth of the luxury market."

HBR stresses the importance of being objective while, "other rankings use reputation and surveys, which tap into popularity and celebrity status, to score CEOs." Which means that CEOs like LVMH's Bernard Arnault and PPR's François-Henri Pinault may be in the news a lot (one is, after all, married to a legit A-list actress), their performances don't necessarily live up to their fame. Neither of them made the cut.

So who did? Lew Frankfort, CEO of Coach, rang in at #21 on the list, Sidney Toledano of Dior, at #68; and Patrick Thomas, CEO of Hermès, at #72.

While CEOs of luxury consumer brands fell short, their more affordable, mass-retail counterparts fared a bit better.

Pablo Isla Alvarez de Tejera, CEO of Inditex, which owns Zara, came in at #52, and Blake Nordstrom, of Nordstrom’s department stores came in at #80. It's not surprising that Alvarez de Tejera and Nordstrom bested their CEO peers at competitive companies: Inditex has been in the news several times this year for soaring profits, and Nordstrom was ranked the number one luxury retailer among wealthy shoppers and continues with expansion plans.

Coming out on top, in the fashion department anyway, was Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, who nabbed the #2 spot--right behind the late Steve Jobs. Amazon has already become a one-stop shop for everything from kitchenware to books to beauty but it's no secret that the online behemoth has been eyeing the luxury market.